As women reach the age of 40, they begin thinking about menopause and how it will feel to move into the years of life when reproduction is no longer an option. For some women, menopause is like a rebirth with freedom from menstrual cycles and birth control options. Other women fear menopause symptoms will change their life for the worse. Here are 20 of the more common menopause symptoms.

Hot Flashes – An instant increase in body temperature leaves a woman feeling like her internal temperature has skyrocketed.

Night Sweats – Waking in the middle of the night, sweating profusely.

Lack of Sex Drive – Libido drops when hormone levels drop. Thoughts of sex many be few and far between without coercion from a partner.

Vaginal Dryness – Women often find they need lubrication for daily comfort and sexual intercourse.

Mood Swings – From happy to sad to depressed, moods can vary hourly, daily, or weekly.

Fatigue – Lack of sleep from night sweats can lead to lack of energy during the day.

Thinning Hair  or Hair Loss – Hair follicles require estrogen to grow.

Sleeplessness or Insomnia – Hot flashes, night sweats, and hormone levels make sleeping difficult.

Disorientation and Memory Lapse – Often associated with lack of sleep and estrogen deficiency.

Loss of Balance – May be associated with fatigue, stress, and estrogen levels.

Weight Gain – Slowing metabolism and low estrogen can lead to fat redistribution and storing.

Incontinence – Surgery, childbirth, and age are associated with this common menopause symptom.

Bloating – Another symptom associated with age, some doctors link bloating to lactose intolerance or diets high in sodium and low in potassium.

Body Odor – Associated with increased sweating due to hot flashes and night sweats.

Rapid Heart Beat – Typically occurring during perimenopause.

Depression – Estrogen is linked to serotonin levels. So less estrogen could mean less serotonin leading to depression.

Anxiety, Irritability, and Panic – These all fall into the mood swing category and are often associated with hormonal changes.

Headaches – Lack of estrogen can lead to menopause migraines. HRT should stop the pain.

Joint Pain – Linked to fluctuating hormone levels in the body.

Electric Sensation in Head or  on Skin – Thought to be linked to estrogen levels, pain or electric sensation can feel like a rubber band snap. Some women suffer this symptom before a hot flash.

These are just a few of the symptoms associated with menopause. As is the case with any chronic condition, some women suffer from a few and others suffer from many. A gynecologist can help work through the most severe symptoms and offer treatment options.