The 10 Most Common Menopause Symptoms

One month, your period comes and goes like it always does. The next day, you lay out the welcome mat for Aunt Flo, but she’s late. And then, she’s even later. You check your calendar. You check it again. As you make your afternoon lunch, you ponder: Have you gotten the date wrong? Have you tracked your period incorrectly? Suddenly, it hits you: HEAT. A fiery inferno of hot flashes has overtaken your insides. You feel the need to dive into a bath, nay, a swimming pool, of ice water. You remember the Linda Rondstat song:

🎶Has high blood pressure got a hold on me/ Or is this the way love is supposed to be/ It’s like a HEAT WAVE🎶

Is this high blood pressure? Have you fallen in love with the jar of mayonnaise before you?? And then, just as suddenly as the heat wave arrived, it is gone. You’re back to normal.

Or so you think. Hours later, you’re tossing and turning in bed, unable to get a wink of sleep.

Common Menopause Symptoms

While these issues may seem unusual and unrelated, they’re completely normal, incredibly common symptoms of menopause. So if you find yourself asking, “Just what the heck is going on with me??” Pack your bags and hum along, because you’re likely embarking on one of the biggest journeys of your life: 🎶It’s the Big M🎶

Usually when embarking on a trip, you decide on a date, plan your itinerary, buy some cute outfits, and pack your bags. You know the day you depart and the day you come home, because you’ve bought the tickets. Unlike the most amazing BFF trip, the menopause journey has no clear starting or ending point, with an ETA that can span years. We’re talking double digits, up to 20 years! Even a girl’s trip with the bestie of all besties would get old in that amount of time, am I right? But because it’s so unpredictable—no two menopause journeys are the same—learning to recognize the most common menopause symptoms will at least let you know when you’ve gotten on the train.

If you feel like the menopausal train departed without your knowledge and you’re not sure where you’re at in your journey, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered: Just take this menopause assessment to get your custom report. Think of this like a checklist that allows you to see if you are experiencing any of menopause’s many symptoms. Feel free to use it as you prepare for your future journey.

Breaking Down the Symptoms of Menopause

Let’s start by reminding ourselves right now that menopause is a natural biological process (NBP). Although it ends fertility, post-menopausal people can stay healthy, vital, and sexual. You might experience some sucky symptoms—symptoms that suck only subtly, suck a lot, or creep up gradually in their suckiness. But, just like any other difficult stage of life, you can rock it! Now that we’ve cleared the air, it’s time to brush up on what you might expect when you’re … not expecting.

The 10 Most Common Menopause Symptoms

In the months or years leading up to menopause (AKA perimenopause), you may experience these common symptoms:

  • Irregular Periods
  • Hot Flashes
  • Vaginal Dryness/Bladder Control Issues
  • Sleep Problems
  • Mood Changes
  • Weight Gain and Slowed Metabolism
  • Thinning Hair and Dry Skin
  • Bone Loss
  • Cognitive changes (e.g., remembering names)
  • Itching (vaginal and generalized)

Why Do These Symptoms Occur?

During  menopause, your estrogen levels decrease. According to the medical professionals at Johns Hopkins, “Estrogens are a group of hormones that play an important role in the normal sexual and reproductive development in women. They are also sex hormones. The woman’s ovaries make most estrogen hormones, although the adrenal glands and fat cells also make small amounts of the hormones. In addition to regulating the menstrual cycle, estrogen affects the reproductive tract, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain. Secondary sexual characteristics, such as pubic and armpit hair, also start to grow when estrogen levels rise. Many organ systems, including the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, and the brain are affected by estrogen.”

In other words, Estrogen is a hormone that affects your body in a lot of ways. So when it decides to leave, you’re gonna feel it.

Now that we’ve had our science lesson for the day, figuring out what is going on with your body will be easier. The symptoms listed above can be signs that your ovaries are producing less estrogen, or of increased fluctuation in hormone levels. Think of it as a rollercoaster ride happening inside your body, complete with all the ups, downs, and biological loopty-loops. Hands up, ladies, we’re in for the ride of a lifetime!

Can These Symptoms Be Treated?

