“Symptoms of menopause generally include hot flushes, vaginal changes and mood swings. There are other physical and emotional symptoms of menopause, but…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Symptoms Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Climacteric Changes/Signs/Symptoms
  • Menopausal/Menopause Changes/Signs/Symptoms
  • Menopause Transition Changes/Signs/Symptoms
  • Menopause-Related Changes/Signs/Symptoms
  • Perimenopausal/Perimenopause Changes/Signs/Symptoms

Cause

What causes menopause symptoms?

In Menopause Management: Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) – What Is MHT? the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) elaborate on:

“The three hormones of particular relevance at menopause are oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Menopausal symptoms are created by changes in the levels of the oestrogen hormones”.2

Common or Not

How many women have menopause symptoms?

In Symptoms of Menopause: What Are the Symptoms of Menopause? the JH elaborate on:

“Not all women experience the same menopausal symptoms:

  • 20% of women have no symptoms
  • 60% experience mild to moderate symptoms
  • 20% have symptoms so severe that they significantly interfere with daily life”.3

Severe Symptoms

How many women have severe menopause symptoms?

The International Menopause Society (IMS) explain:

“Not everyone finds the symptoms bothersome but about 60% of women will have mild symptoms for around 5 – 8 years. 20% of women will have no symptoms at all while another 20% will be severely affected, with symptoms continuing into their 60s or later”.4

First Sign

What is usually the first sign of menopause?

According to the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service):

“The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods”.5

Symptoms

What are common menopause symptoms?

On page two in Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause the IMS note:

Menopause Symptoms
“Common symptoms of the menopause transition include:

  • Irregular periods, which may be heavy
  • Hot flushes (hot flashes)
  • Night sweats
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Aches and pains
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Increased need to go to the toilet
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or feeling low
  • Trouble concentrating”.6

In Menopause: Symptoms – Common Menopausal Symptoms the NHS elaborate on:

“Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes…
  • Night sweats…
  • Difficulty sleeping…
  • A reduced sex drive (libido)…
  • Problems with memory and concentration
  • Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
  • Headaches…
  • Mood changes, such as low mood or anxiety…
  • Palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable
  • Joint stiffness, aches and pains
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)…”.7

In Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms the (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“In the months or years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you might experience these signs and symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness”.8

Most Common

What are the most common menopause symptoms?

In How Do I Know I’m In Menopause? The Bottom Line the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

“The most common symptoms women in their 40s notice are changes in periods and the onset of hot flashes”.9

In Menopause: Symptoms – Common Menopausal Symptoms the NHS elaborate on:

“About 8 in every 10 women will have additional symptoms for some time before and after their periods stop”.10

In Symptoms of Menopause the JH elaborate on:

“Symptoms of menopause generally include hot flushes, vaginal changes and mood swings. There are other physical and emotional symptoms of menopause, but no two women will experience menopause in the same way”.11

Difference Differences

Are menopause symptoms one-size-fits-all?

No. In Menopause FAQS: Menopause Symptoms – Q. What symptoms might I expect as I approach menopause? the NAMS explain:

“A. Each woman’s menopause experience is different. Many women who undergo natural menopause report no symptoms at all during the perimenopausal years except for irregular menstrual periods that eventually stop once they reach menopause. Other symptoms may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, memory problems, mood disturbances, and vaginal dryness. Not all these symptoms are hormone related, and some, such as hot flashes and memory problems, tend to resolve after menopause. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time of transition is essential for your health and can even prevent or alleviate some of these symptoms”.12

Duration

How many years may menopause symptoms continue?

The JH note:

  • “The mean duration of menopausal symptoms is approximately eight years
  • 20–25% of women will have bothersome symptoms in their 60s and 70s
  • 10% of women will have bothersome symptoms for 10 years or more”.13

The Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) explain:

  • “These symptoms last on average 4-8 years, but are usually most frequent and severe in the year around the final menstrual period”.14

Sudden Menopause

Is there an association between sudden menopause and menopause symptoms?

Yes. The NHS note:

“If you experience the menopause suddenly rather than gradually – for example, as a result of cancer treatment – your symptoms may be worse”.15

Factors

What factors impact on menopause symptoms?

The JH explain:

“Culture, general level of health and wellbeing, previous experience of mood problems, lifestyle and whether you have had a natural, surgical or chemotherapy-induced menopause will affect your menopausal symptoms”.16

Conditions

What are the most common conditions that may mimic menopause symptoms?

Yes. In Diagnosing Menopause: If It’s Not Menopause, What Is It? the AMS elaborate on:

“Depression, anaemia and hypothyroidism are the most common conditions that may mimic menopausal symptoms or indeed occur concurrently. Unstable diabetes may cause hot flushes. Medication, such as the SSRI family of anti-depressants, may also cause hot flushes”.17

Attitude

Is there an association between attitude and menopause symptoms?

