Menopause is a natural transition into our later years that all women will experience—and it can come with challenges. Hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, brain fog, forgetfulness, joint pain, and vaginal dryness are some symptoms associated with menopause. By understanding some common symptoms associated with menopause and learning practical ways to manage them, we can make this transition a less intimidating way to embrace menopause with confidence!
Hot Flushes and Night Sweats
Hot flushes and night sweats are one of the most common symptoms of menopause. HRT has been proven to reduce hot flushes and night sweats. In addition to that, try wearing light layers throughout the day, sleeping in cotton clothing or sheets at night and keeping the room cool by using a fan.
Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, combined with reducing alcohol and caffeine, can also help alleviate the symptoms of menopause.
Mood Swings, Anxiety & Low Mood
It’s normal to experience a range of emotions during menopause due to changing hormone levels. Along with HRT, try talking through your emotions with a trusted friend or therapist to gain perspective on your feelings.
Regular exercise helps promote endorphin production, improving overall mood and reducing stress levels.
A healthy diet, including eating more fruits and vegetables while avoiding too much sugar or processed foods, also plays a role in regulating your mood.
Fatigue & Sleep Disturbance
Changes in hormone levels may disrupt sleep patterns during menopause, leaving you exhausted during the day.
To combat fatigue during the day, try getting more rest by setting a regular bedtime for yourself each night and sticking to it as best, even on weekends.
Yoga, meditation and mindfulness can also help improve sleep quality and reduce stress.
Brain Fog and Forgetfulness
Brain fog and forgetfulness are common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause and can be very debilitating. It’s been known to affect a woman’s quality of life, relationships, and performance at work, among other things.
HRT has been proven to help with these symptoms and allows a woman to continue to lead a fulfilling life.
Vaginal dryness is another symptom commonly associated with menopause which can lead to pain during intercourse or even urinary tract infections (UTIs).
It is important to keep your genitals moisturised to combat vaginal dryness. Alongside HRT, this could include using vaginal oestrogen and over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturisers.
Joint and Muscle Aches
Joint aches and morning stiffness can occur during menopause, most commonly affecting wrists, shoulders, neck, and hips. This is believed to happen due to a lack of estrogen during menopause which possibly affects the ligaments around joints.
Managing Menopausal Symptoms
A healthy lifestyle and regular exercise particularly can help to combat these symptoms. Weight-bearing exercise is good for maintaining bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Low-impact activities such as walking or swimming are great options, as they will help strengthen your muscles while also increasing blood flow throughout the body, which helps reduce pain.
Additionally, eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation associated with joint pain.
Finally, many over-the-counter medications can help relieve discomfort associated with joint pain; however, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking any medication.
Treatment options vary according to a woman’s age, symptoms, risk factors and references.
Menopause is a natural part of life that every woman will go through eventually, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer through it alone! Consider speaking to a specialist about your menopause journey.
Further information about menopause is available at the British Menopause Society, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and the NHS.
This article was written as a guide and did not substitute medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any medical issues or for guidance on treatment options.
📍 Our Menopause GP service in Wimbledon, London, empowers women to take charge of their lives, introducing them to the evidence-based resources they need so that this stage can be an inspiring period full of potential. Book an initial consultation today.
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