Menopause and Burning Sensation: What Causes It and How to Deal?

Last updated 01.06.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


If menopause to you was only about moodiness, and hot flashes, then you are mistaken. It has a lot more symptoms associated with it than you could even imagine. The most common menopausal symptom that the majority of women – around 80% of them experience is hot flashes.

However, there are some less common or lesser-known symptoms of menopause that many people are unaware of – and a burning sensation is one of them. Here we are referring to the burning sensation that women may experience in their vagina, hands, and feet, or even mouth and tongue.

An acquaintance once said that when she was in her late 40s, she was more troubled by a burning mouth than by hot flashes. My cousin, too faced a similar experience. Her point of concern was vaginal itching and burning. Through these examples, I would like to highlight that not everyone has similar symptoms in menopause. Moreover, symptoms like burning sensation are less known, but that doesn’t mean no one experiences them. They are less common and less talked about, that’s why we are unaware of their existence.

So are you keen to know what causes a burning sensation in menopause and how to deal with it? You will get the answers to your questions in the article that follows. Read on to know more.

What Causes Burning Sensation in Menopause?

The main reason why women experience a burning sensation in their feet, tongue, vagina, or anywhere on the skin during menopause is because of the reduced estrogen levels. The hormonal imbalances could even lead to a deficiency in vitamin B12, triggering a burning sensation in the legs, arms, hands, feet, face, or other body parts.

Where Do You Get Burning Sensation In Menopause?

Where Do You Get Burning Sensation In Menopause

In menopause, the burning sensation may occur anywhere in the body. But, some areas are more sensitive than others. Let us discuss them in detail.

1. Vaginal Burning

When you experience vaginal burning, it could be highly uncomfortable. You will have a tingling or burning sensation in the genital area, even accompanied by inflammation and redness. You could even face a burning sensation in the vagina while urinating. There may even be itchiness and dryness due to fluctuating hormonal levels.

When you have a burning sensation in the vagina, it could be because of urinary tract or vaginal infections that aggravate during the menopause and perimenopause phases. The reduced estrogen levels also lessen the lubrication of your vagina, making it tight and dry, also causing associated symptoms like soreness, burning sensation, and pain.

2. Burning Sensation in the Tongue

The condition is medically known as burning mouth syndrome, where you can experience discomfort and pain in the tongue, lips, and mouth. The feeling would mostly be a scalding, tingling, or burning sensation. In this condition, some of the symptoms you are likely to encounter are a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth. Though a lesser-known symptom of menopause, a burning sensation in the tongue and mouth is likely to occur in around 40% of women as they are nearing menopause.

You might even lose your taste sensation. Besides the burning feeling, your mouth might even be dried. Women are more prone to this condition than men. Menopause is one of the reasons for the burning sensation due to low estrogen levels.

My friend, who had increased bouts of burning sensation in her tongue in her late 40s, would complain of difficulty in eating and drinking most of the time. Medication and home management techniques suggested by the doctor came to her rescue.

3. Paresthesia

This is a condition where you may have a burning, tingling, or pin-and-needle sensation in your feet, legs, arms, hands, or anywhere else in the body. When you get this in your 40s or 50s, along with other symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, etc., you could attribute these changes to menopause. The low and fluctuating hormone levels are to be blamed. If it is menopause-related, the burning sensation goes away once the hormones stabilize.

How to Deal with Burning Sensation in Menopause?

A burning sensation is troublesome and uncomfortable, disrupting your daily living immensely. Let us check out how to deal with a burning sensation during menopause.

1. For Vaginal Burning

When you are troubled with vaginal itching, burning, and inflammation, here is what you can do:

  • Wear breathable cotton underwear. Also, avoid tight-fitting clothes. In this way, you can reduce the vaginal region from getting irritated.
  • Avoid using scented soaps, scented toilet paper, and deodorant-based sanitary products, which could inflame or irritate your vagina.
  • To reduce the burning sensation and inflammation, applying an ice pack or cold compress will lessen the pain and irritation for the time being.

If you are persistently troubled with vaginal burning, you should talk with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Do not pass it off as menopause. It could even indicate underlying conditions like herpes and sexually transmitted diseases.

2. For Burning Mouth and Tongue

If you are troubled by burning mouth syndrome, doing the things mentioned below at home will relieve you.

  • Drink fluids as that will help to lessen the dryness in your mouth, providing relief.
  • You can even suck ice chips to lessen the burning sensation.
  • Do not have acidic foods like tomato or orange juice. Also, avoid coffee and carbonated beverages. These will intensify the irritation further.
  • Avoid alcohol and alcohol-related products. They could irritate your mouth’s lining.
  • Cut down on spicy foods as they could worsen the burning sensation.
  • Do not have mint and cinnamon products, as they could aggravate your condition further.
  • Some studies have confirmed stress as one of the reasons for burning mouth syndrome. Menopause means intensified stress due to fluctuating hormone levels, increased hot flashes, and night sweats. So, try some relaxation strategies and yoga to keep your stress levels under control. That will help to a greater extent.

Menopause isn’t the only reason for burning mouth syndrome. Other factors include dental problems, mouth sores, gastroesophageal reflux disease, endocrine disorders, vitamin deficiencies, etc. So, if you have recurrent episodes of burning mouth syndrome, you should contact the doctor immediately.

3. For Paraesthesia

When there is a burning and tingling sensation in your hands and feet, there are ways to manage it at home and lessen its severity.

  • Mix around 10 to 12 drops of essential oil with coconut, olive, or any other carrier oil. Massage your hands, feet, or areas where you are experiencing the burning sensation well. When you do this regularly, it helps to repair the damaged nerve and will make you feel better.
  • During a burning or tingling sensation, a warm compress helps to improve blood circulation and provides relief.
  • You must take specific measures to avoid or lessen the incidence of paraesthesia in the future. These include eating a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, and fruits rich in vitamin B. You must also exercise well to improve blood circulation in your hands, feet, and entire body. Sleep well, quit smoking, and lessen your caffeine and alcohol intake.

Like the other conditions mentioned above, paraesthesia might mean something serious, too. So, if the tingling and burning sensation aggravates to the extent that it is challenging to do your daily chores, seek medical help immediately.

FAQs

Can you have itching and burning sensations in menopause?

Yes, the fluctuating and reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone make the skin dried and itchy in various parts of your body, including the vagina and genital region. Teamed with itching is the burning sensation, as mentioned already. All of these and the other menopausal symptoms make things miserable for you.

Can hormone replacement therapy help control the burning sensation caused by menopause?

Hormone replacement therapy balances the estrogen levels lost by the body. It helps alleviate menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, and even burning sensations. However, the effectiveness of hormone therapy depends on your overall health and also the kind of therapy you choose. So, it is always essential to consult the doctor before opting for it. He will help you to make the best choice.

When should you consult the doctor about a burning sensation in menopause?

Irrespective of where you have the burning sensation – vagina, hands and feet, or tongue and mouth it is always essential to consult the doctor if it is a recurring problem and affects your daily living.
If the burning sensation is due to menopause, it will subside once the hormonal fluctuations subside in the post-menopause phase. But, sometimes, the reasons could be any underlying condition. That’s why a doctor’s consultation is the need of the hour.

Conclusion

Menopause and the time that precedes it, i.e., the perimenopause phase, may be challenging, especially if you do not know the way to cope with it. Alongside the hot flashes, sleep deficiencies, and night sweats, when you have burning sensations all over your body, it could be all the more troublesome. You cannot avoid the deeds of the hormones, but by living a proper lifestyle and eating healthy, you can lessen the incidence to a greater extent.

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.