The full menopausal transition usually lasts about 7 years, but it can be as long as 14 years. True menopause does not occur until one year after your last period. Women often have questions about the menopausal symptoms that they are experiencing and wonder if menopause can cause nausea and headaches. The answer is yes. Different women experience different symptoms, though, and to varying degrees. However, nausea during menopause, your period, and pregnancy is quite common.
For some women, nausea and menopause seem to come together as a package. When we look at what happens during perimenopause and menopause, it isn’t surprising that this phase of life comes with so many physical symptoms.
During perimenopause, the ovaries start to shut down. This is because the ovaries have fewer eggs left, so their need to function decreases. As a result of this, the ovaries start to make less estrogen. The hormones don’t stop all at once though; they fluctuate quite a bit leading up to menopause. These fluctuations in hormone levels cause various symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings, hair loss, and more.
It is thought that the decrease in progesterone levels can cause nausea in menopause. Progesterone is another hormone that is produced on a regular basis during your reproductive years. It is produced each month by the ovaries after ovulation and helps regulate your cycle.
Just like with estrogen, your ovaries also produce less progesterone approaching menopause. Research has shown that low progesterone levels can cause gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, indigestion, and heartburn. These side effects of low progesterone can also lead to nausea. Menopause has also been shown to cause higher levels of stress and fatigue. These too can lead to nausea during menopause.