Can Heart Palpitations Be A Symptom of Menopause?

Nearly all women experience menopause unless they have their ovaries removed before puberty.

Menopause affects every woman differently and can happen naturally or be induced by surgery, illness, or medications. It disrupts hormone levels, which can cause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and more.

You may also experience heart palpitations during the different stages of menopause. This article discusses menopause-related heart palpitations, how to manage them, and when to see a healthcare provider.

Language Considerations

The words “female” and "women" are used here to refer to people who identify as women and have typical reproductive organs of a cisgender female. We recognize that some people who identify as women do not have the same anatomy as that depicted in this article.

Woman with chest pain while running

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What Are Heart Palpitations?

Heart palpitations feel like your heart is racing, pounding, skipping beats, flipping, or fluttering. This happens when you feel your heart rate speeding up, slowing down, or beating irregularly. The sensation can be in your neck, chest, or both.

Heart palpitations may occur with a hot flash and can make you feel anxious. This anxiety may also create a "vicious cycle" of stress and worry, which can cause your heart to beat even faster.

You may experience heart palpitations after eating, particularly after eating foods high in carbs or sugar. If these continue after eating certain foods, you may want to work with your healthcare professional to decide what foods to limit.

Seeking Emergency Care

Call 911 or seek emergency care if your heart palpitations are accompanied by tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, severe dizziness, and excessive sweating.

Are Heart Palpitations A Symptom of Menopause?

Heart palpitations are a common symptom of menopause for a variety of reasons. Changing hormone levels caused by menopause have a connection to how your heart works, which can lead to heart palpitations. This can affect women in all stages of menopause (from the mid-40s to early 60s on average).

In addition to hormonal changes some of the other menopause-related causes of heart palpitations may include:

  • Stress caused by sudden changes in mood and other mental health challenges.
  • Intense sugar cravings and consumption often experienced during the transition.
  • Overexertion through intense exercise and physical fitness efforts.

Hormone Level Changes

Heart palpitations may occur during menopause due to dropping levels of estrogen. Some women also experience them during pregnancy or their menstrual period as estrogen levels fluctuate.

The endocrine system, which produces hormones, plays a vital role in the heart. It helps regulate the heart rate and the amount of blood it pumps. An imbalance in the endocrine system can lead to heart palpitations.

Stress and Mood Changes

Changes in mood and the stress they can create are often linked to different types of cardiac arrhythmia. Fluctuating levels in estrogen and progesterone often lead to mood swings that prompt this stress, which can potentially lead to heart palpitations.

Intense Sugar Cravings

Menopause-related hormone fluctuations can also lead to intense cravings for refined sugar and carbohydrates. This is specifically unbalanced levels of estrogen and serotonin. Stress-related changes caused by adrenal imbalances can lead to especially intense cravings. When these cravings are acted upon they trigger heart fluttering and palpitations, especially while eating.

Exercise Tolerance

Whether caused by adrenaline surges or overexertion, it's not uncommon for heart palpitations to intersect with menopause and fitness routine. As you move through your menopause journey, you may need to adjust your routine to a lower-impact workout to help prevent heart palpitations.

Treatments and Management of Heart Palpitations

You can manage your menopause-related heart palpitations through a variety of clinical and lifestyle methods, including:

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): Since heart palpitations are commonly related to hormone loss, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help reduce them and have other heart-health benefits, as well. HRT may include the integration of certain hormone supplement medications, such as:

  • Yuvfem® (Estradiol) 
  • Premarin® (Conjugated Estrogens)
  • Ogen® (Estropipate)

Some women shouldn't take HRT, including those with some cancers. Your healthcare provider can help give you guidance on whether it's the right treatment for you.

Lifestyle changes: Changes in diet, fitness, and stress reduction may also help reduce the risk of heart palpitations, including:

  • Reducing sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Lower-impact exercise (walking or jogging as opposed to running, light strength training, etc.)
  • Reducing caffeine and nicotine consumption
  • Relaxation techniques (meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, massage, etc.)
  • Prioritizing sleep

Menopause Signs & Symptoms

In addition to heart palpitations, other menopause symptoms include:

  • Changes in periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness 
  • Dry skin 
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood swings
  • Low sex drive
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Urinary incontinence (leakage)
  • Headaches

When to See Your Healthcare Provider

Palpitations lasting a few seconds may be harmless. However, it’s best to see your healthcare provider so they can rule out a more serious condition. This is especially true if you have the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations that worsen or happen more often
  • Palpitations lasting longer than a few minutes
  • Palpitations accompanied by weakness
  • Increased heart rate 

Also see your healthcare provider if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure.

