The hot flash might be the most well-known symptom of menopause, but there are a number of other menopause symptoms that women may find surprising.
Menopause is a natural process that typically begins in your 40s or 50s when periods stop and a woman is no longer fertile. The experience of going through menopause can differ from woman to woman, with some finding the process manageable and others facing more severe symptoms that impact their daily routine.
PGOMG’s providers are well-versed in helping patients manage their menopause symptoms, including some unusual symptoms that you wouldn’t expect.
- Insomnia – Is it suddenly difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night? Insomnia is actually a fairly common downside of menopause. Women may find that their hot flashes (“night sweats”) occur more frequently during the night and they wake up because they are uncomfortable.
- Physically painful intercourse – During menopause, gynecological changes like vaginal dryness or burning are known to occur and can lead to painful intercourse. You may also experience a lowered libido during and after menopause.
- PGOMG provides MonaLisa Touch for postmenopausal women who have experienced changes to their gynecological health.
- Osteoporosis – Menopause affects a woman’s hormone levels, putting them at an increased risk for osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disorder that thins your bones and weakens them. Women with osteoporosis are at a higher risk of breaking bones. A healthy diet high in calcium and vitamin D will be important during and after menopause.
- Prolapse – Pelvic prolapse occurs when the muscles that hold pelvic organs weaken and fail, so the uterus and other pelvic organs drop from their normal place. Pelvic prolapse is common post-childbirth and during menopause. Pelvic prolapse is typically treated with lifestyle modifications and exercise in order to strengthen pelvic muscles, though surgical options are available in more severe cases.
- Incontinence – In addition to pelvic prolapse, weakened pelvic muscles can also lead to urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence occurs when a person either cannot make it to a bathroom in time or urine is leaking accidentally, perhaps from coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
Regardless of whether these symptoms were expected or not, it’s important to note that treatment at PGOMG is available if menopause is negatively affecting your quality of life. We encourage women to discuss their symptoms with their PGOMG provider and ask to learn more about the range of treatment options for menopause management offered at PGOMG.