What Are The Signs Of Menopause?
Menopause means freedom from your periods. Forever! I can see you breaking out your decorations to celebrate walking out of the prison of pads and tampons. But hang on. What’s that approaching at such high speed?
Oh, turns out it was just a truck full of menopause symptoms that slammed into you, ran you over, reversed it, then ran you over again. So your late 40s or early 50s find you trapped under a truckload of menopause symptoms, with a stray confetti mocking you as it rolls by.
If it's any consolation, all women go through this. Did it utterly fail to console you? Well, in that case, let's go through the various symptoms of menopause because as they say, keep your friends close, your enemies closer.
1. Hot Flushes
A sudden feeling of feverish heat that make you whip your clothes away. Kinky! Turns out, not so much. Think more on the lines of imitating an oven, and you might be closer to the mark.
2. Cold Flushes
A sudden feeling of chilling cold that makes you want to cuddle a heater.
3. Night Sweats
Make you sweat as if you’ve just run a marathon, while you cocooned in your bed. Sweet agony of a personalised sauna right where you lie.
4. Clammy Feeling
When you’re covered with cold, sticky moisture, feeling cold and damp. In short, ew.
5. Heart Palpitations
Find your heart beat hard and fast with no hottie in sight? Well, get used to it. It's just menopause. A random pounding of your chest is the new normal. You Tarzan, you.
Sleepy all day, can't sleep at night. You're allowed to hate everybody with the capacity to sleep.
Wonder if humanity collectively has grown more irritating or if it's just you? Well, sorry to say, but it's just you. So take a breath, put down that gavel, (no not on your husband's head), and remember this too shall pass.
8. Mood Swings
If not sex swings, at least mood swings are a guarantee in your near future. So lock away anything that breaks easily. Do not shop when your happy and do not use the window as an exit point for the people in your house when you're angry. Happy, sad, excited, angry, and an array of emotions all in a matter of minutes. Fun! Not.
9. Irregular Periods
Thought you’d gotten rid of them huh? Listen to your ovaries laugh from within. Then realise you had thrown away all padding at the mention of menopause, and hobble your way to the nearest store. Or maybe that's what the people in your life exist to do.
10. More Facial Hair During Menopause
The lack of hair on your head might be balanced with additional growth on other parts of your face. At least you can now participate in ‘No Shave November’ and give your partner a run for his beard. Silver linings.
Menopause can trigger feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
12. Vaginal Dryness
Lube. Your new best friend.
You're tired when you go to sleep, you're tired when you wake up and you’re tired for all the hours in between. Welcome to menopause!
A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease regardless of your surroundings or situation.
15. Poor concentration
Yes, it can be embarrassing to ask a person what they said, for the 5th time in a row. Just wear a t-shirt that says ‘It's because of menopause. Take it up with it, not me’.
16. Faulty Memory
Can’t remember where you put your keys? Walk into a room and can’t remember what for? It's totally normal. It's not amnesia, just menopause.
You have to pee, and you HAVE TO PEE, NOW! An annoying lack of voluntary control over urination or defecation. Well, that’s how the Big M works.
18. Itchy, Crawly Skin
Insistent itchiness of the skin could be a pain in the arse. But try not to punch holes in your body from all that scratching.
19. Achy Joints
Creaking bones might give an impression that you’re at least 60 and your aching joints probably don't help curb that impression.
20. Tensed Muscles
Feeling like your muscles are drawn like a tight string that might snap at any moment with even a hint of added pressure.
You might feel like you are walking around with an axe splitting your head open. A new addition to your life might be a continuous pain in the head.
22. Sore Breasts
Your breasts might hurt. So even the thought of anyone touching them is painful. There goes your sex life halfway down the drain.
23. Digestive Issues
They range from minor issues, such as slight heartburn or nausea after a big meal, to some serious ones. You might want to keep some digestives handy at all times.
It might feel like someone attached an air pump to your body and all of your parts doubled in size overnight like a blow-up doll.
25. Allergies Worsen
“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it's menopause.” Any allergy that might have been a bother in the past might turn into a downright nuisance during menopause.
26. Menopause Weight Gain
Your wish to add a few extra pounds to your wallet instead ends up with several pounds on your weight scale. Being bloated was clearly not enough.