When to Seek Emergency Care

If you have any of these symptoms with palpitations, call 911:

  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (losing consciousness)
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest or jaw pain
  • Very rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)


Menopause can cause or contribute to heart palpitations through a variety of internal and lifestyle-related causes. As you progress through your menopause journey, you can work with your healthcare provider to help balance your hormone levels to reduce heart palpitations and also find ways to manage and treat them as they arise.

A Word From Verywell

Symptoms of menopause vary for every woman and can change as you move through the transition. Don’t be shy about talking with your healthcare provider if symptoms affect your activities of daily living or you feel worried. 

Infrequent heart palpitations lasting a few seconds may not be a cause for concern. However, it’s important to see your healthcare provider so they can rule out possible underlying health concerns. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What age does menopause start?

    Perimenopause usually begins when a woman is in her 40s or 50s, with the average age of menopause being 52 years old. 

  • How long does menopause last?

    Perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause, can take two to eight years. Once you’ve reached menopause (no periods for 12 months in a row), hot flashes can last another four to ten years.

  • When should you worry about heart palpitations?

    Heart palpitations become more concerning when they last longer than a few seconds, are frequent, or worsen. They are an emergency if you have a high heart rate that won’t slow down, chest pain, fainting, dizziness, or shortness of breath. 

  • How do you diagnose menopause?

    Diagnosing menopause is typically done through a medical history, symptoms, and menstrual cycle patterns. While laboratory tests are not generally necessary to diagnose menopause, your healthcare provider may choose to test hormone levels, especially if your periods stopped at an early age (before 40).

    It’s helpful to write down information when you are experiencing heart palpitations. Your healthcare provider will most likely ask you when they started, how long they last, what you were doing, and if anything helps them go away. 

  • What are the diagnostic tests for heart palpitations?

    Tests may include:

    • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): During an EKG, electrodes are placed on your chest to look at the rhythm and electrical activity.
    • Holter monitor: This is a portable machine you wear for a few days to monitor and record your heart rhythm. 
    • Echocardiogram: An echocardiogram is a non-invasive ultrasound test that provides a view of the heart as it works.
    • Stress test: A stress test looks at your heart under exertion, either while exercising or receiving a special intravenous (IV) medication.
    • Event monitor: This is a portable monitor you wear for a month. You can hit the record button when feeling heart palpitations or other symptoms.
  • What are some additional causes of heart palpitations?

    In addition to hormone level changes, heart palpitations can occur due to:

    • Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or stimulants (such as diet pills)
    • Arrhythmias 
    • Thyroid problems
    • Low blood pressure
    • Stress
    • Overexertion (e.g., over-exercising)
    • Medications
    • Heart disease
12 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine Heart and Vascular Institute. Palpitations.

  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine. When to evaluate heart palpitations.

  4. Low-carb diet tied to common heart rhythm disorder. American College of Cardiology.

  5. University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Heart palpitations: Frequently asked questions.

  6. Women’s Health Network. How to stop sugar cravings.

  7. The North American Menopause Society, NAMS. Menopause & Exercise, Menopause Management Tips.

  8. Cedars-Sinai. Study shows hormone replacement therapy may be good for your heart health.

  9. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Office on Women’s Health. Menopause basics.

  10. Takahashi T, Johnson K. Menopause. Medical Clinics of North America. 2015;99(3):521-534. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2015.01.006.

  11. John Hopkins Medicine Health Wellness and Prevention. Did I just have a hot flash? I’m 44?

  12. MedlinePlus. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels test.

By Brandi Jones, MSN-ED RN-BC
Brandi is a nurse and the owner of Brandi Jones LLC. She specializes in health and wellness writing including blogs, articles, and education.