What are the symptoms of menopause?

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What are the symptoms of menopause?

You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Hot flashes (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body).
  • Night sweats and/or cold flashes.
  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex.
  • Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently).
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).
  • Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression).
  • Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth.

Women who are still in the menopause transition (perimenopause) may also experience:

  • Breast tenderness.
  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Irregular periods or skipping periods.
  • Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.

Some women might also experience:

  • Racing heart.
  • Headaches.
  • Joint and muscle aches and pains.
  • Changes in libido (sex drive).
  • Difficulty concentrating, memory lapses (often temporary).
  • Weight gain.
  • Hair loss or thinning.

These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation (ups and downs) in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.

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