9 Unusual Menopause Symptoms That Might Surprise You - Earth's Secret

9 Unusual Menopause Symptoms That Might Surprise You

It’s three a.m., and your windows are wide open, your sheets are soaked with sweat, and, as usual, you haven’t slept a wink. 

As we grow older, it can feel impossible to know if the symptoms we’re experiencing are a sign of menopause, aging, or something else entirely.

Common menopause symptoms and when to expect them 

What symptoms might I get during menopause?

Did you know women can experience perimenopausal symptoms in their mid-thirties? 

According to the Mayo Clinic, full, on-set menopause is diagnosed after a woman has missed 12, consecutive menstrual cycles. This often occurs for many women in their early to mid-forties or early fifties.

Most of us think of hot flushes or mood changes when we hear the “m” word. Whilst they are the symptoms many of us are familiar with, there are other, common symptoms that you may not know about:

  • weight gain
  • chills 
  • headaches
  • vaginal dryness
  • discomfort during sexual intercourse
  • bloating
  • fatigue
  • anxiety 
  • depression

How long will my symptoms last?

There are three stages of the menopause journey: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. The duration and severity of your symptoms may depend on several factors, including your age, general health, genetics, lifestyle, and stress levels. 

Early symptoms of menopause (perimenopause) can appear eight to ten years before you transition to full menopause. During this time, your estrogen levels will begin dropping, and you may experience irregular periods, vaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flushes, or night sweats. 

Once you’ve entered full menopause, you may then go through many of the common symptoms listed above more intensely and frequently, including hot flushes, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, changes in mood, and night sweats. 

In postmenopause, most women will experience a reduction in the frequency and severity of their menopausal symptoms, but symptoms can continue for four or five more years. One study suggests that from perimenopause through post-menopause, on average, hot flushes can last a little over 10 years

On average, the menopause journey, from start to finish will begin for most women in their early to mid-forties (or for some women in their mid to late 30s) and end in their early to mid-fifties. 

According to researchers, most women will typically experience menopause in a two-year to a ten-year window.

9 unusual menopause symptoms that might surprise you


Have you noticed since the beginning of your menopause journey, you’re having trouble falling asleep and then staying asleep? 

Night after night, you suffer from hot flashes, while counting sheep until sunrise. A lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your mood and mental well-being, in general.

Why does this happen?

During menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels will drop significantly. 

These hormones play a pivotal role in helping us fall asleep and stay asleep. Also, since a reduction of these hormones can also cause hot flashes, anxiety, and depression, your sleep can be disturbed in multiple ways. 

How you could find relief:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may have a positive effect in reducing menopausal sleep disturbance, insomnia, or even anxiety. For example, the Sleep Foundation reports that relaxation training, changing negative thoughts about sleep, and stimulus control, such as only using your bed for sleep and sex, rather than reading or watching TV, can help alleviate the symptoms of insomnia. 

Also, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can provide some relief since it relies on estrogen but the organization, Women’s Health Concern reports including progesterone in HRT may be even more beneficial in reducing symptoms of sleep disturbance, and, ultimately, in increasing the amount of essential non-REM sleep.

Also, following a consistent sleep routine can be incredibly helpful. For example, going to bed at a specific time, and waking up at a set time every day can help your body reclaim its natural sleep cycle. A healthy diet, moderate exercise, and natural supplementation can all be great ways to have a positive impact on your sleep.

Brain fog or memory problems 

Is your weekly crossword puzzle taking longer than usual because you’ve been zoning out? Do you remember where you left your car keys? Or, did you forget why you needed to go to the food store in the first place? 

Brain fog—or difficulty concentrating or remembering basic facts—can occur at any point in your menopause journey. 

One study, however, claims that women in perimenopause may be more likely to experience these cognitive symptoms and, when tested, performed “significantly” worse than women in their late menopause or postmenopause phrases.

Why does this happen?

Research suggests a fluctuation and drop in estrogen and progesterone is linked to these cognitive disruptions. 

How you could find relief:

If your symptoms are negatively impacting your life, it may be a good idea to consult with your doctor to rule out other potential causes. Whilst these symptoms can fade over time, you may benefit from menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)— a combination of progestin and low-dose estrogen.

Exercise, rest, a healthy diet, and engaging in mental activities like reading, solving puzzles, etc. may have a positive impact on your symptoms. The good news is these symptoms are not permanent and seem to improve during late menopause and postmenopause.

Hair thinning or hair loss 

You may have noticed your shower drains clogging up, or that your hair is thinner than usual. For many of us, our hair is part of our identity. Menopausal hair loss and hair thinning all over the head, also known as female pattern hair loss (FPHL), can have a negative impact on our mood, self-esteem, and confidence in whether it will ever grow back again.

Why does this happen?

As we age, our hair follicles will shrink, which can cause our hair to thin naturally. With menopause, however, as our estrogen levels decline, the maintenance and new growth of hair follicles can become compromised, leading to thinning or hair loss.  Some women may also experience FPHL that can lead to more significant hair loss, a receding hairline, or baldness at the crown.

How you could find relief:

To find relief, you might want to change your hair maintenance routine. For example, if you always wear your hair in a tight bun, this could lead to more hair loss than normal. Also, aim to limit how often and for how long you use a hairdryer or straightener. Replace your go-to shampoo with a milder, all-natural alternative, and try to avoid chemicals like straightening creams.

