There is a wide range of menopausal symptoms that affect about 70% of women approaching menopause. There are 34 in this list of menopause symptoms, and every woman's personal experience will vary. Menopausal symptoms usually last for the duration of this transition, but they can affect women into later life as well.
What Causes Menopause Symptoms?
The symptoms outlined here are primarily caused by a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone, hormones that control menstruation and ovulation. This change can impact on many different organs and bodily functions, leading to many different symptoms.
Is There a List of Menopause Symptoms?
There are 34 menopause symptoms that can affect women. Below is a complete list. These can be further subdivided into categories:
- Mood swings
- Feelings of dread
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory lapses
- Loss of libido
- Vaginal dryness
The physical symptoms can be further subdivided into categories.
- Hair loss or thinning
- Weight gain
- Brittle nails
- Sleep disorders
- Increase in allergies
- Breast pain
- Aching joints and muscle problems
- Itchy, crawly skin
- Irregular periods
- Osteoporosis (after several years)
- Irregular heartbeat
- Digestive problems
- Changes in body odor
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Burning tongue
- Gum problems
Nervous system symptoms:
- Electric shock sensation
- Tingling extremities
Most women going through menopause will be affected by a combination of symptoms from the above list. However, some symptoms are more common than others.
Which Are Most Common?
The most common from the list of menopause symptoms are:
- Hot flashes. When hormone levels are fluctuating, your body can become confused and believe it's too hot when it's not. This causes it to sweat and release heat, which results in a hot flash.
- Night sweats. When you're sleeping and get a hot flash, your body realizes it's overheated and tries to cool you down by sweating, which can cause you to wake up, chilled and covered in sweat.
- Irregular periods. This is natural part of menopause as your body transitions away from its fertile state.
- Loss of libido. Also caused by fluctuating hormones, this can be difficult for some relationships.
- Vaginal dryness. Hormone imbalances can also cause loss of lubrication and dryness in the vagina, leading to uncomfortable and even painful sex.
- Mood swings. Mood swings are defined as extreme or abrupt fluctuations in mood. Women commonly experience mood swings because hormonal imbalance.
Learn more about treatments for menopause symptoms.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.