I’m still a little ticked off that this body didn’t come with an owners manual, but of all the things I’ve been through menopause stands out for being a normal stage that half of the population goes through, yet is so little discussed. I didn’t think that I’d just stop bleeding like turning off a tap, but as far as it’s discussed it sounded like the bleeding tapered off, there might be some crankiness and a few hot flashes or night sweats, you had to worry about brittle bones and that’s about it.

Wrong wrong wrongity wrong wrong.

Menopause and perimenopause have a huge range of possible symptoms, some things you never think of, and some you’d never think were associated. I would like to put together a list of the possible symptoms of menopause that you’ve experienced, read about, or heard about from other women. I hope this will be a useful reference for all of us. I’ll start with the ones I know about, but first some notes:

Note 1: I want to hear from as many women as possible so I am cross-posting in the “This is What a Feminist Knits Like” forum on Ravelry (it’s a wonderful place for discussion, if you happen to be both a feminist and a knitter). I will ask permission to post symptoms listed here over there and vice versa, to keep both references as complete as possible.

Note 2: A friend of mine who’s gone through some alarming symptoms points out that one danger is dismissing something as “just menopause” when in fact it’s an indicator of a serious problem. So please be careful with this information – but for me at least, it’s less stressing to know that a symptom can be caused by something not harmful, even as I go to the doctor to check it out.

Note 3: Since my blog gets reflected in three places, I ask that you post comments for this entry only over at the LiveJournal entry, so they’re all in one place.

Symptoms everyone knows about (and even these are far from universal, except the first one):

menstruation ceases (duh)
hot flashes
night sweats
loss of bone density
vaginal dryness
less interest in sex