The 34 menopause symptoms you need to know – more than just hot flushes!

The transformative journey women go through from perimenopause to menopause is a significant milestone in their lives - and comes with a multitude of physical and emotional changes.

Understanding the diverse range of symptoms associated with this transformative journey is crucial in empowering you to navigate the menopause with greater ease, as each woman's journey is unique.

At Hello Eve, we recognise that these symptoms can have a profound impact on your daily life, influencing relationships, social interactions, family dynamics, and work commitments.  

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the 34 symptoms of menopause, shedding light on the various aspects of this natural transition.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a natural transition in which a women's periods come to an end. It affects women between the ages of 45 and 55, however it can occur earlier or later for some. While menopause generally occurs naturally, some other factors; such as a woman having surgery to remove the ovaries or uterus, receiving chemotherapy treatment or other genetic reasons, can lead it to happen unexpectedly.

The first stage, called perimenopause, is when symptoms start, yet your periods continue as before. Once you’ve not had your period for over 12 months, you reach the menopause stage.

Menopause comes with an array of symptoms, from anxiety and mood swings to hot flushes, although these can start years before menopause and extend well beyond too.

These fluctuations don't just affect your physical reproductive health; they expand through to your relationships and work life too. However, in navigating this journey, understanding the symptoms, and seeking support can all help make this transition a lot smoother.

Menopause symptoms

Every woman will have a unique and varied experience with menopause. Some may encounter a range of symptoms, while others may have none at all. Some women have symptoms beginning months before their periods come to an end and some notice symptoms starting years before.

Here are the 34 symptoms of menopause and what they entail.

Physical symptoms

1. Hot flushes

Hot flushes, characterised by sudden and intense feelings of heat, are a hallmark of menopause. Often accompanied by sweating, these episodes can be disruptive and sometimes overwhelming.

2. Night sweats

Menopausal night sweats are similar to hot flushes but occur during sleep, disrupting your rest and leading to sleep disturbances. Addressing this symptom is crucial for overall wellbeing.

3. Irregular menstrual cycles

One of the initial signs of perimenopause is usually when menstrual cycles become irregular.They fluctuate before eventually stopping altogether.

4. Vaginal changes

Decreased oestrogen levels during menopause contributes to vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort. Understanding these changes is essential for maintaining intimate health.

5. Mood swings

Fluctuations in mood are common during menopause, ranging from irritability to feelings of sadness. Managing these mood swings requires emotional support and selfcare practices, such as doing a relaxing activity you enjoy.

6. Sleep disturbances

Disrupted sleep patterns, often linked to night sweats or other symptoms impact the overall quality of rest. Addressing sleep disturbances is vital for managing fatigue and other related symptoms.

7. Insomnia

Difficulty falling or staying asleep is a prevalent menopausal symptom. Implementing effective sleep hygiene practices can significantly improve sleep quality, which in turn has a positive impact on your daily life.

8. Fatigue

Persistent tiredness, impacting daily energy levels.

9. Weight gain

Changes in metabolism may lead to weight fluctuations.

10. Joint and muscle pain

Aches and pains in joints and muscles.

11. Painful intercourse

Discomfort or pain during sexual activity.

12. Breast tenderness

Increased sensitivity and discomfort in the breast area.

13. Hair changes

Thinning of hair or changes in texture.

Emotional symptoms

14. Anxiety

Feelings of worry, unease, or nervousness

15. Depression

Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness

16. Irritability

Heightened sensitivity and impatience

17. Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty focusing

18. Memory issues

Difficulty recalling things and forgetfulness

19. Changes in libido

Decreased interest in sexual activity

Menopause symptoms can have a profound impact on your daily life.
Menopause symptoms can have a profound impact on your daily life.

The other 15 symptoms spread out across the body. These include:

20. Brain fog

21. Bloating

22. Dry skin

23. Wrinkles

24. Heart palpitations

25. Frequent urination

26. Allergies

27. Digestive issues (either changes in bowel habits, constipation or diarrhoea)

28. Tinnitus

29. Dizziness

30. Migraines

31. Shortness of breath

32. Gum issues

33. Dry eyes

34. Blurred vision

How long does menopause last?

From perimenopause to menopause, symptoms could last anywhere between around six months up to 10 years. Really, the duration of symptoms is as diverse as the women experiencing them.  

While some symptoms may naturally ease, such as hot flushes and night sweats, other symptoms might continue even after your periods have stopped. For example, joint pain and vaginal dryness could be ongoing challenges that require treatment.

What signals the end of menopause?

Reaching the end of menopause is often marked by the absence of your menstrual periods for a consecutive 12 months. After this period of time (no pun intended), it signals the end of a woman's reproductive years. But also, the start of some of the best years of your life some say!

As the hormonal fluctuations that characterise menopause and all those mad symptoms gradually stabilise, the body adjusts to a new hormonal balance. While symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings may diminish, it's crucial to note that individual experiences can vary.

For a lot of women, the postmenopausal phase offers relief from the menstrual irregularities, fluctuating symptoms and hormonal changes, allowing women to embrace a new chapter in their lives.

At Hello Eve, we believe in empowering you with information, offering solutions, and championing your wellbeing at every stage of your reproductive lifecycle. Let's embark on this transformative journey together, rewriting the narrative of menopause on your terms.

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