“It is estimated that menopausal symptoms
affect more than 75% of women,
with over 25% of women describing severe symptoms”.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

Hormones

What are the three main hormones that change as we approach menopause?

In What Is Menopause? Hormones and Menopause the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) note:

“The three main hormones that change as you approach menopause are:

  • Oestrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone.

The change in hormone levels can lead to different menopausal symptoms”.2

Common or Not

How common are menopause symptoms?

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

“About 20% of women have no symptoms at all, while 60% have mild to moderate symptoms. The remaining 20% have severe symptoms that interfere with their daily life”.3

On page one in Optimising the Menopause Transition: Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause first published 10 June 2022, Hamoda et al. elaborate on

“It is estimated that menopausal symptoms affect more than 75% of women, with over 25% of women describing severe symptoms”.4

First Sign

What is usually the first sign of menopause?

According to the (United Kingdom) NHS:

“The first sign of the perimenopause is usually, but not always, a change in the normal pattern of your periods, for example they become irregular”.5

Physical Symptoms

What are common menopause physical symptoms?

In Menopause: Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause: Physical Symptoms the NHS explain:

Menopause Symptoms

“Common physical symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include:

  • Hot flushes, when you have sudden feelings of hot or cold in your face, neck and chest which can make you dizzy
  • Difficulty sleeping, which may be a result of night sweats and make you feel tired and irritable during the day
  • Palpitations, when your heartbeats suddenly become more noticeable
  • Headaches and migraines that are worse than usual
  • Muscle aches and joint pains
  • Changed body shape and weight gain
  • Skin changes including dry and itchy skin
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)”.6

In Symptoms of Menopause: Physical and Emotional Symptoms – Physical Symptoms the JH include:

“Physical symptoms may include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Sore breasts
  • Itchy, crawly or dry skin
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Dry vagina
  • Loss of sex drive (low libido)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • More pronounced premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Aches and pains
  • Bloating
  • Urinary problems
  • Weight gain due to a slower metabolism”.7

Psychological Symptoms

What are common menopause psychological symptoms?

In Symptoms of Menopause: Physical & Emotional Symptoms – Emotional Symptoms the JH include:

“Emotional symptoms may include:

  • Feeling irritable or frustrated
  • Feeling anxious
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lowered mood
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling you can’t cope as well as you used to”.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

Difference Differences

Are menopause symptoms one-size-fits-all?

No. In Symptoms of Menopause the JH elaborate on:

“Menopause can cause a range of physical and emotional changes, such as hot flushes, vaginal changes and mood swings. Every woman will have a different experience”.10

In Menopause FAQS: Menopause Symptoms – Q. What symptoms might I expect as I approach menopause? the NAMS also note:

“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”.11

Duration

How long can menopause symptoms last?

In What Is Menopause? What Is Perimenopause (The Menopausal Transition) the Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) explain:

“Some women can experience menopausal symptoms for 5-10 years before their final menstrual period”.12

The JH note:

“Many women have symptoms for around eight years and one in four women have symptoms into their 60s and 70s”.13

In New Therapies Offer Hope for Management of Menopausal Hot Flashes the NAMS elaborate on:

“Recent studies have shown that vasomotor symptoms (the clinical term for hot flashes) can last, on average, 7-10 years, and can sometimes last even longer in women whose symptoms began in perimenopause. While some women only have mild hot flashes, others can have more bothersome symptoms which can lead to problems with lower bone density and subclinical cardiovascular disease”.14

In Menopause: Symptoms – How Long Symptoms Last the NHS note:

“Symptoms can last for months or years, and can change with time.

For example, hot flushes and night sweats may improve, and then you may develop low mood and anxiety.

Some symptoms, such as joint pain and vaginal dryness, can carry on after your periods stop”.15

Factors

What factors impact on menopause symptoms?

The JH explain:

“Menopausal symptoms can be influenced by different things. For example, your stage of life and general health and wellbeing”.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 thyroid disorders are the most common conditions that may occur concurrently. Unstable diabetes and hyperthyroidism 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 explains:

“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. Many of the changes that come with menopause and aging aren’t avoidable, but how you experience menopause and the years that follow has much to do with your attitude”.18

Lifestyle

Is there an association between lifestyle and menopause symptoms?

