Common Menopause Symptoms
Aches and Pains
Women often describe themselves as feeling 90 before their time. Stiffness and symptom aching joints are extremely common at the time of the menopause. Women often suffer with aching joints but don't associate it with menopause. Instead, they assume that it's all part of the ageing process. It can be very debilitating and depressing as it robs us of our mobility and flexibility, making us feel like we are past our sell by date.
Feeling like you are losing your memory at midlife can be very scary, especially if you think it's a permanent situation. Many women secretly wonder if these 'senior moments' are the beginning of dementia and are truly frightened. If you forget what you were saying mid-sentence, what you went into a room for or where you put your car keys you are not alone. It can be because of brain fog.
If constipation is part of your world, and not something you readily discuss even with your friends, you might be surprised to know that over fifty percent of the women in surveys admit to suffering with constipation to some degree, and in many cases have done so for most of their lives.
Our bowel habits are embarrassing, so not something we make a point of talking about in public.
Depression is a common menopausal symptoms that is probably caused by the hormonal and physical changes you are going through (just as teenagers get moody when they experience the hormonal roller coaster of puberty).
Unpredictable hormone fluctuations plus stress, body image, sexuality, infertility, or aging — any one or a combination of these causes emotional distress that may result in mood swings or, in more severe cases, depression.
Symptom: headaches and migraines are common during menopause and may be the result of changing body temperature, tiredness due to hot flushes, sleeplessness or general stress and anxiety.
Migraine headaches can be affected by oestrogen levels and can get better or worse during menopause. Every woman is different, so menopause can affect your migraines in a number of ways.
"I'm having a hot flush" is a familiar midlife cry. You may be lucky enough to escape, however, more than 80% of women are thought to be affected by hot flushes at some point. They can often start long before you stop menstruating and can continue for several years afterwards.
As well as being embarrassing, flushes and sweats can be severely debilitating.
Insomnia is a very common symptom of menopause, but may not always be recognised or identified as such. Sleep changes include difficulty getting to sleep or falling asleep quickly, only to spring wide-awake several times a night, or every hour on the hour. Night sweats often cause us to wake many times in the night, and as the night progresses, it becomes harder to return to sleep.
Mood swings are one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of the menopause with as many as 80% of women in our national surveys admitting to suffering.
Many women find that menopause is equivalent to sitting on an emotional pendulum; up one minute and down the next.
Vaginal Dryness/Lack of Libido
Your partner is still keen, but sex may well be the last thing on your mind. Before you start thinking this is something peculiar to you, rest assured you are not alone. Many women find that their desire for sex starts to wane as they go into menopause. Studies show that up to three-quarters of women feel their sex drive has reduced since menopause. That's not surprising when seventy percent suffer with vaginal dryness and report it having a significant impact on the ability to be sexually active. Spontaneity and enjoyment go out the window as a result.