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Menopause Symptoms

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WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

So, you’ve reached the menopause – that’s right, you never have to deal with a pesky period again. Surely your symptoms are going to do one too, right?
Well no, not exactly. You’d think that things might finally start to level out after 12 months with no bleeding, but sadly that’s not always the case. As with everything to do with the menopause, what happens next is completely unique to you.
For some, their bodies will have adjusted to these new hormonal lows and symptoms will peter out over time, or they’ll enjoy complete relief.
For others though, menopause symptoms continue for a while longer, they may intensify and new ones may even appear. If you’re black, studies suggest you’re more likely to find this is the case, whereas it’s the opposite for Asian women.
Whatever happens, we’re here to help you have a better menopause.

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS

Below, listed in alphabetical order, are the symptoms which can still affect you after your periods have completely stopped. There are some sneaky new additions, like osteoporosis which is more likely to strike in the menopause…
For each of them, we explain the medical reason it occurs and share practical top tips – whether you’re here for yourself or someone you care about. If you are still having periods, jump over to our perimenopause symptoms page.

OSTEOPOROSIS

Most commonly, there won’t be any pain or signs. The first time you’ll realise you have osteoporosis is when you break a bone without having any sort of accident.

PANIC DISORDERS

Suddenly you are terrified. Deep down in-the-bones terrified. You’re shaking. You can’t breathe. Your heart is racing. Oh god – are you having a heart attack?

POOR CONCENTRATION

There you are chatting away, and you suddenly stop mid-sentence because whatever you were saying is... gone? Just read a message but couldn’t tell someone even under oath what it said?

SLEEP ISSUES & INSOMNIA

You’re staring into the abyss of the ceiling and it feels like torture. Thoughts are whirling at super-speed and you’re hyper-aware that you’re counting down the hours until your alarm goes off.

SORE BREASTS

You’ve probably experienced achy, heavy boobs in the run-up to your period. You know, the kind where you have to hold them as you head down the stairs? The difference now is you’re finding they feel that way, well... whenever.

THINNING HAIR

Once luscious locks now feel wiry and thin, and by the looks of your hairbrush, anyone would be forgiven for thinking you’d been grooming a long-haired cat.

TINGLING EXTREMITIES

Hands and feet keep going to sleep for no reason? Pins and needles coming on out of nowhere? You might think you’re imagining it – but chances are you’re not.

VAGINAL DRYNESS

It’s hard for anyone to admit that their bits and pieces suddenly don’t seem to work quite the way they used to – but vaginal dryness is a really common menopausal side-effect.

WEIGHT GAIN

You haven’t changed your eating habits but lately your clothes feel like they’ve been washed at the wrong temperature. Weight has crept on, it’s mostly camping out around your middle – and it’s proving harder to shift than it used to be.

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ALLERGIES

Surely it’s not another cold? Could it be asthma? Or what about hayfever? Whatever it is, you seem to be coughing, sneezing and wheezing all over the place. Come to think of it, your skin is itchy and bumpy too.

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ANXIETY

You carry nervous tension around with you all day. Things you would normally just brush off wriggle away in your mind. You wish you could just stop fretting and feel normal again.

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BLADDER PROBLEMS

A sudden sneeze sneaks up on you and oh great… you’ve weed yourself a bit. Same goes for a spontaneous laugh, when you lift anything heavy or try to jump up and down (no trampolining for you today my love).

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BLOATING

You’ve eaten lunch and BAM! Your belly’s puffed up and it’s really, really uncomfortable. You know you need to unbutton your trousers... but Angela from Accounts is sitting right next to you.

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BODY ODOUR

Is that smell you or someone else? You are a bit sweaty under your arms and down there...Wasn’t BO supposed to do one after our teens? Why’s it decided to come back with a vengeance now?

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BRAIN FOG

You used to pride yourself on your memory – but too often these days you forget what you only remembered five minutes ago. Thoughts can escape you midsentence. New information just won’t sink in.

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BRITTLE NAILS

Perhaps you used to pride yourself on your long, strong talons or maybe never thought about your nails at all. But recently, there’s been a change. Now, your nails are dry and flaky, and when they get a little longer, they bend.

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BURNING MOUTH SYNDROME

Feel like someone’s shoved a ghost chilli into your chops while you weren’t looking? Or like you drank your tea too soon, only you’re not actually drinking tea?

READ MORE

CHANGES IN SEX DRIVE

For some women, the menopause is an incredibly liberating time when it comes to sex. But for many, their sex drive has got up and left the building.

