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Symptoms of Menopause

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Menopause

Menopause symptoms are not the same for each woman. Some women have many symptoms and others only have a few. Some common problems are:

Irregular Periods and Irregular Ovulation

  • Shorter or longer cycles
  • Heavier or lighter bleeding
  • Spotting in between periods
  • Problems getting pregnant

Hot Flashes

  • A sudden feeling of heat that lasts 30 seconds to 5 minutes
  • A flushed face and neck
  • Stops a few years after menopause

Vaginal and Bladder Problems

  • Dry and thin skin in the genital area
  • Painful sex
  • Vaginal dryness and burning
  • Urinary tract problems, such as infection and incontinence

Changes in Sexuality

  • Low sex drive
  • Problems with arousal and comfort

Fatigue and Sleep Problems

  • Problems sleeping
  • Early morning waking

Mood Changes

Changes in the Body

  • Thickening at the waist
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • An increase in fat
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin

Other Problems

  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle stiffness or pain
  • Problems with focus
  • Thinning of scalp hair
  • More hair on the face


  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists (ACOG). Practice Bulletin No. 141: management of menopausal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jan;123(1):202-16, reaffirmed 2016, correction can be found in Obstet Gynecol 2016 Jan;127(1):166.
  • Menopause 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal.
  • Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/menopause.
  • Menopause. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menopause.
  • Menopause basics. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics.


  • Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.