Symptoms of menopause

"What's going on with me?" is the most common question women have during perimenopause and menopause. “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” would be the second most common question.

Some women have many of these symptoms of menopause; others have very few. Some really lucky ones have none at all. Here is a list of some of the most common menopausal symptoms — plus some tips on how you can cope with them. Be sure to discuss your symptoms or any others concerns with your healthcare provider.

Hot flashes and night sweats

No one is completely sure what causes hot flashes (or their night-time counterpart, night sweats). But part of the reason is that during menopause, you don't produce enough of the hormones that work with the brain to regulate your temperature. The drop in estrogen confuses the body's thermostat and sends an alert to the heart, blood vessels, and nervous system to work harder, which in turn brings on a sudden sensation of intense heat. Then your body cools down, leaving you chilled. Night sweats can wake you from a sound sleep, and can make it difficult to get into the deeper levels of sleep that rest and revitalize the body.

What you can do: Dress in layers so you can always remove the top layer when a flash comes on, and then cover up again when you're chilled. At night, keep an extra nightshirt next to your bed and change it if you wake up sweaty. You can also spread a few towels between you and your sheets. After a hot flash, strip out the first towel and throw it on the floor. The next towel will be dry and comfortable, and you won't have to change the bedding.

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