HRT or MHT have been shown to help slow down or even stop the progression of hair loss. Also, in the UK, non-prescription Minoxidil is the only approved medication that treats hair loss in women. You may also consult your doctor for advice on natural hair tonics or even hair transplantation.

Dry or itchy skin 

Dry, flaky, and itchy skin is not only uncomfortable, but it can put some of us in a foul mood. Not to mention, constant scratching can even lead to skin infections.

Why does this happen?

Estrogen is responsible for aiding in the production of collagen and body oils that keep our skin smooth and hydrated. As our estrogen levels decline during menopause, our skin may become parched, flaky, and itchy.

How you could find relief:

While this menopausal symptom can be long-lasting, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to find relief. First, aim to stay as hydrated as possible, consuming at least two litres of water daily. 

Using natural moisturizers may also help, as can ensuring you wear sunscreen. 

Also, consider taking warm showers instead of steaming hot ones, as hot water can interfere with the moisture barrier in the skin, leaving it even dryer and prone to itching. Also, try to consume as many fatty acids as possible–so omega-3’s, fish oil from salmon, in addition to eggs, etc.

Changes in libido 

Sex is a mood-lifter in itself, but menopause may lessen your desire to slip into the sheets–especially after a sleepless, sweaty night. 

Or when you do engage, you may find that you aren’t as easily aroused or sensitive, or that you’re not as lubricated as normal.

Why does this happen?

The reduction of estrogen and testosterone are largely to blame–especially since estrogen plays a significant role in the blood supply to the vagina, which can cause less lubrication of the vagina.  Stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances can also affect our ability to relax or feel comfortable in our bodies.

How you could find relief:

To improve your physical comfort during sex, you may consider using a water-soluable lubricant. This can help to keep dryness and pain at bay.

You may also benefit from seeing a sex therapist alone or with your partner to explore ways to address these anxieties in the bedroom. Sex is only one form of intimacy, so you might want to consider cooking together, going out on a mid-week date, or indulging in a couple’s massage.

A dry or burning sensation in the mouth 

Sometimes referred to as Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS), this symptom is characterized by dry mouth, a feeling of numbness on the tongue and lips, and accompanied by a burning or scalding sensation. 

The Menopause Charity reports that 18-33% of all menopausal women will experience this condition.

Why does this happen?

Estrogen influences our level of saliva. With menopause, our salivary levels decrease, leading to less saliva production.

How you could find relief:

Staying hydrated is key to alleviating the symptoms of BMS. Also, you could speak with your doctor about taking an antidepressant, which could alleviate this and several other menopausal symptoms. Whilst HRT may also be effective in treating BMS, more research needs to be done.

Changes in vision 

Experiencing dryness in your eyes, high intraocular pressure, cataracts, or other vision changes can not only be dangerous for your safety but can also exacerbate other menopausal symptoms such as headaches and anxiety.

Cataracts are more serious, and even more difficult to detect, so pay careful attention to worsening symptoms such as seeing halos around lights when you drive at night, blurriness, sensitivity to light, or double vision.

Why does this happen?

When your estrogen and androgen levels decline, it can change your vision and even the shape of your eyes. If you wear contact lenses, this can lead to discomfort. Also, because of this drop in hormones, you may experience dryness, irritation, and redness.

How you could find relief:

Eye drops can help restore the natural moisture in your eyes. Also, if you are experiencing changes in your vision, consult your eye doctor and schedule an eye exam. Finally, warm compresses or taking omega-3 supplements can help alleviate physical discomfort.

Changes in taste 

Many of us find physical and mental satisfaction in indulging in our favourite foods. The last thing we want after a sleepless night or an anxiety-ridden morning is to buy our go-to gelato or cake slice, only to not be able to taste it.

Why does this happen?

When your hormones fluctuate, it can affect the mucous membranes in your mouth, and ultimately your taste buds. This can make our food taste different, and leave a bitter or metallic taste in your mouth. 

How you could find relief:

Hydration is key–so be sure to keep your mouth hydrated by drinking plenty of water or sugar-free drinks. You can also chew gum to stimulate your salivary glands. If you’re experiencing a metallic taste, you could also be low in zinc, so it may be worth consulting your doctor about taking a zinc supplement.

Increased cholesterol 

Low cholesterol is key to a healthy heart. Unfortunately, menopause may cause an increase in our cholesterol levels. If you already suffer from high cholesterol, or you are genetically predisposed to it, then you may want to keep an extra eye out for this symptom. 

Why does this happen?

When your estrogen level drops, your overall cholesterol may rise because of elevated levels of low-density proteins (LDL), aka, your “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides.

How you could find relief:

Avoiding processed foods and changing to a healthier, fat-free diet could help lower your cholesterol, in addition to engaging in regular exercise, and creating a consistent sleep routine. You may also want to talk with your doctor about supplements that could help lower your cholesterol, or if a prescription medication may benefit you.

Looking for some relief from menopause symptoms?

Menopausal symptoms can last for several years, wreaking havoc on your physical and mental health. It’s important not to let them interfere with your quality of life. 

Earths Secret’s all-natural, vegan, non-GMO Thrive Complex supplement can help you on your menopause journey by fighting menopause-induced fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, and even improve your digestion.

Rich in antioxidants and composed of five supplements, including turmeric, spirulina, reishi, elderberry, and ginger, this affordable complex will give your body the super nutrients it needs so you can feel your best every step of your journey. Menopause may be called the “change of life,” but you don’t have to let it change your life for the worse.

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