The 34 symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, irregular periods, mood changes, and more.

Menopause refers to the stage of a female’s life during which their period stops. It typically occurs around the age of 45–55 years. A female has entered menopause if at least 12 months have passed since their last period.

The years leading up to menopause are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This stage can also come with symptoms, which may last for several years — sometimes up to 14 years.

This article will look at the 34 symptoms of menopause and what may help.

Black-and-white image of a woman sitting on a front porch while experiencing symptoms of menopause.Share on Pinterest
valentinrussanov/Getty Images

Menopause and perimenopause can cause a range of symptoms, including the following.

1. Hot flashes

Hot flashes are among the most common symptoms of menopause. They cause someone to suddenly become hot, sweaty, and flushed, especially in the face, neck, and chest. Some females also experience chills.

2. Night sweats

Night sweats are hot flashes that occur at night. Scientists are not sure why they occur, but it appears that falling estrogen levels can affect the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature.

Learn how to cope with hot flashes and night sweats here.

3. Irregular periods

Throughout the menopausal transition, it is normal to have irregular or missed periods. Eventually, a female will stop having periods entirely.

Learn how perimenopause affects periods here.

4. Mood changes

Mood changes are unpredictable shifts in mood that are not related to life events. They can cause someone to feel suddenly sad, weepy, or angry. Mood changes are common during perimenopause and menopause.

Learn more about the causes and treatments of mood changes during menopause here.

5. Breast soreness

Breast tenderness is another common symptom of menopause, though its frequency tends to decrease in the later stages.

Learn more about menopause and sore breasts here.

6. Decreased libido

Menopause also commonly affects libido, or desire for sex. This can be the direct result of having lower levels of testosterone and estrogen, which can make physical arousal more difficult.

However, it can also be a secondary result of the other symptoms of menopause, such as mood changes, or a side effect of a medication.

Learn more about menopause and libido here.

7. Vaginal dryness

As female sex hormones ensure that there is a good circulation of blood around the vagina, a lack of them can decrease blood flow and, therefore, natural lubrication. This may cause dryness, which can be uncomfortable or make penetrative sex more difficult.

Learn more about vaginal dryness here.

8. Headaches

Someone entering menopause may experience more frequent headaches or migraine episodes as a result of a dip in estrogen. This can be similar to the headaches that some females experience before a period.

However, unlike during a normal menstrual cycle, hormone levels during perimenopause can fluctuate more unpredictably.

Learn more about migraine and menopause here.

9. Tingling extremities

During menopause, some females experience tingling in the hands, feet, arms, and legs. This symptom is the result of hormone fluctuations affecting the central nervous system and typically only lasts for a few minutes at a time.

10. Burning mouth

A burning mouth is another potential symptom of menopause and may manifest as a feeling of burning, tenderness, tingling, heat, or numbing in or around the mouth. This is another result of hormonal changes.

The mucus hormones in the mouth have sex hormone receptors, which decrease with a decline in estrogen. This can contribute to pain and discomfort.

Learn more about burning mouth syndrome here.

11. Changes in taste

Some females may notice changes in their sense of taste, with stronger flavors, during menopause. They may also experience a dry mouth, which can lead to a higher risk of developing gum disease or cavities.

12. Fatigue

Fatigue can be a distressing and sometimes debilitating menopause symptom. This could be the result of lower quality sleep as a result of hot flashes and night sweats or the result of hormonal fluctuations themselves.

13. Bloating

Females can experience bloating during menopause for a number of reasons. They may experience water retention, gassiness, or slower digestion as a result of stress. If they change their eating habits around this time, they may also experience bloating.

Learn more about menopause bloating here.

14. Other digestive changes

Female sex hormones influence the microbes a person has in their mouth and digestive tract. This can mean that during menopause, a female’s gut flora changes in composition. They may notice changes in their digestion or that they react differently to certain foods.

15. Joint pain

Estrogen helps decrease inflammation and keep the joints lubricated. As a result, some females experience joint pain as a result of decreased estrogen.

Estrogen is responsible for regulating fluid levels throughout the body, so when the body becomes low in this hormone, females are more prone to joint aches or menopausal arthritis.

16. Muscle tension and aches

Females going through perimenopause or menopause can also experience muscle tension or aches. This is due to the same factors as menopausal joint pain.

17. Electric shock sensations

Females can experience sensations that resemble electric shocks during perimenopause and menopause. It is not clear what causes this, but it may be the result of changing hormone levels in the nervous system.

18. Itchiness

Because estrogen is related to collagen production and skin hydration, a decline in this hormone can lead to increased itchiness or dryness, both around the vulva and elsewhere on the body.

Get tips for managing itching during menopause here.

