Symptoms of Menopause
A few of the common signs and symptoms of menopause (other than your period stopping) include changes in your period, night sweats, mood problems, and vaginal changes. Some of the symptoms women experience as they approach menopause may actually be related to growing older or to other medical conditions, and are not symptoms of the condition.
Menopause symptoms are not the same in every woman. Changing levels of estrogen in the body can cause a variety of symptoms. But that doesn't mean you will have all, or even most, of the symptoms of menopause. In fact, some of the symptoms you may experience around the time of menopause may really be a result of growing older, and are not due to changes in your estrogen levels.
Every woman's period will stop at menopause. Some women may not have any other related symptoms. However, as you near menopause, you may notice some of these additional symptoms:
- Changes in your period. The time between periods and the flow from month to month may be different.
- Abnormal bleeding or "spotting." This is a common symptom of menopause. However, if your periods have stopped for 12 months in a row and you still have "spotting," you should talk to your healthcare provider to rule out serious causes, like cancer.
- Hot flashes ("hot flushes"). You get warm in the face, neck, and chest.
- Night sweats and sleeping problems. These may lead to feeling tired, stressed, or tense.
- Vaginal changes. The vagina may become dry and thin, and sex and vaginal exams may be painful. You also might get more vaginal infections than you used to.
- Thinning of your bones (osteoporosis). This may lead to loss of height and broken bones.
- Mood changes. May include mood swings, depression, and irritability.
- Urinary problems. You may have leaking, burning or pain when urinating, or leaking when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
- Problems with concentration or memory.
- Less interest in sex and changes in sexual response.
- Weight gain or increase in body fat around your waist.
- Hair thinning or loss.