In Make Your Menopause A Positive Experience the author elaborates on:

“The attitude with which you embark upon this transition can have a tremendous impact on your experience of it, as well as on your choice of behaviors. Studies bear this out: negative beliefs held prior to menopause can be predictive of a more difficult time. For instance, the more catastrophic your thoughts about hot flashes, the more intense they will be”.18

Lifestyle

Is there an association between lifestyle and menopause symptoms?

Yes. In Menopause Management: Healthy Living – Lifestyle & Symptoms of Menopause the JH explain:

“Coping with menopausal symptoms can be helped by a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise and relaxation. Women who try to make their lifestyle as healthy as they can appear to have fewer menopausal symptoms, and those symptoms are less severe”.19

Lifestyle Tips

What are some lifestyle tips which may relieve menopause symptoms?

In Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Lifestyle and Home Remedies the Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“Fortunately, many of the signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. Take these steps to help reduce or prevent their effects:

  • Cool hot flashes…
  • Decrease vaginal discomfort…
  • Get enough sleep…
  • Practice relaxation techniques…
  • Strengthen your pelvic floor…
  • Eat a balanced diet…
  • Don’t smoke…
  • Exercise regularly…”.20

Hormone Therapy

How effective is hormone therapy (HT) for the treatment of menopause symptoms?

On page one in Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits the NAMS explain:

“Hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for bothersome hot flashes and night sweats. If night sweats are waking you throughout the night, HT may improve sleep and fatigue, mood, ability to concentrate, and overall quality of life. Treatment of bothersome hot flashes and night sweats is the principal reason women use HT. Hormone therapy also treats vaginal dryness and painful sex associated with menopause. Hormone therapy keeps your bones strong by preserving bone density and decreasing your risk of osteoporosis and fractures. If preserving bone density is your only concern, and you do not have bothersome hot flashes, other treatments may be recommended instead of HT”.21

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with menopause symptoms?

If you would like help with menopause symptoms, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

On page two in Menopause: What Can You Do To Help With the Menopause? the JH elaborate on:

“Depending on your symptoms, you may like to see a general practitioner, a gynaecologist, and or endocrinologist (hormone specialist), registered naturopath, psychologist or dietitian”.22

On page two in Menopause the JH also note:

“See Your Doctor If:

  • You are troubled by less regular periods
  • You have symptoms of menopause that interfere with daily life
  • If you have symptoms of depression and anxiety, including changes to your thinking, eating, sleeping and enjoyment of activities”.23

In Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment the Mayo Clinic explain:

“Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each. Review your options yearly, as your needs and treatment options may change”.24

In Menopause: Overview – When To See Your GP the NHS elaborate on:

“It’s worth talking to your GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age”.25

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Symptoms?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Menopause Symptoms?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Symptoms of Menopause: What Are the Symptoms of Menopause? Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  2. Menopause Management: Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) – What Is MHT? Last Updated 09 May 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  3. Symptoms of Menopause: What Are the Symptoms of Menopause? Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  4. Need To Cool Off? Symptoms of Menopause. 2011:2. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/gp_booklet_english.pdf Accessed: 06 June 2019
  5. Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 06 June 2019
  6. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause. 2014:2. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 06 June 2019
  7. Menopause: Symptoms – Common Menopausal Symptoms. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#common-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 06 June 2019
  8. Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed: 06 June 2019
  9. How Do I Know I’m In Menopause? The Bottom Line. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/how-do-i-know-i’m-in-menopause- Accessed: 06 June 2019
  10. Menopause: Symptoms – Common Menopausal Symptoms. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#common-menopausal-symptoms Accessed: 06 June 2019
  11. Symptoms of Menopause. Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  12. Menopause FAQS: Menopause Symptoms – Q. What symptoms might I expect as I approach menopause? http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 06 June 2019
  13. Menopause Management: Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) – How Long Do You Take MHT? Last Updated 09 May 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  14. What Is Menopause? Key Points. Content Updated February 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 06 June 2019
  15. Menopause: Symptoms. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  16. Symptoms of Menopause: What Are the Symptoms of Menopause? Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  17. Diagnosing Menopause: If It’s Not Menopause, What Is It? April 2016. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/gp-hp-resources/300-diagnosing-menopause Accessed: 06 June 2019
  18. Kagan, L. Make Your Menopause A Positive Experience. http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/make-your-menopause-a-positive-experience Accessed: 06 June 2019
  19. Menopause Management: Healthy Living – Lifestyle & Symptoms of Menopause. Last Updated 09 May 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 06 June 2019
  20. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Lifestyle and Home Remedies. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 06 June 2019
  21. Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits. 2017:1. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/for-women/menonote-deciding-about-ht-2017.pdf Accessed: 06 June 2019
  22. Menopause: What Can You Do To Help With the Menopause? Updated: September 2018:2. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Menopause.pdf Accessed: 06 June 2019
  23. Menopause: See Your Doctor If. Updated: September 2018:2. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Menopause.pdf Accessed: 06 June 2019
  24. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 06 June 2019
  25. Menopause: Overview – When To See Your GP. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#when-to-see-your-gp Accessed: 06 June 2019
Topic Last Updated: 27 July 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 06 June 2019
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