What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause? A Checklist-image

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause? A Checklist

Medically Reviewed by Hertility on March 28, 2024

Most of us have heard of the hot flushes, irregular periods and mood swings. But did you know there are actually up to 34 symptoms of menopause? Check out our list for the full rundown of physical and mental symptoms. 

Quick facts:

  • Menopause can impact your physical and emotional wellbeing 
  • Physical symptoms include fatigue, cycle irregularities, hot flushes, skin, hair and bone health changes. 
  • Mental symptoms include mood swings, confusion, anxiety, low mood and concentration issues. 
  • Speak to one of our menopause specialists if you’re struggling with symptoms.

Understanding menopause

For women and those assigned female at birth, menopause is when your ovaries stop making the hormones oestrogen and progesterone and stop ovulating. Because of this, your periods stop, and you can no longer become pregnant.

Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, with the average age being 51. A small number of women experience early menopause where you might go through menopause between the ages of 40-45 or premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) where the ovaries stop working before the age of 40, which is seen in 1% of cases.

The length of time menopause lasts varies (up to 14 years) but it’s generally around four years. During this time you’ll experience three stages of menopause:

  • Perimenopause: when you start noticing changes, such as irregular periods, hot flushes, night sweats, etc . Menopause symptoms can start years before your periods stop, and carry on afterwards too.
  • Menopause: the single point in time when you haven’t had a period for 12 months.
  • Postmenopause: any time after your menopause.

Menopause is a natural part of ageing which marks the end of your reproductive years, but the hormonal shift can make you feel misunderstood and isolated. Recognising and understanding the symptoms of menopause can prepare and empower you to tackle menopause with confidence.

The 34 menopause symptoms: What are they?

Since oestrogen affects so many of your bodily functions, the hormonal change can lead to the onset of various and often frustrating physical, emotional and physiological symptoms, which can disrupt your relationships, confidence and work life.

Everyone experiences menopause differently but these common menopause symptoms may be a sign you’re entering the next chapter of your life.

1. Changes to your periods

Your periods become irregular during perimenopause (the run up to menopause) and stop altogether. Once you’ve not had a period for 12 months, you’ve experienced menopause. You may notice your cycle length getting shorter and flow getting lighter too.

2. Hot flushes

Hot flushes are a sudden rush of heat or ‘burning up’ sensation which can cause redness or sweating usually in the chest, neck, and face. You can try fans, cooling face masks and always carry a cool drink with you to reduce flushes.

3. Night sweats

Night sweats are profuse sweating during the night, so much so that you wake up in wet bed sheets or pyjamas. Night sweats can disrupt sleep and it’s important to remember to hydrate in the morning.

4. Anxiety

Feeling worried, nervous, on edge, jittery or tense are all signs of anxiety. You might also have sweaty hands, a racing heart, and be overthinking.

5. Low mood

Low mood can include things like feeling down, sad or hopeless. Read our blog post on ‘Can Menopause Cause Depression?‘ if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

6. Mood swings

This includes your mood shifting in a short space of time. You may experience things like crying for no apparent reason, suddenly feeling very angry or overwhelmed, feeling low, anxious or jittery. 

7. Brain fog

It’s common to experience brain fog and find it difficult to concentrate on normal tasks or be more forgetful than usual and feel confused.

8. Forgetfulness

You may experience memory loss, forget the names of places, people or things, or walk into rooms and can’t remember why. These are all very common.

9. Reduced sex drive

This includes a lack of interest in sex or an inability to feel aroused during sex. This can be exacerbated because of pain during sex (another common symptom). 

10. Vaginal dryness or pain

Vaginal dryness might cause itchiness and soreness, or make sex painful.

11. Breast tenderness

Your breasts or nipples may feel sore to the touch, which can make lying on your front, sleeping and possibly exercising uncomfortable.

12. Headaches or migraines

These can include painful headaches or more severe migraines that may affect your ability to do daily tasks.

13. Difficulty sleeping or insomnia

This may include trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up feeling tired. This can all affect your mood, eating habits and productivity and may exacerbate other symptoms. 

14. Muscle and joint aches and pains

Sore muscles, tension and joint pain can make everyday tasks and exercise more difficult. It’s also more common for women to develop osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis during menopause.

15. Bloating

Stomach aches, gut problems or a bloated stomach can affect your confidence and ability to enjoy food, exercise and do everyday tasks.