27. Hair Loss/ Thinning
Bald patches alert! You might turn into the dog that sheds on everything they come into contact with. People will know you've been there by the strands of your gorgeous hair covering all surfaces except your head.
28. Low Sex Drive
More like 50 ways I will kick your ass if you so much as think of touching me.
Consider menopause your new dance partner, for it might set your head spinning. No dance floor needed.
You might encounter a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.
31. Changed Body Odour During Menopause
Get a whiff of this! On second thoughts, don't. The smell of your body, that you've known all your life, itself might change.
It is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. You might want to stack up on food rich in calcium or add calcium supplements to your daily intake.
33. Tingling Extremities
Numbness and pins and needles sensation in the extremities (hands and feet).
34. Bleeding Gums
Role-playing as a vampire just got a whole lot easier. Happy Halloween, everyday.
35. Achy Muscles
Menopause might cause your muscles to become sore and ache without any external factors contributing to them.
36. Electric Shock Feeling
Cause you're so electric! You feel like your body (or any part in particular) has just been jolted or electrified. It also may feel like a sharp and quick tremor or vibration. This can happen at any time and most often without warning. This symptom can be more noticeable when you're trying to relax or to go to sleep. It also may feel like a head buzz or tremor. It can also be accompanied by prickly sensations throughout the body. It may be infrequent or frequent in occurrence.
This symptom can affect one part of the body, many parts of the body, or the entire body. It can occur rarely, occasionally, or persistently.
37. Burning Tongue/ Roof Of Mouth
Your mouth might be on fire. Say goodbye to normal food, and say hello to ice and sticking your head in the refrigerator with your mouth open.
38. Chronic Bad Breath
Mints. Mints. Mints. Period. Load up on them, or else you might find the people in your life dropping away like flies.
39. Weakened Fingernails
Weakened fingernails lead to easy breakage and chipping of your nails. So refrain from biting them to worsen them further.
40. Ringing Ears (Tinnitus)
Well, the days of waiting for someone to call you are over. Your ears have taken over the job and will ring you at anytime during the day on their own. It may also come across as hissing, clicking or roaring. Enjoy.
41. Craving For Sweets
The roller coaster of menopause symptoms lead to craving sweets which might make you feel better in the short term. However, a balanced diet and exercise are important to deal with the physical, emotional and mental changes that the body goes through during menopause.
42. Lack Of Focus
Multitasking is a thing of the past, a different lifetime. Now focusing on one thing is such a Utopian task that it surely must merit medals.
Your nails are already brittle, courtesy of menopause, so you might want to refrain from biting them during your bouts untriggered nervousness.
You won't have to stand atop the Eiffel tower to feel your vertigo stir. Menopause arranges your vertigo to rear its ugly head in the comfort of both of your feet planted right on this planet.
45. Low Fertility
Your childbearing days might become a thing of the past with a distinct dip in fertility and saying your periods goodbye.
46. Slowed Metabolism
The diet and exercise that helped you fit into those jeans a few years ago, now can’t get it past your ankles. The culprit is menopause that slows down your metabolism, which in turn leads to weight gain.
47. Dry Eyes
Menopause not only dries up your vagina, it also sucks dry your tear glands. Hence, dry eyes alert. Also known as ‘my eyes are on fire and I wish I could take out my eyeballs out to dunk them in a glass of water for a day or two’.
It might lead you to become a bit clumsy—and those minor bumps can quickly turn into big bruises. This is because fluctuating hormones can make skin thinner, making you bruise easier. ‘Bruise like a peach’ could be your new motto.
49. Discomfort During Sex
A declining libido, dry vagina, sore breasts along with the multitude of other symptoms lead to varying amounts of discomfort during sex. So, rest in peace sex life.
50. Urinary Problems
The natural acidity of the vagina changes during the menopause resulting in a change in the balance of the normal microorganisms found in the vagina. This can mean that bad bacteria flourish and can easily make their way into the bladder causing infection.
Menopause might seem like 50 shades of ending your normal life as you know it. However, that does not have to be the case. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not in this alone. Find your tribe. Talk about your experiences. Get to know what they go through.
The symptoms are manageable with a certain tweak in your lifestyle. Reach out to a doctor if need be. Plus there are a variety of products that help you come out of the other end of the menopause tunnel all hale and hearty.