Menopause is the end of reproductive years when women cease having periods. This usually happens between 45 and 55, although it varies.
Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) such as hot flashes and weight gain are classic menopausal symptoms, but there are more you may not know about.
“Perimenopause may start up to a decade before menopause, with the most evident indicator being abnormal menstruation patterns,” says Dr. Monica Grover, OB-GYN, and VSPOT’s chief medical officer. “As a consequence, some early indicators of menopause may be ignored as [people] stay in the confused and chaotic condition of monthly cycles around this time.”
Perimenopause and menopause symptoms may not be obvious:
Dr. Anat Sapan, board-certified OB-GYN, and menopause specialist, says hormone fluctuations might lower sex desire. “This is incorrectly ascribed to a change in relationship troubles, weariness or other circumstances, leading to the overlooking of lower libido as a peri/menopause symptom.”
Pandia Health OB-GYN and menopause specialist Dr. Catherine Hansen says there are no effective medicines for low libido. However, a sexual health professional should be consulted at this point.
It may seem itchier down there.
Grover says decreasing estrogen after menopause may weaken vaginal and vulval tissue, making it more vulnerable to irritation and inflammation. “These symptoms may first be identified as bacterial or fungal vaginitis, but cultures may remain negative.”
Dr. Jaime Seeman, OB-GYN and host of the “Fit and Fabulous” podcast, added that vaginal dryness may cause sexual discomfort and more urinary tract infections, which you should monitor and discuss with your doctor.
Menopause and menstruation both cause breast discomfort.
“Many patients may complain of increased breast soreness or even simply extremely sore nipples when they