When it comes to menopause, many women find themselves wondering whether the symptoms and changes they experience are normal.  Let’s take a look at some things that are normal and some things that aren’t so normal. Please remember that what is normal to one person may not be normal for another person.  Menopause is a unique experience and each woman will be effected differently.

Normal (But Severe) Symptoms

  • Heavy bleeding – if you have to change your pad or tampon more than once an hour for eight hours, you’re experiencing heavy bleeding.
  • Heart palpitations – if you can consciously feel your heart beating, you’re probably having heart palpitations.  They’re often described as feeling like your heart has skipped a beat, or that it’s beating too many times in a fixed time period.
  • Severe depression – different from just “the blues,” severe depression is marked by changes in eating and sleeping habits, and may last for several weeks.
  • High blood pressure

While these are considered normal when it comes to menopause, you should seek medical attention for them because they can be more serious than other symptoms and could be a sign of something more significant than menopause.

Normal and Common Symptoms:

  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems (specifically insomnia)
  • Mild depression
  • 10-15 lb weight gain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Bone loss
  • Lack of concentration
  • Urinary incontinence

Most women who have experienced menopause or who are going through it have indicated they’ve noticed all or most of these common changes in their body.

Uncommon Symptoms

  • Vaginal itchiness
  • Vaginal burning
  •  Hair loss
  • Breast tenderness
  • Muscle and joint aches/pains
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Growth of facial hair
  • Age spots
  • Brittle fingernails
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Panic/anxiety attacks
  • Allergies – new ones or ones you’ve had become worse than they were
  • Tingling in the feet or hands
  • Dental problems – change in gums, bad breath, etc
  • Thyroid problems – specifically the slowing down of the thyroid
  • Gas

It’s not always easy to classify symptoms as normal or uncommon because menopause is such a unique experience for each individual.  What you may experience during menopause as normal, someone else might not have.  That’s why it’s important to check with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have.  This is just a basic list compiled after researching the common and not so common changes women experience during menopause.

Menopause is a normal change that every woman will experience in her life. The best way to deal with it, is to be prepared the best way that you can. Meeting with your gynecologist to have a check up and ask any questions.  You can also read books about it as well as join and participate in message boards or forums.

Also, keep in mind that there are many different treatments you can use to help curb symptoms – whether they are common or not.  Herbal supplements, diet, exercise, and getting adequate sleep will all help you deal with the symptoms that do occur.