Sunday, August 14, 2022
HomeMust ReadCan You Have Hot Flashes Years After Menopause

Can You Have Hot Flashes Years After Menopause

Q: What Causes Hot Flashes

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

A:;The exact causes of hot flashes are still unknown, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brains thermoregulatory center, which controls heat production and loss, and is influenced by your hormones. During perimenopause, hormones start acting like a rollercoaster, with progesterone and estrogen levels changing in wide variations. These ups and downs dont settle down until almost 10 years after menopause.

Can Menopause Affect Sleep

Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

Hot Flashes Years After Menopause

New long-term research shows that hot flashes continue, on average, for five years after menopause. More than a third of women can experience hot flashes for up to ten or more years after menopause.

A recent study evaluated 255 women in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study who reached natural menopause over a 16-year period. The results indicate that 80 percent reported moderate to severe hot flashes, 17 percent had only mild hot flashes, and three percent reported no hot flashes.

Hot flashes are momentary episodes of heat that can occur with other symptoms including sweating and flushing. Changing hormone levels after cessation of menses are believed to cause hot flashes as well as other menopausal symptoms including insomnia, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, and memory problems. ;Hormone therapy repletes the hormones estrogen and progesterone the body stops making during menopause, and it has been proven an effective treatment for hot flashes.

Source: Ellen W. Freeman, Mary D. Sammel, Richard J. Sanders.;Risk of long-term hot flashes after natural menopause.;Menopause, 2014; 1 DOI:10.1097/GME.0000000000000196

You May Like: Menopause And Dizzy Spells

What Is Perimenopause Its When Menopause Symptoms Begin

Perimenopause or pre-menopause is a word that means around menopause. Perimenopause describes what happens to your body leading up to menopause. This stage typically starts about four to eight years before menopause.

When you enter perimenopause youll probably start to notice some early menopause symptoms like changes to your period or mood shifts. These changes happen because your bodys estrogen and progesterone levels are starting to naturally decline. As your ovaries produce lower amounts of these hormones, your body adapts. Its basically the reverse of what happened to your hormones as a teenager.

Will I Have Hot Flashes As I Approach Menopause

Can You Have Hot Flashes After Menopause

Hot flashes are one of the most common signs of perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause. Menopause, when your period stops for good, typically happens between age 45 and 55.

Some women experience the heat and flushing of hot flashes without sweating, while others sweat so much they need a change of clothes. When hot flashes happen at night, leaving you and your sheets drenched, theyâre called night sweats.

For about 75% of women, hot flashes and night sweats are a fact of life during perimenopause and menopause. A lucky minority wonât experience them at all. Some women will experience only mild hot flashes.

But for 25% – 30% of women, hot flashes and night sweats will be severe enough to interfere with quality of life, says Valerie Omicioli, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science and a certified menopause practitioner at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.

A single hot flash can last anywhere from one to five minutes and may occur a few times a week for some women or daily for others. When hot flashes are severe, they may strike four or five times an hour or 20 to 30 times a day, Omicioli says.

You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause

You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.

What Are Hot Flashes

Also called hot flushes, hot flashes often begin with the sensation of heat in the face, chest, or may start elsewhere and spread. There are external signs, such as sweating, and the skin feeling warm to the touch and becoming red.

While some women in menopause never have hot flashes, in the worst case, they can occur multiple times throughout the day. When it is hot outside, or a room is overheated, these symptoms can become exaggerated. They can also lead to night sweats and insomnia.

Read Also: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause

How Long Do Hot Flashes Last

The intensity and frequency of hot flashes vary. Some people experience them multiple times a day, and others will only have the occasional hot flash. Hot flash episodes usually last anywhere from one to five minutes at a time.

On average, hot flash symptoms last for seven or more years before and after menopause, though some people may have them for 10 years or longer.

The time at which you first start having hot flashes may indicate how long youll get them. For example, research has found that people who had hot flashes before menopause experienced them for nearly 12 years, compared to people who had their first hot flash after menopause, who experienced them for three years, on average.

Medications: Treating Hot Flashes And Night Sweats With Hormones

Facts About Menopause | Hot Flashes

Some women may choose to take hormones to treat their hot flashes. A hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries begin to work less and less well, and the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone declines over time. It is believed that such changes cause hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. There are risks associated with taking hormones, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, and dementia. The risks vary by a woman’s age and whether she has had a hysterectomy. Women are encouraged to discuss the risks with their healthcare provider.

