Think you might be going through menopause? Want to check if your symptoms are related to it? You’re in the right place.
We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the 34 main menopause signs and symptoms to help you understand what you’re experiencing.
Find out more about menopause symptoms, from peri through to post, below.
34 symptoms of the menopause
There are a wide range of menopause signs and symptoms, so to help you figure out if you’re going through it yourself, we’ve listed 34 of the most common ones here.
Plus, we’ll highlight if it’s a perimenopause, menopause or post-menopausal symptom so that you’ve got a little extra info on what to expect on your journey.1 Here are 34 of the symptoms of menopause:
- Changes to your periods – if your periods have become irregular, it could be the start of perimenopause. Changes to the heaviness of your flow may also be an indicator of this.
- Your periods have stopped – you’re only considered to be fully in menopause if you’ve experienced 12 months without any bleeding.
- Low mood – the lowering levels of oestrogen and progesterone can cause changes to your mood and cause you to be affected by things that wouldn’t normally affect you.2
- Anxiety – the same changes to your hormones that we just mentioned can also cause you to feel anxious.2
- Mood swings – similarly, you may experience that your mood can shift in a short space of time.2
- Low self-esteem – all the changes that come about during the menopause may leave you feeling low about yourself.3
- Brain fog – a very common symptom of menopause, brain fog can leave you feeling like your brain is made of ‘cotton wool’.4
- Memory issues – alongside brain fog, you may find that you’re a lot more forgetful and that you struggle to retain information.4
- Hot flushes (and dizziness) – hot flushes are probably the main symptom that we associate with transitioning into menopause. This is when you feel a sudden rush of heat along your upper body, but predominantly in the chest, neck and face.5
- Difficulty sleeping – experienced during perimenopause and full menopause, issues with sleeping are considered by experts to be pretty common.6
- Heart palpitations – the change in hormones during menopause can also cause heart palpitations, which is when it feels like your heartbeat is going faster than normal.7
- Headaches or migraines – these are both experienced during peri and menopause due to the disruption in menstrual cycles.8
- Muscle aches – while the menopause may not be the only cause of this symptom, muscle aches during the menopause may be caused by declining oestrogen levels.9
- Joint pains – as with muscle aches, joint pain during menopause may also be caused by declining oestrogen levels as there are oestrogen receptors in the joints.9
- Change in body shape – fat distribution in the body may be different when you reach menopause, as a lot of bodies’ change from a ‘pear’ shape to an ‘apple’ shape.10
- Weight gain – since hormone levels fluctuate during perimenopause, it can affect how fat is stored in the body, usually due to insulin resistance.11
- Dry skin – during menopause, your skin loses some of its ability to hold water, which can make it quite dry.12
- Itchy skin – oestrogen is an important feature of skin physiology, playing a role in collagen production and oil regulation, so when this changes it can leave your skin feeling dry and itchy.13
- Reduced libido – the lowering of hormone levels can cause you to develop a low sex drive.14
- Vaginal dryness – again, the change in your hormone levels can leave you with vaginal dryness.15
- Vaginal pain – a lot of women experience vaginismus during menopause, which is where the vaginal muscles spasm causing pain or a burning sensation.16
- Vaginal itching – vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) is also experienced during menopause, which can cause an itching sensation.16
- Discomfort during sex – as oestrogen levels fall, the vaginal tissues can start to thin which can cause pain during intercourse.17
- Recurrent UTIs – especially common in postmenopause, frequently recurring urinary tract infections are experienced by a lot of women during and after menopause.18
- Tingling in hands or feet – otherwise known as paresthesia, you may experience a feeling like pins and needs in your extremities during menopause.19
- Burning mouth – otherwise known as burning mouth syndrome (BMS), this is something that affects 18-33% of people going through menopause.20
- Changes in taste – and smell, this is another symptom reported by lots of people during and after menopause, and it is likely caused by fluctuating oestrogen levels.21
- Fatigue – this dramatic fluctuation of hormones can also lead to sleep disturbances and thus fatigue, and it can be experienced from perimenopause through to postmenopause.
- Bloating – both oestrogen and progesterone have an impact on body fluid regulation, which can lead to bloating.22
- Digestive issues – a lot of people report increased gastrointestinal symptoms from as early as perimenopause, whether they already had conditions like IBS or not.23
- Electric shock sensations – this is another commonly reported symptom experienced by those going through menopause.
- Hair thinning – as oestrogen levels fall, it is thought that androgen levels rise, which may lead to androgenic hair loss.24
- Brittle nails – changes in hormone levels are thought to cause dehydration in the body, which can then lead to brittle nails.
- Overactive bladder – this symptom is experienced from peri through to postmenopause.25
While experiencing a lot of these symptoms can be unpleasant, thankfully there are a number of ways you can help to manage them. Discover our article all about how to manage menopause symptoms.
The list of menopause symptoms can actually include more than we’ve mentioned here, as you may also experience things like increased allergies, changes to body odour and many other symptoms as well.
Of course, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how many symptoms are a direct result of menopause.
The final say
Feeling a little more clued up about menopause symptoms? If you’re looking for support with managing or identifying your symptoms, try booking in with one of our expert advisors for a consultation.
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Last updated: 16 September 2022