READ MORE

DENTAL PROBLEMS

OK, so you had prepared yourself for hot flushes, mood swings and brain fog… but no-one warned you that your mouth might suffer in the menopause. Bleeding gums, tooth decay, bone loss in your jaw? They’re nothing to smile about.

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DEPRESSION

You’re not just sad. This is worse than that. It’s like someone’s sucked the colour out of life. The things you used to enjoy don’t give you pleasure anymore. Getting up in the morning feels like a battle. The world feels dark.

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DIZZINESS

Fed up of standing up and immediately feeling like you’re going to fall over? These wibbly, wobbly, weak moments seem to have come out of nowhere. Is this a normal part of getting older?

READ MORE

ELECTRIC SHOCKS

Been struck by lightning recently? No. Rubbed a balloon on your head? Nope. Rocked on down to Electric Avenue? Definitely not. Or could those strange little shocks you keep feeling be the menopause at play?

READ MORE

FATIGUE

Feel like you’ve been hit by a freight train? Like you’re going on 500-years-old rather than 50? Fatigue is a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause.

READ MORE

HEADACHES & MIGRAINES

You may have always been prone to a headache or two around your time of the month. But recently, they’ve got worse. You feel a bit woozy and sick and one side of your head is pounding.

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HOT FLUSHES

You never know when one is going to hit you. One minute you’re completely fine, the next you’re drenched, uncomfortable and looking more like Alice Cooper than the polished professional you were moments before.

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IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT

There are many songs that wax lyrical about your heart skipping a beat when you’re a giddy kipper in love… But what if you aren’t feeling at all romantic and your heart is missing some beats or randomly chucking in a few extra.

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IRRITABILITY

Irritability is a normal and common feeling. But thanks to the menopause, you may find that you get far more irritated, far more often – and, oh boy, a hell of a lot faster.

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ITCHY CRAWLY SKIN

You can feel them. They’re crawling up your neck, across your thighs. And woah, hold on a minute, where do they think they’re going?!

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JOINT PAIN

Do you feel like the Tin Man getting out of bed in the morning? Like everything has seized up and you need someone to come and spray some WD40 to get you moving?

READ MORE

MOOD SWINGS

You’re up. You’re down. You’re mad. You’re sad. You’re all over the place. It used to be easy for you and other people to follow your mood...but now you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

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MUSCLE TENSION

Are you waking up in the night feeling stiff and sore? Or perhaps when you get out of bed in the morning you feel about 100 years old? Your muscles and joints just hurt.

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NAUSEA & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS

Normally you’d get up, enjoy some breakfast and crack on with your busy schedule. But these days, the mere thought of food repels you. You’re more likely to be found hugging the toilet bowl.

READ MORE

NIGHT SWEATS

If you’re feeling more soggy than sexy in the bedroom these days, you’re probably getting night sweats. Flipping the duvet on and off throughout the night, waking up soaked and clammy in a cool room.

READ MORE

OSTEOPOROSIS

Most commonly, there won’t be any pain or signs. The first time you’ll realise you have osteoporosis is when you break a bone without having any sort of accident.

READ MORE

PANIC DISORDERS

Suddenly you are terrified. Deep down in-the-bones terrified. You’re shaking. You can’t breathe. Your heart is racing. Oh god – are you having a heart attack?

READ MORE

POOR CONCENTRATION

There you are chatting away, and you suddenly stop mid-sentence because whatever you were saying is... gone? Just read a message but couldn’t tell someone even under oath what it said?

READ MORE

SLEEP ISSUES & INSOMNIA

You’re staring into the abyss of the ceiling and it feels like torture. Thoughts are whirling at super-speed and you’re hyper-aware that you’re counting down the hours until your alarm goes off.

READ MORE

SORE BREASTS

You’ve probably experienced achy, heavy boobs in the run-up to your period. You know, the kind where you have to hold them as you head down the stairs? The difference now is you’re finding they feel that way, well... whenever.

READ MORE

THINNING HAIR

Once luscious locks now feel wiry and thin, and by the looks of your hairbrush, anyone would be forgiven for thinking you’d been grooming a long-haired cat.

READ MORE

TINGLING EXTREMITIES

Hands and feet keep going to sleep for no reason? Pins and needles coming on out of nowhere? You might think you’re imagining it – but chances are you’re not.

READ MORE

VAGINAL DRYNESS

It’s hard for anyone to admit that their bits and pieces suddenly don’t seem to work quite the way they used to – but vaginal dryness is a really common menopausal side-effect.

READ MORE

WEIGHT GAIN

You haven’t changed your eating habits but lately your clothes feel like they’ve been washed at the wrong temperature. Weight has crept on, it’s mostly camping out around your middle – and it’s proving harder to shift than it used to be.

READ MORE
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