19. Sleep disturbance

A female’s sleep can become lighter or disrupted for many reasons during menopause. They may wake frequently due to night sweats, wake up earlier, or find it difficult to get to sleep.

20. Difficulty concentrating

A decline in estrogen can sometimes cause mental fogginess or difficulty concentrating. Hot flashes and sleep issues may also be contributing factors.

21. Memory lapses

As with concentration and focus, menopause can also affect memory. Again, this could be a direct result of lower estrogen levels or compromised sleep.

22. Thinning hair

During menopause, hair loss or thinning is another result of ovarian hormonal fluctuations. This causes the hair follicles to shrink, meaning that hair grows more slowly and sheds more easily.

23. Brittle nails

During or after menopause, the body may not produce enough keratin, which is the substance that nails need to stay strong. This can lead to brittle, weak nails that crack or break easily.

24. Weight gain

Females can gain weight due to a number of factors during menopause. A decline in estrogen can result in weight gain, as can lower amounts of physical activity. Mood changes can also mean that a female eats differently.

Get tips for maintaining a moderate weight during menopause here.

25. Stress incontinence

Stress incontinence refers to a frequent or sudden urge to urinate. Some people also refer to it as an “overactive bladder.” This symptom is common during menopause, as changes in hormone levels can cause the bladder and pelvic muscles to become weaker.

26. Dizzy spells

The hormonal changes that take place during menopause affect insulin production, which can make it difficult for the body to maintain blood sugar stability. This is the main reason that some females experience dizzy spells during perimenopause and menopause.

Learn more about menopause and dizziness here.

27. Allergies

Some females report new or worsening allergy symptoms when they experience menopause. This happens because during menopause, females can have spikes in histamine. Histamine is the chemical that causes allergic reactions.

28. Osteoporosis

During perimenopause, a decline in estrogen can also result in a loss of bone density. In severe cases, this can lead to osteoporosis, which causes the bones to become more fragile and break easily.

29. Irregular heartbeat

Some females may experience an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, during or after menopause. It is always best to discuss symptoms relating to the heart with a doctor.

30. Body odor

Hot flashes and night sweats can result in an increase in body odor during menopause. If a female often feels stressed or anxious, they may also notice that they are sweating more.

31. Irritability

Either due to hormonal fluctuations or the impact of other menopause symptoms, females going through this change may find that they feel irritable. Stress or a lack of sleep may also contribute to this.

32. Depression

For some females, hormonal imbalances may trigger depression. However, in this case, depression is often situational and may not be long term. A lack of sleep and stress can contribute to this.

In some cases, menopause may trigger depression or low mood because of the change it signifies in a female’s life. Any significant life change can play a role in depression, even if the change is a positive one.

33. Anxiety

Anxiety is another mood-related symptom that some females experience during menopause. It may worsen at night or only occur intermittently as hormone levels fluctuate.

As with menopause-related depression, this anxiety may be situational and improve once hormones level out.

Learn more about the link between menopause and anxiety here.

34. Panic disorder

In some cases, females may experience panic attacks during menopause. When these attacks occur unexpectedly or suddenly, they can indicate panic disorder. This may happen due to hormonal changes or the fear of feeling anxious itself.

Most females do not experience all 34 of these symptoms during menopause. However, hot flashes alone can be enough to cause significant disruption in their life.

There are several treatments that females can try to reduce discomfort, including:

  • hormone replacement therapy, which temporarily replaces hormones such as estrogen
  • vaginal estrogen, which can improve lubrication and prevent dryness
  • antidepressants, which can reduce mood-related symptoms and improve hot flashes

There are also several lifestyle changes and self-care practices that can help alleviate symptoms, such as:

  • avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine, as these can make hot flashes worse
  • stopping smoking
  • dressing in layers so that it is easier to cool down when a hot flash occurs
  • carrying gentle cleansing wipes to freshen up while on the go
  • getting regular exercise, which can help with weight maintenance, stress relief, and mood
  • learning relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises or mindfulness
  • psychotherapy, which can provide a place to talk about the effects of menopause

Learn more about natural remedies for managing menopause symptoms here.

If a female is experiencing new or unexplained symptoms, they should speak with a doctor. Other health conditions can cause the symptoms associated with menopause, so it is important to rule these out.

Females should also consider speaking with a doctor if their menopause symptoms are causing distress or disruption to their life. If they are struggling to sleep, finding it difficult to work, or experiencing severe mood changes, there are treatments that can help.

The 34 symptoms of menopause is a list of common symptoms that many females report. Among the most common are hot flashes, mood changes, fatigue, and irregular periods. However, everyone experiences menopause differently.

It is important that doctors rule out other potential explanations for these symptoms, as menopause is not the only factor that could cause them.