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What is the Relationship Between Menopause and Itching?

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  • Written By: Solomon Branch
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2016
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Menopause and itching can go hand in hand for some women. The relationship between the two primarily corresponds to the occurrence of what are called “hot flashes.” Hot flashes are instances of extreme heat and rapid heartbeat, and are a common side effect of menopause. The hot flashes seem to contribute to problems relating to already dry skin, which can also occur in menopause.

Translated literally, menopause means “monthly cessation”. It stems from the Greek words men, meaning “month”, and pausis, meaning “cessation.” It refers to the cessation of the monthly menstrual cycle as a result of the hormonal changes women go through, usually around middle-age. The main symptoms of menopause are a result of hormonal changes caused by the ovaries ceasing to function. Menopause is a complex, gradual process and affects different women in different ways.

Many hormones are affected by the onset of menopause, but the one most associated with itching is estrogen. Estrogen is responsible for, among many other things, maintaining the elasticity of the skin. During menopause, many women experience dry skin, at least in the beginning. This dryness can occur in many areas, but the primary areas are the vagina, the eyes, and the arms and legs.

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Itching associated with menopause is often unbearable and can last anywhere from months to years. The usual treatment for menopause is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and it replaces estrogen and other hormones. HRT is not without risk, however, and many women choose to forego it. Other treatment options can include using creams or emollients to keep the skin moist, herbal therapy, and homeopathy. It is recommended that itching be treated, regardless of the cause.

The relationship between menopause and itching, as understandable as it may appear with the involvement of estrogen, is not a totally accepted correspondence. Many in the medical community do not consider menopause and itching correlating issues. Often, it is considered more of a psychological issue than a physical one by attending physicians. However, the women experiencing menopause and itching often feel the occurrence of the itching corresponds with the onset of menopause and, more specifically, with the onset of hot flashes.

If a woman is experiencing unexplained itching, she may want to check for other symptoms including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. These symptoms can indicate the onset of menopause, occurring before the final menstrual cycle or after. Other symptoms can show up as well, including thinning hair, increased abdominal fat, and vaginal itching.

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Discuss this Article

SarahGen
Post 3

@ysmina-- I had itching when I entered menopause too. I promise you, it's going to go away, just be patient. My doctor gave me an antidepressant during this time, and it actually helped with the itching.

ysmina
Post 2

Isn't there a remedy for itching caused by menopause?

I just entered menopause ( I haven't had a period for six months). I have many menopause symptoms. I have hot flashes, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. But the worst menopause symptom is the itching. I get itching all over my body, but it's more intense on my arms and legs and seems to get worse at night.

I take oatmeal baths and apply cooling lotions, but it's not working. I hadn't imagined menopause to be this bad. I want to cry.

bear78
Post 1

Collagen which keeps our skin soft, supple and flexible also reduces after entering menopause. This is another factor that contributes to dry, itchy skin during perimenopause and post menopause.

Some women in menopause take collagen supplements and fish oil supplements or this reason. These help treat dry skin. I personally have been able to manage dry skin with all-natural moisturizers like cocoa butter, coconut oil and shea butter since entering menopause.

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