Women who still have a uterus should take estrogen combined with progesterone or another therapy to protect the uterus. Progesterone is added to estrogen to protect the uterus against cancer, but it also seems to increase the risk of blood clots and stroke. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose that is effective for the shortest period of time possible.

Some women should not use hormones for their hot flashes. You should not take hormones for menopausal symptoms if:

Talk with your doctor to find out if taking hormones to treat your symptoms is right for you.

You May Like: Dizziness During Menopause

What Does A Hot Flush Feel Like

Women often describe a hot flush as a creeping feeling of intense warmth that quickly spreads across your whole body and face.

It typically lasts for several minutes. Others say the warmth is similar to the sensation of being under a sun bed, or feeling like a furnace.

The website healthtalk.org has several videos where women describe what a hot flush feels like.

Mirena And Other Forms Of Contraception Dont Affect The Onset Of Menopause

Mirena partially suppresses ovulation the release of an egg from its follicle to stop you from getting pregnant. Stands to reason that releasing fewer eggs will make the ones you have last longer and make you go into menopause later, right? Wrong.

Even if you dont ovulate, you steadily lose follicles as you get older. Mirena or any other type of contraceptive doesnt seem to affect the time it takes to get to menopause.

Recommended Reading: How Long Between Periods During Menopause

Treatments For Hot Flushes

Many women learn to live with menopause-related hot flushes, but if they’re really bothering you and interfering with your day-to-day life, talk to a GP about treatments that may help.

The most effective treatment for hot flushes is hormone replacement therapy , which usually completely gets rid of them. Your doctor will talk to you about the benefits and risks of using HRT.

If you have had a type of cancer that’s sensitive to hormones, such as breast cancer, your doctor will not recommend HRT and will talk to you about alternatives.

Other medicines have been shown to help, including some antidepressants and a medicine called clonidine.

Hrt Wont Act As Contraception Though

Menopause Symptoms No One Has Prepared You For

HRT contains estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone. Both should prevent pregnancy, right? Nope.

Each type of pill works in different ways. Birth control prevents pregnancy by overriding your bodys hormone release to stop you from ovulating. HRT replaces some or all of the estrogen your body used to make, but it wont stop you from ovulating.

So if youre not fully in menopause, you can still get pregnant while on HRT.

To prevent pregnancy, you have two options:

  • Use a birth control pill to manage your menopause symptoms.
  • Take HRT, but use a condom or other barrier method until youre fully in menopause.
  • Also Check: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells

    Menopause Symptoms At Age 45

    Around the age of 45 many women enter pre-menopause and start to notice the first signs that menopause is coming. For some women, the symptoms are mild and short-lasting. For others, menopause symptoms can be disruptive and long-lasting.

    Some of the earliest signs of menopause may include:

    Changes to your period

    Period changes are usually the first signs of menopause. For example, your period may start to happen every six to eight weeks. Or you may miss a couple months before it comes back again. You may also have a heavier flow or a lighter flow from time to time.

    That said, its important to know you can still get pregnant during perimenopause. So, continue to use birth control in the lead up to menopause as you normally would. Also, if youve missed your period and youre not sure whether perimenopause has started, consider taking a pregnancy test as a first step.

    Mood changes

    As your hormone levels change, you may find yourself more irritable, anxious, sad or forgetful than usual. Your sex drive can also decrease or increase.

    These changes are very typical as your body approaches menopause. So, be kind to yourself, practice self-care and ask for help if youre having trouble.

    Sleeping problems

    You may find it difficult to get to sleep, or you may wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep trouble can contribute to a constant feeling of tiredness, which can make you moodier.

    How Is Menopause Diagnosed

    There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.

    For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.

    Read Also: Intrarosa Pros And Cons

    Lifestyle Changes To Improve Hot Flashes

    Before considering medication, first try making changes to your lifestyle. Doctors recommend women make changes like these for at least 3 months before starting any medication.

    If hot flashes are keeping you up at night, keep your bedroom cooler and try drinking small amounts of cold water before bed. Layer your bedding so it can be adjusted as needed. Some women find a device called a bed fan helpful. Here are some other lifestyle changes you can make:

    • Dress in layers, which can be removed at the start of a hot flash.
    • Carry a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes.
    • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine. These can make menopausal symptoms worse.
    • If you smoke, try to quit, not only for menopausal symptoms, but for your overall health.
    • Try to maintain a healthy weight. Women who are overweight or obese may experience more frequent and severe hot flashes.
    • Try mind-body practices like yoga or other self-calming techniques. Early-stage research has shown that mindfulness meditation, yoga, and tai chi may help improve menopausal symptoms.

