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  • Gynaecology
  • 05.07.24

7 unexpected symptoms of menopause

When we think of menopause, we often associate it with symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. While these are definitely common, and every woman experiences menopause differently, it can bring about a variety of other, less well-known symptoms. 

Here are seven unexpected symptoms of menopause that you might not be aware of: 

Brain fog

Brain fog is a real thing and something some women experience during menopause. Thanks to the decrease in oestrogen and progesterone, cortisol levels can be affected and you may experience forgetfulness, confusion and a loss of focus. There might be times when you just can’t seem to find the right words or stay focused during an activity.

Ensuring you maintain a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids is good for cognitive function, as well as exercise and getting enough sleep.  

symptoms menopause

Dry or itchy skin

As your body experiences hormonal shifts during menopause, your skin can also be impacted. A decrease in oestrogen levels may lead to reduced natural oil production, leaving your skin feeling dry and itchy. Applying moisturiser formulated for sensitive skin can help replenish moisture and alleviate discomfort or in more serious cases you may need to consult a dermatologist. 

Digestive issues

Another lesser-known symptom of menopause affects your digestion. Changing hormones can impact your gut health, leading to digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and changes in bowel habits. 

We recommend maintaining a balanced diet rich in fibre, staying hydrated, and exercising regularly. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can also help support gut health, but if you notice a change it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to rule out other underlying conditions. Our experienced dietitian can also help manage dietary issues during menopause. 

symptoms of menopause

Sleep problems

Some women also experience problems with their sleep during menopause. Reduced levels of hormones can create sleep disturbances, interfering with your normal sleep rhythm causing insomnia or making it harder to fall asleep or wake up during the night. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can affect your sleep quality too. 

Talking to a healthcare provider can help improve your sleep quality, as well as setting a regular sleep schedule, adopting a soothing bedtime routine, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, staying physically active, and practising relaxation techniques.

Body odour

Even if you’ve never been one to experience body odour in the past, menopause can cause a change in your body’s smell. A decline in oestrogen can alter the natural scent of your body, affecting your sweat gland function and skin bacteria. You can help reduce body odour by wearing breathable fabrics and using natural deodorants. 

Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome is characterised by a persistent burning sensation in the mouth, often affecting the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth. This symptom can be linked to changes in hormone levels affecting the taste buds and saliva production. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding spicy or acidic foods, and using oral lubricants can provide relief.

An increase in allergies

Your allergies may flare up during menopause due to hormonal shifts. The changes in your hormones can increase histamine production, potentially leading to new allergies or increased sensitivities to existing ones. Consulting with your healthcare provider can provide you with solutions on how to manage this.

Managing menopause with Grace Private

It’s important to remember that every woman experiences menopause differently. At Grace Private, our Gold Coast gynaecologists offer guidance and support for managing menopausal symptoms, tailoring solutions to suit your individual needs. As specialists in women’s health, our gynaecologists can address any concerns you may have about menopause.

 If you’d like to discuss your menopausal symptoms with a GP, our Women’s Health GPs provide comprehensive in-room advanced women’s health care. No referral is needed

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