It can be hard to face the fact that menopause is around the corner, or maybe looking you squarely in the face. Our society has unfortunately created a stigma around menopause. We are raised to view it as a sign of getting old, lost fertility, waning opportunities, worsening health, and so much more. At Winona, we seek to turn that cultural menopause doomsday mentality into a new and exciting opportunity for women to finally have control over their hormones, and their lives. “Make the second half of  your life even better than the first.

How Do I Know? 

The first step is knowing where you are in your menopause journey. The best way to identify if you are in menopause is to know the symptoms and signs to look for. There are many symptoms of menopause in women, but we will address the most common - 28 of them to be exact. 

Menopausal women will all have their own unique experience, but understanding the different symptoms of menopause will help you to manage and control menopause so it doesn’t control you. This article will outline the symptoms and signs of menopause so you will know exactly where you are on your menopause journey.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause?

The difference between perimenopause and menopause is whether or not you continue to have your period. Perimenopause starts in most women’s late 30s. The symptoms of perimenopause start years before periods stop. Typically, women won’t begin to recognize the symptoms of perimenopause until they are about 45 years old, byt by then they’ve likely been in perimenopause for about 5 years.

That’s very unfortunate. They may have been suffering from menopause symptoms like depression, anxiety, disturbed sleep, and weight gain unnecessarily because they didn’t recognize the stage they were in. Symptoms of perimenopause are similar to menopause, but you are still experiencing periods. Menopause starts when you have gone 12 months without a period.  It is important to remember that whether you are in menopause or perimenopause, you can benefit from the same hormonal treatments.

At what age will I go into menopause?

When women will go into menopause is a tough question. What your mom and grandma, or even sister, experienced won’t necessarily be your reality. For some, it’s very early, and others are still having a regular period into their late 50s, but the average age of menopause is 51. 


How long does menopause last?

Perimenopause can last from 1-10 years, and usually starts earlier than most women want to admit. In your 30s, your ovaries will release less and less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Once your period has stopped for a solid year, you are in ‘menopause’ and symptoms will likely increase in severity. The postmenopausal phase is when some menopause symptoms slowly start to subside. 


Overall, from the beginning of perimenopause until postmenopause you will find yourself on your menopause journey for 20 years or more. It’s worth getting appropriate menopause treatment for this long-lasting ‘phase.’ If not properly treated, you can experience some long-term health complications like osteoporosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.


Are There Really 28 Symptoms of Menopause? Yes. Let us break it down for you:

  1. Irregular or Non-existent Periods.  Irregular periods are symptoms of perimenopause in most women. You may bleed heavier or lighter than usual, shorter or longer than usual, and occasionally spotty bleeding.
  2. Hot Flashes aka Night Sweats. Hot flashes are probably the most recognized early symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. When you have hot flashes, your body suddenly overheats, and you experience sweating and night sweats because the hormones responsible for controlling your body’s temperature drop. 
  3. Weight Gain. Weight gain during menopause, especially around your middle, is caused by the drop in hormones. Replacing the low hormones, exercise and a healthy diet can help you combat the accumulation of belly fat.

  4. Anxiety & Panic Attacks. When estrogen drops (with peri- and menopause) another hormone, cortisol increases. Cortisol increases stress levels, and anxiety. Anxiety affects one out of three menopausal women, and may contribute to panic attacks.

  5. Sleep Problems. Insomnia is common in menopause partially because of night sweats, but anxiety can keep you from falling asleep too. Dropping progesterone levels can cause sleep disruptions. 

  6. Fatigue. Feeling exhausted is common during menopause, but not acceptable. The combination of sleep disturbances, anxiety, and low hormones can add together for a very tired mix. By replacing the lost hormones, especially testosterone, you can regain your energy.

  7. Fogginess, Memory Lapse & Concentration Difficulties. The hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone have everything to do with brain activity. As these hormones drop, so does your ability to focus and concentrate. Temporary forgetfulness is a common symptom you will experience with menopause. Memory lapse can be a combination of the anxiety, sleep deprivation, and fatigue associated with the drop in hormones.

  8. Irritability & Mood Swings.  Low levels of hormones is the biggest culprit in the development of mood swings. As the hormones drop, many women experience irritability and anxiety as well. While the mood swings are similar to emotional changes you may have experienced when having your regular periods, these swings tend to be extreme and last longer.

  9. Vaginal Atrophy, Dryness & Painful Sex. During perimenopause and menopause, the natural lubrication of your vagina starts to dry up. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are responsible for vaginal lubrication. As you age, and the hormones drop, your natural ability to lubricate the vagina decreases and you experience vaginal dryness, burning,  itchiness, and sometimes painful, uncomfortable sex.  Vaginal atrophy can also occur where the vaginal walls start to thin.
  10. Changes in Libido. With the decrease in hormones, especially estrogen and testosterone, women report having a decrease in their libido - or their interest in sex. 
  11. Depression. Depression is a problem that simply should not be ignored. Hormones dropping leads to a host of emotional problems, the most worrisome being depression. Studies show that women younger than 45 years are less likely to be depressed compared to those who are older. 
  12. Dry, Wrinkly, Itchy, Aging Skin. When your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels decrease during menopause, collagen and fatty tissue production also decreases. Collagen is a protein that strengthens your skin and keeps it moist. Fatty tissue also keeps skin moist and lubricated. When hormones drop, your skin becomes dry, wrinkly, and itchy.
  13. Achy Muscles & Joint. Decreased hormones cause increased inflammation and can lead to achy muscles and joints. Estrogen and testosterone are responsible for strengthening bones and protecting them from inflammation. So, when the levels of the hormones decrease, you can expect some increased inflammation. Hormone replacement, yoga, and meditation can relieve stress and help your muscles to loosen.

