This list of common symptoms that occur as part of perimenopause and/or menopause and post menopause was developed from the real-life experiencces of hundreds of women.  All symptoms listed here were experienced by numerous women and were either cyclical in nature or responded to treatments (both traditional and alternative) known to address hormonal imbalances. 

Click here for the credits to the women who developed this list.

The symptoms:

1.  Hot flashes, flushes, cold flashes, night sweats

Hot flashes are due to hypothalamus response to declining ovarian estrogen production.  The declining estrogen state induces hypophysiotropic neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus to release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) in a pulsatile fashion, which in turn stimulates release of luteinizing (LH).  Extremely high pulses of LH occur during declining estrogen production, which leads to vasodilatory effects which causes flushing.

2. Irregular heartbeat


3. Irritability


4. Mood swings, sudden tears


5. Trouble sleeping, with/without nite sweats
6. Irregular periods

longer, shorter, heavier, lighter, shorter, longer cycles, phantom periods

7. Loss of libido

For some women the loss is so great that sex becomes repulsive, what hormones can give, loss of hormones can diminish or take away completely.


Dry vagina

Dry vagina can cause painful intercourse.

9. Crashing fatigue



Anxiety, feeling ill at ease

11. Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom

This can include frequent thoughts of death, picturing one's own death

12. Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion
13. Disturbing memory lapses
14. Incontinence, especially upon laughing, sneezing, urge incontinence Incontinence reflects a general loss of smooth muscle tone.
15. Itchy, 'crawly' skin

Not just dry, itching skin but also the sensation of having ants crawling beneath the skin

16. Aching, sore joints, muscles & tendons May include problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome
17. Increased tension in muscles
18. Increased breast tenderness
19. Headache - increase or decrease  
20. Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, nausea, flatulence, gas pain
21. Sudden bouts of bloat
22. Depression

Different from other depression, the inability to cope is overwhelming. There is a feeling of loss of self.  Hormone therapy ameliorates the depression dramatically.

23. Exacerbation of existing problems
24. Increase in allergies
25. Weight gain
26. Hair changes Can be loss, thinning or increase of head, body, pubic hair, increase in facial hair
27. Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance
28. Changes in body odor
29. Electric shock sensation, under the skin or in head "the feeling of a rubber band snapping in the layer between skin and muscle".  Often a precursor to a hot flash.
30. Tingling in the Extremities Can also be a symptom of a B12 deficiency, diabetes, alterations in the flexibility of blood vessels, or a depletion of calcium or potassium
31. Gum problems, increased bleeding
32. Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, change in breath odor, bad taste in mouth
33. Osteoporosis
34. Changes in finger nails, softer, crack or break easier
35. Tinnitus: bells, buzzing, 'whooshing', ringing in ears Can also be associated with various health conditions such as thyroid or heart disease.  Also a known side effect of aspirin or aspirin-containing products.

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Some symptoms may also be associated with thyroid, heart disease and other medical conditions and your primary caregiver should be consulted.

The information found on these pages is for informational purposes only and not intended to take the place of professional medical care.

This site was created by Judy Bayliss, originator and owner of the Menopaus Email Support Group

Any questions or comments can be directed to :