7 Uncommon Menopause Symptoms That May Surprise You
Everyone is familiar with the classic sign of menopause: hot flashes. Women of a certain age fanning themselves, opening windows, asking “Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” But are there other symptoms you can expect once you start to enter menopause? Every woman’s body is unique, so here are a few of the more unusual menopause symptoms you may experience.
- Dry Skin
Estrogen is responsible for skin elasticity, so as levels drop, you may notice that your skin feels drier and thinner, or you may notice wrinkles making an appearance.1
- Burning Mouth Syndrome
This is an unusual menopause symptom but one that does affect some women. The changing hormone levels in your body may lead to a burning or tingling sensation in your lips, tongue and mouth. You may also notice that some foods taste different, says a report published by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine.2 If your mouth is stopping you from enjoying your favorite meals and is causing you discomfort, talk to your doctor.
- Thinning Hair
Menopausal women may also experience thinning hair or female pattern hair loss. Estrogen dips may have an effect, though age and how you care for your hair may lead to hair loss, too. To see less of your hair in the shower drain, cut down how often you use a blow dryer and straightener.3
- Decreased Sex Drive
The decrease in a woman’s sex drive during menopause can be caused by a number of factors. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the decrease in sex drive may be due to fatigue, concerns about health, or many other emotional or physical factors. Also, lower estrogen levels decrease the amount of blood flow sent to the vagina, causing it to shrink, thin, pale and dry, which may make sex uncomfortable.4 If you’re just not in the mood, talk to your partner and address the elephant in the bedroom.
- Increased Tooth Decay
During menopause, a woman’s mouth tends to be slightly drier, which may result in higher levels of bacterial growth, says the American Dental Association. The purpose of saliva is to wash bacteria off your teeth, but if there’s inadequate saliva, the bacteria may remain and cause cavities.5 Make sure you brush regularly and visit your dentist every six months.
- Cardiovascular Disease
One more serious menopause symptom to keep an eye out for is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death among women. Make sure you continue to eat healthily and exercise regularly during menopause.6 Talk to your doctor about your heart health and cholesterol levels at your next appointment.
Women may experience trouble sleeping during menopause. Some women have trouble falling asleep while others wake up in the middle of the night with hot flashes.7
You should continue to visit your doctor regularly for physical exams. If you are experiencing any menopause symptoms that are interfering with your quality of life, make an appointment to talk to your doctor.
1Aguirre, Claudia, M.D. “Hormones and Your Skin.” The International Dermal Institute. http://www.dermalinstitute.com/us/library/76_article_Hormones_and_Your_Skin.html
2Dahiya, Parveen, et al. “Burning Mouth Syndrome and Menopause.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine. January 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570906/
3″Menopausal Hair Loss.” British Menopause Society. December 2015. https://www.womens-health-concern.org/help-and-advice/factsheets/menopausal-hair-loss/
4″Menopause & Sex.” Cleveland Clinic. March 15, 2015. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/sex-and-menopause
5″Hormones and Dental Health: What Every Woman Needs to Know.” American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/h/hormones
6″Menopause, Symptoms and causes.” Mayo Clinic. August 7, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/dxc-20342326
7″The Menopause Years.” American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. May 2015. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/The-Menopause-Years