Each woman experiences menopause differently. Some women have many symptoms and others have a few. Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause this variety of symptoms.
Irregular Periods and Irregular Ovulation Shorter or longer cyclesHeavier or lighter bleedingSpotting in between periodsReduced fertility
Hot Flashes Reported in up to 75% of American womenSudden onset of a feeling of heatFlushed face and neckLast 30 seconds to five minutesOccur at any timeUsually stop within a few years after menopause
Vaginal and Bladder Problems Skin in genital area becomes drier and thinnerSexual intercourse may become painfulVaginal dryness and burningUrinary tract problems may occur, such as
Changes in Sexuality Attitude toward sex may changeDiminished interest in sexArousal and comfort may be difficultFreedom from concerns about pregnancy (but should use birth control until one year after last period)Risk of sexually transmitted diseases remains
Fatigue and Sleep Problems Normal sleep patterns may be interruptedEarly morning waking
Mood Changes IrritabilityDepressionAnxietyStress and change in family dynamics may contribute to mood problems
Visible Changes in Your Body Thickening at the waistLoss of muscle massIncrease in fatLoss of elasticity in the skin
Other Potential Symptoms HeadachesJoint and muscle stiffness or painDifficulty concentratingThinning of scalp hair; more prominent facial hair
Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 15, 2013. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Menopause. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq047.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130416T1306377302. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Menopause symptom relief and treatments. US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health website. Available at:
http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/symptom-relief-treatment/index.html. Updated September 29, 2010. Accessed April 18, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2014 by Kim Carmichael, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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