16. Electric shock sensations (ESS)

This can feel like pins and needles, prickling, pinching or burning. You may experience this on different parts of your body or skin.

17. Restless legs

This is an overwhelming urge to move your legs or a crawling sensation.

18. Itchiness

The urge to itch or scratch your skin can be frustrating, and cause redness and irritation.

19. Concentration issues

Struggling to focus can make daily tasks more difficult.

20. Brittle nails

You may find your nails become weak or brittle and are easily broken or damaged.

21. Hair thinning

Hair can become sparse, fall out and break off easily.

22. Weight gain

Hormones affect metabolism and appetite, and the change can lead to weight gain and body composition changes which can affect confidence. Speaking with a nutritionist can help.

23. Urinary issues or UTIs

You might need to go to the toilet more often, experience recurrent urinary tract infections, or leak urine when you cough or laugh.

24. Allergies

You may find you are more sensitive to allergies with itchy skin, rashes, redness and congestion. Skin conditions like eczema and rosacea can worsen. 

25. Feeling dizzy or faint

You may experience bouts of lightheadedness, feeling dizzy or faint and in general feel less alert.

26. Heart palpitations

This includes your heart feeling as though it’s beating faster than normal, skipping a beat or beating irregularly. This can cause panic and it’s worth getting checked out by a doctor to rule out any cardiovascular issues.

27. Fragile bones and reduced muscle mass

If you are breaking bones more easily, it could be a sign of osteoporosis. Declining testosterone can also make it difficult to maintain muscle mass.

28. Irritability

You may find yourself getting annoyed or frustrated more often.

29. Dry skin

Collagen reduces by up to 30% in the first five years of menopause which drastically reduces the glow, smoothness and plumpness of your skin.

30. Tingling sensations (paresthesia)

Numbness, skin crawling or tingling sensations in hands and feet are common.

31. Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)

This is characterised by a burning, scolding or tingling sensation in the mouth.

32. Fatigue

Feeling extreme tiredness or a lack of energy can affect your appetite, motivation, and productivity.

33. Body odour

Hormonal changes can affect how your body odour smells. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will smell bad. 

34. Changes in taste and smell

You might develop a liking or dislike for certain foods or smells.

The science behind the symptoms

Declining oestrogen is responsible for the majority of challenging menopause symptoms. As well as regulating the menstrual cycle, oestrogen influences the heart and blood vessels, skin, hair and even your vaginal and bone health.

Coping and managing symptoms

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can improve menopause symptoms by restoring hormonal balance. There are also HRT alternatives, like lifestyle changes, as well as supplements and alternative therapies, but these have limited evidence.

Prioritising your mental health including therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), calming practices like yoga and meditation to manage stress, exercise to boost mood and good quality sleep can ease menopause-induced anxiety and mood changes. 

Regular exercising including strength training, can relieve menopause-induced aches and pains including joint pain.
Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding your body. It means you can learn and take action for a healthier, more fulfilled life at every stage, from menstruation to menopause and beyond. Life after menopause is often coined ‘the second spring’ – a chance to start afresh and become a more empowered you!


  1. https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/conditions/womens-health/menopause/menopause-symptoms/#:~:text=Burning%20mouth%20%E2%80%93%20otherwise%20known%20as,of%20people%20going%20through%20menopause.&text=Changes%20in%20taste%20%E2%80%93%20and%20smell,caused%20by%20fluctuating%20oestrogen%20levels.
  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/why-women-feel-great-after-the-menopause-5544365.html 
  3. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-menopause
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/
  5. https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/after-the-menopause#:~:text=Postmenopause%20is%20the%20time%20after,to%20experience%20symptoms%20of%20menopause
  6. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/drugs-and-treatments/talking-therapy-and-counselling/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/#:~:text=work%20for%20me%3F-,What%20is%20CBT%3F,affect%20your%20feelings%20and%20actions
  7. https://www.join-olivia.com/post/how-cold-showers-can-help-with-menopause-symptoms
  8. https://www.mymenopausecentre.com/knowledge/life-after-menopause/
  9. https://www.themenopausecharity.org/2021/10/21/joint-pain-and-muscles/#:~:text=Loss%20of%20Oestrogen%20and%20testosterone%3A&text=Oestrogen%20protects%20joints%20and%20reduces,it%20painful%20to%20move%20freely


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