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Menopause Symptoms

The natural decline in estrogen production may cause a range of symptoms leading up to and during the menopausal years. For many women, managing menopause can be confusing. It is often difficult to distinguish menopausal symptoms from age-related changes. If you plan to see your doctor, use the following List of the Possible Effects of Menopause to check off those that affect you, and note any details about their severity or frequency. Many of these symptoms can be managed, so if they are troublesome to you, talk to your doctor.

The Possible Effects of Menopause

On menstruation:

  • Periods may be longer/shorter, heavier/lighter
  • Periods may be intermittent or have stopped

​On the vasomotor system:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Chills/shivering

​On the vagina and bladder:

  • Drying and thinning of the vaginal tissues
  • Higher frequency of infections
  • Painful intercourse
  • Higher frequency of urine leakage

​On sexual activity:

  • Painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness
  • Decreased desire for sex

​On sleep:

  • Increased fatigue and disrupted sleep
  • insomnia

​On mood and memory:

  • Increased mood swings, irritability and depression
  • Memory loss and poor concentration

​On the body:

  • Increased aches and joint pains
  • Increase in girth (thickening in the middle)
  • Loss of muscle mass and increase in fat tissues
  • Thinning hair

​On bone health:

  • Back pain
  • Recent fracture
  • Loss of stature/height
  • Less than optimal bone mineral density