The Most Common Menopause Symptoms Are Wild—But Also Manageable –

Common menopause symptoms include: 

Hot flashes and night sweats

At the mention of menopause, the first thing you probably think of are vasomotor symptoms—a.k.a. hot flashes. Hot flashes can feel different for every woman. They might include excessive perspiration, heart palpitations, anxiety, and even chills. 

Sleep problems 

Aside from the sheet-soaking night sweats that can have you up in the middle of the night in a panic, hormonal changes can also cause other sleep disturbances. Menopausal women are more likely to develop sleep disorders like sleep apnea, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine

Sexual dysfunction 

Your sex life during menopause and perimenopause will likely include some uncomfortable changes: low libido, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and problems with orgasm are all common. Impacts to sexual functioning and libido are also commonly reported during perimenopause. (Don’t worry; there are plenty of hormonal and nonhormonal menopause treatments that can help, as well as more lubricants than ever that you can buy.) 

Hair loss

Hair thinning isn’t an “official” menopause symptom since it’s not related to estrogen loss, says gynecologist Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a menopause specialist and clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale, but it’s still commonly reported at the onset of menopause. If you’re experiencing it, you’re not alone. 

Skin changes

The drop in your estrogen levels during menopause can wreak havoc on your skin. “Estrogen plays a role in collagen production, skin’s elasticity, thickness, and moisture levels, as well as healthy blood vessel formation,” says Sarvenaz Zand, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco and founder of Zand Dermatology. “When we produce less estrogen, we begin to see the opposite: fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, sensitivity, dullness, sagging, and less of a rosy glow.” 

Menopause can also trigger the onset of rosacea. “We also lose fat and bone volume in our cheeks, so jowls become more prominent,” Dr. Zand says. 

Breast changes

Menopause may also come with breast tenderness and loss of volume. As estrogen decreases, mammary glands shrink and breasts tend to lose firmness, according to Penn Medicine

Mood changes

Menopause can also trigger a lot of mental changes, those so-called mood swings. “Mood and memory disturbances, such as depression and anxiety, are common during menopause,” says Dr. Javaid. Anywhere from 18% to 40% of women experience depression during menopause and perimenopause, and up to a quarter experience newfound anxiety, according to research published in 2021.

“It’s really important to put pen to paper in a journal and keep track of changes in mood and irritability to see if there’s a pattern,” says Dr. La Folette. “Many issues go neglected over the years amidst the balancing act between child rearing, busy work schedules, and life stress.”

Brain fog

“The brain-hormone connection is integral to how well you feel your brain is functioning,” says Dr. La Folette. The combination of fluctuating hormones and age during the menopausal years results in a loss of synaptic connections in the brain. “Women report problems with memory concerns during menopause, such as difficulty with word finding, the presence of brain fog, and forgetfulness,” Dr. Javaid adds. 

Bladder issues

Urinary symptoms, such as UTIs and incontinence,  are also very common during menopause, says Dr. Minkin: “I teach people how to do Kegel exercises several times a day.”

When should I see a doctor about my menopause symptoms?

While menopause may be a totally natural process, it doesn’t mean you have to live with its symptoms. When you start noticing irregularities in your menstrual cycle, talk to your doctor. “Because women may experience a wide range of symptoms during menopause, any new symptoms, such as those which are considered unusual for your body, should be discussed with your healthcare provider,” says Dr. Javaid. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.