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What are some symptoms of menopause that people don't usually talk about?

There are some symptoms of menopause that people don't usually talk about. Here are some things women might want to know about menopause.

  • Hot flashes may last longer than a flash. Hot flashes—caused by a drop in estrogen levels, which impacts that gland that handles body temperature—may not be over in a quick flash. They can be prolonged, especially at night.
  • Hair can thin. With menopause comes some bad hair days. Since hormones are fluctuating, hair can become brittle and dry. Women should opt for shampoos and conditioners that are mild and geared for dry hair, and avoid chemical treatments that can weaken hair.
  • Memory may not be as sharp. Since hormones are changing, women may be prone to forgetfulness and be less focused. Plus, the stress of dealing with bodily changes can factor into fuzzy thinking.
  • Skin may become dry. Oil production drops as estrogen levels decrease, and that can cause excess dryness that can lead to flaky skin. Use a heavier, richer and more hydrating moisturizer or facial oil (such as coconut oil) to help the complexion. Also staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help add moisture to the skin.
  • Women may suffer from vaginal dryness. Not only may lower estrogen levels impact the skin, they can also make vaginal tissues less elastic (and less able to expand) and drier and decrease blood flow to the area. That can lead to vaginal dryness, painful sex and itching in the vaginal area.
  • Women may not lose their sex drive. For some people, a decreased sex drive is associated with menopause. But for many people, their libido is better than ever. In fact, some women may actually want more sex.
  • Women may endure bone loss. Since women are producing less estrogen, bone loss can increase. And that can put them at higher risk for osteoporosis, a disease that weakens and thins bones, making them fragile and prone to breaking.
  • Women may have a different experience than others. One woman's dealings with menopause may differ from those of other women, even ones in the family. Rather than make it a competition, women should support and rally around one another other during this time of change.
  • Women might not think it's that bad. They might feel more creative. More balanced. More introspective. Indeed, women do find joy in life after menopause.

This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.