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What symptoms may I get around the time of the menopause?

We have oestrogen receptors all over our bodies, including our bones, brains, heart, skin, and vagina.  There are many possible symptoms related to the menopause, some more commonly talked about than others.  Symptoms vary a great deal between women and can change with time.  They can be brief or last for decades.

Physical symptoms

Can include irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, migraines and other headaches, palpitations, lack of energy, feeling faint or dizzy, aching muscles, painful joints, vaginal dryness or burning, urinary frequency, pain and incontinence, loss of libido, breast pain, dry eyes, dry or burning mouth, indigestion, altered sense of smell, tinnitus, restless legs, weight gain around the abdomen, thinning and drier hair, brittle nails, increased facial hair, spots, and dry itchy skin.

Psychological symptoms

Can include brain fog, loss of confidence, anxiety, low mood, depression, mood swings, irritability, crying easily, poor concentration, lack of motivation, poor memory, loss of joy, and low self-esteem.

Many women are given antidepressants at this stage of life when they really need HRT.  When you consider that many of us are also coping with at least one of the stresses of looking after a partner, children, elderly relatives, or work issues, it is amazing that we manage to keep going at all!