Symptoms and diagnosis

A wide range of symptoms

Each woman’s menopause experience is different. Reaching menopause can take years. It starts with perimenopause in the late 30s. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55.

Your symptoms might be mild or severe. They can change over time. Symptoms include:

  • Anxiety

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Hot flashes

  • Irregular or no menstrual period

  • Lack of sexual arousal

  • Mood swings

  • Muscle and joint pain

  • Night sweats

  • Osteoporosis

  • Vaginal dryness

Monitoring hormone levels

In some cases, your doctor might do blood tests to check your hormone levels. Tests can also check for other related conditions. Common tests check for:

  • Estrogen

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone

  • Progesterone

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone

Treatments and research

Helping you feel better

Menopause treatments reduce and prevent your symptoms. Our goal is to help you feel more like yourself. Therapies can also lessen the impact of age-related changes that occur naturally with menopause.

Lifestyle changes you can make include:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods

  • Dress lightly and in layers

  • Eat soy foods

  • Get plenty of exercise

  • Perform Kegel exercises daily to strengthen the muscles of your vagina and pelvis

  • Practice slow, deep breathing when a hot flash starts

  • Remain sexually active

  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga, tai chi or meditation

  • Use water-based lubricants during sex

Your doctor might suggest other treatments depending on your health and the severity of your symptoms, such as:

  • Bisphosphonates to prevent or treat osteoporosis

  • Hormone therapy

  • Low-dose antidepressants

  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)

  • Vaginal estrogen

Meet our team

Specialty menopause care

The menopause care teams at UW Health include gynecologists, a certified menopause practitioner and family medicine doctors.

Our provider

About our clinic

A certified menopause clinic

If your menopause symptoms are severe, our clinic can help. You might benefit if:

  • Other medical conditions make your menopause worse

  • Routine treatments do not reduce your symptoms

  • Your symptoms impact your ability to complete regular activities

  • Your symptoms put you at risk for other health issues

The area’s only certified menopause practitioner leads our program. Your menopause care team listens to your concerns and goals. We talk with you about your symptoms, health risks and lifestyle as we make your care plan.

We provide the latest in hormone therapy, natural supplements and attitude and lifestyle adjustments to reduce symptom severity. We help you feel like you again.

It’s important to continue regular check-ups with your primary care doctor. This helps prevent other health conditions that can occur with menopause, such as coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, urinary incontinence and weight gain.

Talk with your doctor about your menopause concerns. They can refer you to our clinic.


Care that’s easy to access