  14. Stress Incontinence. The inability to control your bladder when you lift heavy items, laugh, or cough is called stress incontinence. During menopause, the drop in testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone weakens the bladder and the adjoining muscles and results in urine leaks.

  15. Bloating & Digestive Problems. Gas, flatulence, bloating, nausea, and abdominal cramps all increase when estrogen drops, and cortisol increases. Bloating is a common perimenopausal symptom, especially if it persists after your period is over for the month.
  16. Breast Tenderness.  Feeling soreness in your breasts, like that when you are having your period or pregnant, is a common perimenopause symptom. 

  17. Headaches. If you experienced headaches during your periods, it is common to get headaches during menopause too. The hormones that your ovaries release during monthly periods are related to headaches. When hormone levels are held steady, you will likely have a decrease in headaches. With peri- and menopause, your hormones are fluctuating which explains why headaches can be more frequent and severe.

  18. Burning Tongue. It sounds weird, but it is real. A burning tongue is due to dry mouth that may be due to reduced levels of estrogen. Just like the vaginal dryness due to decreased estrogen, the mouth can dry out because of reduced saliva production.
  19. Mouth/Gum Problems. Gum problems during menopause can cause your mouth to taste like metal, and decrease the ability to taste foods that you once enjoyed.

  20. Tingling of the Extremities. Tingling sensations in their fingers and toes is common. So is a burning sensation and some numbness due to the drop in your estrogen levels. As hormones drop, it affects your central nervous system, which relays signals to the rest of your body.

  21. Dizziness. Sudden unexplainable dizziness during menopause is scary, but common with perimenopause and due to fluctuating hormones.

  22. Hair Loss. While we know that men lose their hair due to hormone changes, women do too. Menopause can make you lose hair faster due to a drop in estrogen that leads to brittle, dry hair that breaks more easily. 

  23. Brittle Nails. Your nails will likely break more easily during menopause. Estrogen is responsible for keeping your nails strong, but when it reduces, nails weaken, causing brittle nails for many.

  24. Changes in Body Odor. The scent that you have long recognized as your natural body odor often changes when you reach menopause. These changes may be due to hormonal changes and frequent sweating associated with hot flashes, skin dryness, vaginal changes, and anxiety.

  25. Allergies. Our hormones and our immune system are interlinked. So, finding yourself allergic to new things is common with menopause.

  26. Irregular Heartbeat. It may feel like a flutter, but you may notice changes in your heartbeat or palpitations. Similar to the tingling sensations you may experience during menopause, irregular heartbeats occur because the drop in hormones can cause neurons to misfire.

  27. UTIs. UTIs increase with menopause because the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins which can lead to more UTIs as well.

  28. Osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is a condition associated with weak bones that are prone to fractures. Estrogen maintains healthy and strong bones. When your estrogen levels lower during menopause, your bones weaken. You can prevent this.


We recognize that is a long list of pretty sad symptoms, but we have solutions in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). All of these 28 symptoms are easily treatable, and this transition can be a positive experience free of these debilitating symptoms.


What is HRT?

Hormone Replacement Therapy, HRT, is a natural medical treatment for the symptoms of menopause. Hormone therapy is the most recognized method of managing menopausal symptoms and replacing deficient hormone levels. It helps not just the symptoms but also with future health issues caused by low hormone levels, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease.


Since the cause of menopausal symptoms arises from low levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help alleviate the symptoms.



All menopausal women will all have a unique experience, but understanding the different symptoms can help you manage and control menopause so it doesn’t control you. 

While female menopause is a normal phase of life, there are ways to treat the often-chronic symptoms that result from menopause. Winona encourages women to try various treatment options, whether it is Hormone Replacement Therapy, diet, or lifestyle changes (or all three) to identify what works best for them. 

Remember, menopause is a positive beginning, with the opportunity to take preventive action against major health risks associated with the decreasing hormones associated with menopause.

Bioidentical hormones as HRT can enable women to move through this sometimes precarious phase with grace and wellness.  Let the Winona women’s health care experts work with you to replace the missing ingredients to help you feel and stay young and healthy.



Author's Bio: 

My name is James K Meyer. I have been an entrepreneur and passionate blogger for over a decade, during which time I have written thousands of articles on my blog and many other publications. I write about Business, Health, Technology, Automobiles, Legal, Hospitality and much more. I am also an active contributer on Entrepreneur, Forbes, NYTimes.