The good news? Not all people get all of these symptoms. The better news? Treatment is available to help minimize the symptoms you do experience, The best news? YOU are your most reliable resource! When you track your symptoms regularly, educate yourself, and make choices you feel good about, you empower yourself to manage your menopause in a way that actually helps you, unlike the micro-managment of an overbearing boss.

Remember: If symptoms disrupt your everyday life, educate yourself and talk to your healthcare provider(s) to get the help you need.

Two main types of treatments exist:

  1. Hormone therapy
  2. Non-hormonal treatments

During menopause, your entire body—both the physical you and emotional you—will feel the impact. So, how can you manage these changes? Take a sigh of relief because you have many options, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Mindset (accepting that you are your best resource, embracing body positivity, etc.)
  • Preventative Maintenance / Self-Care (e.g., exercise, eating healthy, social connections, education, gratitude journaling, volunteering or serving others, etc.). 
  • Prescribed Treatment (e.g., medication like antidepressants or anxiety medications, birth control, hormone therapy, etc.)
  • Non-Prescription Treatment (e.g., nutritional supplements, gels, lubricants, bio-identical treatments [things that mimic estrogen as just one example], lotion for dry skin, or other products to help aid with things [brittle nails, etc.])
  • Professional Treatment (e.g., talk therapy, pelvic floor specialist [to help with vaginal exercises or painful sex], intuitive eating coach, etc.)
  • Alternative Treatment (e.g., yoga, meditation, deep breathing, etc., especially for pain management)

Note: Taking advantage of the many available menopause treatments is critical to surviving (and even enjoying) the journey. Create a plan that works for you and your lifestyle.

It’s a Wrap!

As part of menopause, your estrogen level will decrease. In the months or years leading up to menopause (AKA perimenopause), you might experience these common signs and symptoms due to lower estrogen levels:

  • Irregular Periods
  • Hot Flashes
  • Vaginal Dryness/Bladder Control Issues
  • Sleep Problems
  • Mood Changes
  • Weight Gain and Slowed Metabolism
  • Thinning Hair and Dry Skin
  • Bone Loss
  • Cognitive changes (e.g., remembering names)
  • Itching (Vaginal and Generalized)

Even though you are bound to experience one or more of the common menopause symptoms, they will vary from time to time. It’s best to stay on the up and up so that you’re prepared to overcome these symptoms so you can crank up the music, welcome back Ms. Rondstat, and do a victory dance.

🎶Menopause won’t get the best of me / Yes this is the way I’m supposed to be🎶

And just think, after all is said and done, your PMS and periods will be gone once and for all! What’s not to love about that?! 

Sources

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10 Comments

  1. […] losing a good chunk of your estrogen, you made it to life after menopause. Yay! The worst menopause symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings) are bound to fade as your body gets accustomed to the […]

  2. […] changes happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause (perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause) are all part of your […]

  3. […] losing a good chunk of your estrogen, you made it to life after menopause. Yay! The worst menopause symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings) are bound to fade as your body gets accustomed to the […]

  4. […] changes happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause (perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause) are all part of your […]

  5. What Is the Average Menopause Age? | pmn Site on August 25, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    […] Have you wondered if you experience the menopausal journey the same as others? The answer is a resounding, “No!” Menopause symptoms are not the same for everybody. Each person who goes through the menopausal stages may experience different symptoms at varying degrees. Some may have few and mild symptoms (the lucky ones), while others may have more frequent and severe symptoms (the less than lucky ones, also referred to as “menopausal warriors”). Nevertheless, the symptoms mentioned above are the most common menopause symptoms. […]

  6. […] started having symptoms like hot flashes, migraines, irregular periods, or any of the other magical manifestations of menopause, one of the best things you can do is to get tested. Knowing that you’re in perimenopause can […]

  7. […] It’s a good great and very understandable question. Although we are all different, some common menopause symptoms may occur. We wish we’d all known in high school that there is no such thing as “normal” when […]

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  10. […] symptoms, like osteoporosis. Because issues like bone loss don’t get as much attention as other common menopause symptoms, we don’t get enough information about the facts. But our bones, like the rest of our bodies, […]

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