There are ways for you to manage menopause symptoms and be in control of your experience. There are 34 common symptoms which you may experience. Every woman has a unique journey. Symptoms can be appear at any time - normally it seems to be the most inconvenient of times - and can feel completely unpredictable. There may actually be some patterns to it though - which is why tracking your symptoms can be helpful.
Tracking your symptoms is one of the first steps towards managing your menopause. Just as there is no set start to menopause, there is no 'normal' way to experience your symptoms. When you start to notice changes to how you feel - tune into them and keep track.
Tracking your physical/vasomotor symptoms will be the easiest. These include your common hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness etc. Keep a record of what time your symptoms arise during the day and how long they last. They may appear after triggers (like eating or drinking) so it can be useful to track those too.
Once you start logging symptoms - you may be able to identify patterns. Are they getting worse over time? More frequent or more severe? Are there clear triggers, which you could try to cut out? Tracking your symptoms can help you understand all of these questions.
Tracking psychological symptoms can be harder. Just acknowledging that your moods are changing, however, is a great start. With mood changes, you might find that the people around you notice them first (kids, partners, colleagues). So try to take note of what you hear - even if you may not agree with them. Psychological symptoms are, for many women, more impactful on overall quality of life than than physical ones.
Benefits of tracking
Tracking your symptoms allows you to do more than just observe. You can:
- Understand if things are getting better or worse
- Identify new symptoms
- Find potential triggers
- Track the impact of changes you make to see if they help
- Share your symptoms easily with healthcare providers.
Overall, tracking can help you feel more in control during the immense time of change that menopause is. It can empower you to start managing things yourself, and provide helpful information if you do decide you need medical help.