    Hot Flushes And Sweats

    News flash about hot flashes: They can last longer than you think

    Hot flushes and sweats are the most common symptoms of the menopause and can affect three out of every four menopausal women*. Characterised by sudden feelings of heat which seem to come from nowhere and spread upwards through the body, the chest, neck and face, hot flushes and sweats are probably caused by changes in hormone levels which affect the bodys temperature control. Women talked about their experiences of hot flushes and sweats, the effect on their life, and what they did to relieve the symptoms.Hot flushesSome women we talked with had either not had flushes at all, had noticed just occasional mild feelings of warmth lasting seconds, or had simply not been bothered by them. Others, however, had more intense hot flushes which happened throughout the day and night, lasting several minutes or longer and accompanied by sweating, dizziness, light-headedness and heart palpitations. One woman said she had about twenty hot flushes a day; another flushed every ten minutes throughout the day .

    Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

    When To See Your Doctor

    While hot flashes are common during menopause, some people get them intensely and often. In some cases, hot flashes are disruptive to a persons life and can greatly affect their well-being.

    If your hot flashes are interfering with your day-to-day life or preventing you from getting a good nights sleep, talk to your doctor. There are some treatments that you might be able to try that can help control hot flashes.

    Hot Flashes: What Can I Do

    Hot flashes, a common symptom of the menopausal transition, are uncomfortable and can last for many years. When they happen at night, hot flashes are called night sweats. Some women find that hot flashes interrupt their daily lives. The earlier in life hot flashes begin, the longer you may experience them. Research has found that African American and Hispanic women get hot flashes for more years than white and Asian women.

    You may decide you don’t need to change your lifestyle or investigate treatment options because your symptoms are mild. But, if you are bothered by hot flashes, there are some steps you can take. Try to take note of what triggers your hot flashes and how much they bother you. This can help you make better decisions about managing your symptoms.

    Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

    How Long Do Symptoms Last

    Perimenopausal symptoms can last four years on average. The symptoms associated with this phase will gradually ease during menopause and postmenopause. Women whove gone an entire year without a period are considered postmenopausal.

    Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are a common symptom of perimenopause. One study found that moderate to severe hot flashes could continue past perimenopause and last for a

    Researchers also found that Black women and women of average weight experience hot flashes for a longer period than white women and women who are considered overweight.

    Its possible for a woman to experience menopause before the age of 55. Early menopause occurs in women who go through menopause before theyre 45 years old. Its considered premature menopause if youre menopausal and are 40 years old or younger.

    Early or premature menopause can happen for many reasons. Some women can go through early or premature menopause because of surgical intervention, like a hysterectomy. It can also happen if the ovaries are damaged by chemotherapy or other conditions and treatments.

    Menopause Symptoms At Age 40

    Hot Flashes After 60

    For the vast majority of women, menopause symptoms dont start this early. If menopause happens before age 40, its called premature menopause. If it happens between age 40 and age 45, its known as early menopause. Fewer than 10 percent of women experience premature or early menopause.

    But if youre in your early 40s and are regularly experiencing symptoms such as changes to your periods timing or flow, hot flashes, mood changes or sleep problems, dont ignore them. Talk with a womens health specialist.

    A specialist like an OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife can work with you to determine whether your symptoms are related to menopause, or another reason such as hormonal disorders or other health conditions.

    Also Check: How Long Does A Woman Go Through Menopause

    Sharons Hot Flushes Start From Her Toes Travelling As A Tremendous Heat Through Her Body

    What happened with me the very first signs I had was around about a year ago when I started to experience hot flushes. And they became so bad at one stage that I would be stripping off in front of people just literally ripping my clothes off to the extent that I had to go somewhere private just to cool right the way down. If I could bottle it, Id make a fortune. Right okay, basically what happens and I cant describe them, its all of a sudden you are totally overcome by a traumatic, tremendous heat inside. Not outside, because you can feel cold outside. But a tremendous heat and it literally starts from your toes and it works right the way throughout your body and you know its travelling. Have you ever tasted Southern Comfort? Have you tasted a little Southern Comfort and as it gets down to your throat and then all of a sudden it sort of just hits your chest. And as it hits your chest, it sort of, I dont know what it does, but it warms up your body. Well you can imagine that happening, not drinking but that is a flush to me and I always used to think Oh I wish I could have them when Im working outside, when Im cold. And switch them on but you cant, theyll come anytime.How often do you get them? Oh gosh, I dont know, I mean my husband could probably pin point it more if Im with him all day long, ten, fifteen, twenty times a day.

    Night sweats

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles