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Menopause

what are the 34 symptoms of menopause

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause? Hormonal and Non-hormonal Treatments

Written and Reviewed by Dr. Uzma Qureshi
Published on: 23/04/2024

Are you worried about the changes in your period cycle and getting hot flashes? You might be going through menopause, which is a normal part of a woman’s life, marking the end of your reproductive years, which means you can no longer have children. There are tonnes of changes taking place, and you must be confused about: What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?

So, if you think you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, do not worry—in this guide, you will discover: What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? Here, you will not only learn about how menopause affects you but also find out what hormonal and non-hormonal treatments are available to relieve these pesky symptoms. 

Keep in mind that you might not have all of these signs and symptoms at the same time, as every woman feels menopause differently.

What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?  

For your convenience, the symptoms of menopause are divided according to the systems that present them.

Menstrual Symptoms

Disturbed oestrogen levels affect your period cycle, as it is the key hormone to regulate it.

The following changes may occur in your menstrual cycle:

  1.   Irregular Period

A changing period cycle is one of the main menopause symptoms. Changes can occur in your cycle’s length, flow of blood, and timing. You may bleed heavier or lighter than before.

  1.  Missed Periods
A blank Menstruation pad- indicates missed period
Source: Pexels

When your ovaries produce less oestrogen, you are most likely to delay or miss your periods. Missing periods for several months is a hallmark symptom of oestrogen imbalance. 

  1. Amenorrhoea

Amenorrhoea means you get no periods for three or more back-to-back cycles. And when you do not get your periods for 12 consecutive months, it shows that your transition has officially started.

Whenever you search for: What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? The disturbed period cycle will always appear at the top of the list.

Vasomotor Symptoms

The physical changes occurring due to blood vessel activity are known as vasomotor symptoms. During this time in their lives, 75–80% of women experience vasomotor symptoms.

Following are some of the most common vasomotor symptoms.

  1.  Increased blood pressure

A 2022 study suggested that women undergo a significant increase in blood pressure after a year of menopause. It means you may feel an increase in blood pressure during this time.

  1. Hot flashes

A decreasing oestrogen level causes a hot flash, which is when you feel heat spreading out of your upper body suddenly. Such episodes typically persist for 3–4 minutes, primarily affecting the face, neck, and chest.

Hot flashes will always be a quick answer to ‘What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?’

  1. Night sweats

“Night sweats” is the term for hot flashes occurring during sleep. They can leave you drenched in sweat. You might face sleep disturbances and nighttime discomfort because of night sweats. 

  1.  Headaches
Source: pexels

Less oestrogen and progesterone trigger tension headaches or might increase cluster headaches—severe pain in a specific pattern around your eye or temple. Stress, a lack of sleep, and changes in weather patterns can trigger headaches.

  1. Migraines

When oestrogen levels decline, your migraines might get worse. The good news is that for most women, headaches, including migraines, tend to improve when the levels of oestrogen stabilise.

Alcohol, smoking, obesity, and stress might make these symptoms worse.

Vaginal and urinary symptoms

With age and a decline in reproductive hormones, you may feel changes down there, too. Vaginal and urinary symptoms also add a major portion of the answer to your question: What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? 

  1. Vaginal burning

While your reproductive system is producing fewer hormones, the vaginal lining changes. It becomes thin and less flexible, which disturbs you. Especially during intercourse, you may feel a burning sensation.

  1. Vaginal dryness

The thin vaginal lining reduces the natural lubrication inside the vagina. Reduced lubrication makes you feel dry and less soft in and around your vagina.

  1.  Vaginal itching/irritation

Fragrances and soaps can easily irritate dry vaginas. Irritated tissues produce a sensation of itching as well. 

  1. Frequency and urgency

A change in the tone of the muscles responsible for storing and passing urine makes you pee more often. It causes a sense of urgency to pee, even when the bladder isn’t full or after just going to the bathroom. 

  1. Painful Urination

The tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body becomes thin and loses elasticity as you age. It’s more likely to become inflamed or irritated, which may make peeing painful or burning (dysuria).

  1. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Vaginal bacteria get imbalanced during menopause. It allows bacteria to move towards muscles holding and passing down the urine. Bacterial infections can cause recurrent UTIs.

Psychogenic Symptoms

This transition affects your psychological as well as your physical health. Up to 70% of women experience changes in mood and sleep.

Psychogenic symptoms during and after the end of your reproductive phase are as follows:

  1. Depression

It is not easy to juggle a lot of physical and mental changes along with a social life. All of these often lead to depressive episodes.

  1.  Irritability

Not getting enough sleep or other mood changes can cause irritability. Remember, you are not alone. Always seek help from family or friends to feel better.

  1. Brain Fog

It’s a state of brain cloudiness—you might feel out of concentration or confused. 60% of women feel brain fog as they age. Menopause can affect the cognitive function of the brain. Sleep disturbances, or insomnia, can also be the reason. 

  1. Sleep Disturbance

Sleep disturbances will also be on top when you look out for ‘What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? Night sweats, also known as hot flashes, disrupt sleep. You may not feel like sleeping after such an episode. Sleep disturbances can cause insomnia.  

  1.  Fatigue

What will happen when you do not get enough proper sleep? You will get fatigued, right? Menopause fatigue ultimately affects the quality of daily life. Daily exercise and a proper diet can help.

  1. Weak Memory

Research says, due to hormonal fluctuations, it is difficult for females to learn stuff during perimenopause. Additionally, there is a reduction in memory and thinking skills.

Musculoskeletal Symptoms

Females are prone to experiencing musculoskeletal symptoms like joint pain, aces, stiffness, etc. Research in 2018 suggests that these symptoms increase during or after this transition phase.  

  1. Joint Pain
A women have a joint pain
Source: Pexels

Most people experience joint pain in the neck, elbows, knees, or anywhere near injured joints. Oestrogen is not just a reproductive hormone; it also reduces inflammation in the body, thus causing joint pain menopause.

  1. Weaker Bones

After you reach reproductive age, your bones weaken. A 2018 study of 76 healthy women over the age of 46 found that bone changes doubled, density decreased, and blood markers rose. This may lead to osteoporosis.

  1. Loss of muscle mass

A reduction in oestrogen levels might be connected to a decrease in muscle mass and strength. This happens because there are changes in how muscles function.

  1.  Breast Discomfort

Your breast tissues become more sensitive due to hormonal changes. Breast pain and tenderness mostly commonly occur in the pre-menopause and perimenopause phases of a woman’s life. 

  1. Breast size 

Low oestrogen turns your breast tissue into fat. This makes the breasts feel softer and sometimes smaller. Also, with age, your breasts might sag more because of less collagen.

Sexual Symptoms

Sexual symptoms also contribute to the answer to “What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?” A 2019 study on the sexual health of menopause identified these symptoms.

  1. Low sexual desire

Hormonal imbalances often lead to decreased sexual desire, affecting 40% to 55% of women. Declining oestrogen and androgen levels are major factors, along with age-related psychological, health, and relationship changes.

  1. Poor Lubrication

About 25% to 30% of women experience poor vaginal lubrication after the end of their reproductive phase. Reduced oestrogen levels make the vagina dry and less elastic. It can further cause painful sex.

  1. Painful intercourse

A dry vagina can be the reason for pain during sex. It happens because your vagina is not flexible and lubricated enough. Painful intercourse is common in 12% to 45% of menopausal women.

Digestive Symptoms

Hormonal changes affect your digestion as well. The following are some digestive changes that you may feel.

  1. Bloating

Bloating can be uncomfortable and contribute to feelings of fullness and abdominal pain. 100% of the women reported feeling bloated in a study that was conducted in India in 2022 to check the quality of life during this transition period.

  1. Weight Gain

One of the major symptoms of menopause is gaining weight. Studies suggest that you may be at risk of gaining weight and losing muscle mass.

Also read: The Menopause Diet 5 day Plan to Lose Weight: Nutritious & Easy to Follow

  1. Changes in appetite

Decleasing oestrogen can affect your sleep-wake cycle. Hormonal shifts and disrupted sleep can mess with your appetite. Some days you might feel hungry all the time, while on other days you might not eat at all.

Integumentary Symptoms

These symptoms occur in the hair, skin, and nails. The following are some integumentary symptoms that you might experience.

  1. Hair loss 
Source: Pexels

Lower oestrogen levels disturb your hair growth, leading to thinning or loss—menopause hair loss. Also, higher levels of testosterone may cause hair follicles to shrink, resulting in male-pattern baldness in women.

  1. Dryness

Reduced oestrogen levels decrease oil production by the skin’s oil-producing glands, further contributing to dryness. Skin becomes dry, wrinkled, and saggy. 

  1. Itchy Skin

When the oil glands in your skin are not producing enough oil, it dries and gets irritated easily. This dryness and irritation can lead to an itching sensation.

Now that you know: what are the 34 symptoms of menopause?  Let’s talk about how to Menopause treatments

Management of the 34 symptoms of menopause.

Do not worry if you are struggling with any of the symptoms mentioned above. Here are some management strategies to make your transition less hectic.

  1.  Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Most experts agree that hormone replacement therapy is the best way to treat moderate-to-serious symptoms.

Did you know it has multiple delivery options? Yes, you can choose from tablets, gels, patches, sprays, or even vaginal rings. HRT not only manages your vasomotor symptoms, but it can also help prevent osteoporosis.

Studies suggest that starting HRT within 10 years after your period stops offers the most benefits and the fewest risks. 

Long-term use of HRT has some adverse effects, i.e., it slightly increases the risk of stroke, blood clots, and cancer. Always consult your doctor before opting for any treatment.

  1.  Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

BHRT uses hormones that are meant to be similar to the ones your body makes. This treatment option introduces plant-derived hormones into your body to manage mood swings and hot flashes.

Long-term BHRT has some risks, like blood clots or certain cancers. 

Non-Hormonal Treatments 

Apart from hormonal treatments, some strategies can make you feel better by managing your symptoms. Here they are:

  1. Antidepressants and gabapentin can manage hot flashes.
  2. Higher doses of oxybutynin can help reduce vasomotor symptoms.
  3. Change your habits, stay cool, meditate, and incorporate a healthy diet. 
  4. You can always incorporate exercise and yoga into your daily routine to feel better.

The best way to manage the symptoms and make your transition smoother is to talk to your doctor. They can give you personalised advice based on what you’re going through. Share this information on ‘What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? With your friends going through the same time. 

FAQs

  1. How do I know menopause has started?

At the start of menopause, you may notice changes in the duration and occurrence of your periods. Your period may be absent for months. Menopause may start in your late 40s. If you want to know, ‘what are the 34 symptoms of menopause?’ Skim the information given above. 

  1. What is the last stage of menopause?

Perimenopause is the last stage of menopause. After 12 months of not getting your period, this stage starts. It is possible to experience some of the above-mentioned symptoms in your postmenopause stage. 

  1. What is the exact age of menopause?

There is no exact age for menopause. It varies from person to person, but the age range to reach menopause is between 45-55 years. Learn: What are the 34 symptoms of menopause? To stay informed about your transition. 

Further Readings:

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