Yes. In Looking After Yourself the JH elaborate on:

“During menopause, it’s important to look after yourself. Healthy lifestyle choices will help to improve physical and emotional symptoms at every stage of menopause”.19

On page one in Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause, first published 10 June 2022, one of the recommendations is:

  • “Women should be advised that implementing or maintaining a healthy lifestyle can improve menopause symptoms. A healthy diet (one low in saturated fat and salt and rich in calcium and vitamin D), stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and including regular exercise can be beneficial. Reducing caffeine intake may also improve symptoms”.20

Lifestyle Tips

What are some lifestyle tips which may relieve menopause symptoms?

In Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Lifestyle and Home Remedies the (United States) 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…”.21

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, published July 2022, the NAMS explain:

“Hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for bothersome hot flashes and night sweats. If hot flashes and night sweats are disrupting your daily activities and sleep, 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”.22

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: When To See Your Doctor the JH elaborate on:

“Depending on your symptoms, you can also see a specialist. For example, a gynaecologist, psychologist, endocrinologist or dietitian”.23

In What Is Menopause? When To See Your Doctor the JH also note:

“Talk to your doctor if you are worried about:

  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Increased premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms
  • Menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, that interfere with your daily life”.24

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”.25

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?

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Source

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Hamoda et al. Optimising the Menopause Transition: Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause. First Published 10 June 2022:1 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/20533691221104882 Accessed: 20 October 2022
  2. What Is Menopause? Hormones and Menopause. Last Updated: 29 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management/ Accessed: 20 October 2022
  3. Symptoms of Menopause. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  4. Hamoda et al. Optimising the Menopause Transition: Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause. First Published 10 June 2022:1 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/20533691221104882 Accessed: 20 October 2022
  5. Menopause: Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause: Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 17 May 2022. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 20 October 2022
  6. Menopause: Symptoms – Common Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause: Physical Symptoms. Page Last Reviewed: 17 May 2022. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 20 October 2022
  7. Symptoms of Menopause. Physical & Emotional Symptoms – Physical Symptoms. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  8. Symptoms of Menopause. Physical & Emotional Symptoms – Physical Symptoms. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  9. How Do I Know I’m In Menopause? The Bottom Line. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/how-do-i-know-i’m-in-menopause- Accessed: 20 October 2022
  10. Symptoms of Menopause. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  11. Menopause FAQS: Menopause Symptoms – Q. What Symptoms Might I Expect As I Approach Menopause? https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  12. What Is Menopause? Key Points. Content Created May 2022. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 20 October 2022
  13. Menopause Management Options: Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT) – How Long Do You Need To Take MHT? Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-management Accessed: 20 October 2022
  14. New Therapies Offer Hope for Management of Hot Flashes. 22 September 2021. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/future-of-vms-management.pdf Accessed: 20 October 2022
  15. Menopause: Symptoms – How Long Symptoms Last. Page Last Reviewed: 17 May 2022. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 20 October 2022
  16. Symptoms of Menopause. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 20 October 2022
  17. Diagnosing Menopause: If It’s Not Menopause, What Is It? Content Created May 2022. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/gp-hp-resources/300-diagnosing-menopause Accessed: 20 October 2022
  18. Kagan, L. Make Your Menopause A Positive Experience. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/make-your-menopause-a-positive-experience Accessed: 20 October 2022
  19. Looking After Yourself. Last Updated: 03 October 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/looking-after-yourself Accessed: 20 October 2022
  20. Hamoda, H, Mukherjee, A, Morris, E, Baldeweg, S. E., Jayasena, C. N., Briggs, P, Moger, S. Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause. First Published Online 10 June 2022 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20533691221104879 Accessed: 20 October 2022
  21. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Lifestyle and Home Remedies. 14 October 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 20 October 2022
  22. Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits. 2022:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/menonote-deciding-about-ht-2022.pdf Accessed: 20 October 2022
  23. Menopause: When To See Your Doctor. Updated: June 2022:2. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/contents/documents/Resources/Fact_sheets/Menopause.pdf Accessed: 20 October 2022
  24. What Is Menopause? When To See Your Doctor. Last Updated: 29 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/about-menopause#when-to-see-your-doctor Accessed: 20 October 2022
  25. Menopause: Diagnosis & Treatment – Treatment. 14 October 2020. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353401 Accessed: 20 October 2022
Topic Last Updated: 20 October 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 20 October 2022

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