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How Long Do Hot Flashes Last During Menopause

Can Menopause Cause Depression

How Long Does Menopause Last?

Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not be sleeping well because of hot flashes and you may be experiencing mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isnt another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.

Is It Normal To Have Hot Flashes At Night

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.

Are There Any Risks Related To Hormone Therapy

Like most prescribed medications, there are risks for hormone therapy. Some known health risks include:

  • Endometrial cancer .
  • Gallstones and gallbladder issues.

Going on hormone therapy is an individualized decision. Discuss all past medical conditions and your family history with your healthcare provider to understand the risks versus benefits of hormone therapy for you.

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Can Menopause Affect My Sex Drive

Yes, menopause can affect your sex drive but it doesnt mean your sex life is over.

Dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can make you feel less sexual desire. The symptoms can also affect your sleep and lower your energy which might make you not so into sex. Vaginal dryness and decreased sensation can also feel like a turn-off. Its also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss while going through menopause.

If you lose interest in sex during this time, itll probably come back when your symptoms stop.

A pretty common symptom that can affect your sexual desire is vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.

For symptoms that affect your sex life, trying one or more of these things can help:

  • Use water- or silicone-based lube when you have sex. You can buy lube at most drugstores or online.

  • Give your yourself more time to feel aroused. Moisture from being aroused protects sensitive tissues.

  • Have sex and/or masturbate more often. This increases blood flow to your vagina, which helps keep your vaginal tissue healthy.

Some people may actually find that they want to have sex MORE after menopause, because they dont have to worry about getting pregnant. This may give you a sense of freedom to enjoy a renewed and exciting sex life.

Menopause is a natural biological process. And while it marks the end of your ability to get pregnant, it definitely doesnt have to be the end of your sexuality.

How Long Do Flushes Go On

How Long Do Hot Flashes Last During Menopause

The most common time for hot flushes to occur is approximately 1 year after menopause, but the overall duration of hot flushes is unclear. Generally, it is stated that the duration of hot flushes for most women is approximately 6 months to 2 years but more information is needed about the duration of hot flushes to be able to advise on the clinical management of menopausal symptoms.

Dr Ellen Freeman and colleagues in Philadelphia have reported on a study looking at this important issue. The goal of the study was to estimate the duration of moderate to severe menopausal hot flushes and to identify potential risk factors for hot flush duration among women monitored for 13 years in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study. Interviews at 9 to 12 month intervals allowed assessment of hot flushes. Duration of moderate to severe hot flushes in 259 women, was the main study endpoint, and a secondary analysis was performed in 349 women who reported any hot flushes. The investigators looked at menopausal stage, age, race, reproductive hormone levels, body mass index , and current smoking as potential risk factors associated with hot flushes.

The most common ages at onset of moderate to severe hot flushes were 45 to 49 years, with median duration of 8.1 years. Compared with white women, African American women had a longer duration of hot flushes.

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Other Prescription Drug Treatments For Hot Flashes

  • The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications have been shown be effective in reducing menopausal hot flashes. These drugs are generally used in the treatment of depression and anxiety as well as other condition. Paroxetine is an SSRI approved to treat moderate to severe hot flashes associated with menopause.
  • Clonidine is an anti-hypertensive drug that can relieve hot flashes in some women. Clonidine is taken either by pill or skin patch and decreases blood pressure. Side effects of clonidine can include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, or difficulty sleeping.
  • Gabapentin , a drug primarily used for the treatment of seizures, has also been effective in treating hot flashes.
  • Megestrol acetate is a progestin that is sometimes prescribed over a short-term to help relieve hot flashes, but this drug is not usually recommended as a first-line treatment for hot flashes. Serious side effects can occur if the medication is abruptly discontinued. Megestrol may have the side effect of weight gain.
  • Medroxyprogesterone acetate is another progestin drug and is administered by injection to treat hot flashes. It may lead to weight gain as well as bone loss.

    Some alternative treatments, however, have been evaluated in well-designed clinical trials. Alternative treatments that have been scientifically studied with some research include phytoestrogens , black cohosh, and vitamin E.

    What Causes Hot Flashes

    Its not exactly clear what causes hot flashes. Multiple studies are attempting to understand them. There is clear evidence that hot flashes result from hormonal changes in the body. Their connection to other health problems, such as diabetes, is also being studied. Obesity and metabolic syndrome are thought to increase the incidence of hot flashes. Some women barely notice hot flashes or consider them a minor annoyance. For others, the intensity may affect their quality of life in a rather negative way.

    • smoking or being exposed to cigarette smoke
    • bending over

    You may want to start keeping a journal about your symptoms. Write down what you were doing, eating, drinking, feeling, or wearing when each hot flash began. After several weeks, you may begin to see a pattern that can help you avoid specific triggers.

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    Other Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause

    Some other symptoms of menopause include:

    Certain lifestyle changes can ease hot flashes and some other menopause symptoms. A person can try:

    • limiting alcohol, spicy food, and caffeine if these make symptoms worse
    • using a portable fan or water mister when hot flash symptoms appear
    • dressing in layers so that it is easier to remove clothing and cool off
    • quitting smoking, if applicable
    • practicing meditation, mindfulness, and other mind-body interventions, which can ease stress and may help with hot flashes
    • breathing slowly and deeply during a hot flash

    Paroxetine , a type of antidepressant, may help relieve hot flashes in cases where lifestyle changes are ineffective, or a person wants to avoid taking hormonal medications.

    Most people take the drug at lower dosages than they would for depression. However, when someone experiences depression along with menopause, a doctor may recommend a higher dosage.

    Hormone replacement therapy replaces the bodyâs natural hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. As declining hormone levels can cause many menopause symptoms, HRT often provides relief.

    HRT may increase the risk of stroke, blood clots, heart attack, gallbladder disease, and breast cancer, so it is important to talk with a doctor to weigh up the risks and benefits.

    The safest strategy is to take hormones at the lowest effective dosage and for the shortest possible time.

    Hrt And Other Medications

    When Does Menopause Start and How Long Does It Last?

    Your GP can also talk to you about hormone replacement therapy , which replaces oestrogen. Its the most effective treatment for hot flushes. Theyll explain the risks and benefits of taking HRT.

    If you decide not to take HRT, or if its not recommended for you, there are other non-hormonal medications available. Dont suffer in silence. If hot flushes are affecting your day-to-day life, talk to your GP about what might work for you.

    If youre struggling with menopause symptoms, or want to support someone who is, were here to help. Theres lots of information, expert advice and signposting on the menopause pages within our Womens Health Hub, and you dont need to be a Bupa customer to access any of it.

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    Hot Flushes And Night Sweats

    Along with irregular periods, hot flushes are one of the primary signs of the onset of the menopause. For most women, hot flushes occur occasionally and do not cause much distress. However, for a smaller percentage of us, around 20%, hot flushes can be severe and interfere with quality of life and sleep. Women tend to experience hot flushes for about two years on average, but for a small percentage, approximately 10%, hot flushes can continue for up to 15 years!

    Hot Flushes And Sweats

    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 .

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    Remedies For Vaginal Dryness

    • Topical HRT – there are several creams and pessaries containing oestrogen that you can apply from once a day to once a week to relieve symptoms. Doctors recommend you tail them off every few months to check if you still need them. There is also a vaginal ‘ring’ which your doctor can fit, which releases small amounts of oestrogen.
    • Replens® – this is a non-hormonal vaginal moisturising cream which you apply every three days. It works much better than water-based gels like K-YJelly® and is available from your pharmacist as well as on prescription.

    When To See A Doctor

    How Long Do Hot Flashes Last During Menopause?

    At the onset of perimenopause, a person may wish to schedule regular doctor visits for preventive healthcare.

    Around perimenopause, doctors may recommend certain health screenings that sometimes include a colonoscopy, mammogram, and blood tests.

    An individual should not hesitate to seek a doctors care and advice to deal with disruptive menopausal symptoms. If vaginal bleeding occurs after menopause, a person should also seek medical attention.

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    How Long Does Menopause Last After Monthly Cycles End

    Symptoms typically increase during the first year after menopause begins . Hot flashes, chills, mood and sleep issues, and weight gain are all likely to increase during this time period. However, the exact onset of these symptoms can vary, with some women experiencing them during the six years prior to the loss of a monthly cycle. On average, these symptoms can last for around four to five years after the beginning of menopause.

    How Long Does Menopause Last On Average

    If you are going through menopause, youre probably wondering how long the symptoms will last. While the answer to this question is different for every woman, it lasts an average of four or five years. The nature of the symptoms also varies from person to person, and the specific timeline of symptoms is highly variable as well. Heres what you need to know.

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    Can You Get Cold Flushes Or Chills At Menopause

    Some women report sudden chilly feelings which sound very similar to hot flushes in the opposite direction on the thermostat.

    During and after a hot flush some women experience headaches, shaking and dizziness. These physical symptoms can compound psychological symptoms such as feelings of anxiety, depression and lack of confidence. If you’d like to read more about anxiety, panic attacks and social anxiety

    Other Causes For Hot Flashes

    Managing Hot Flashes During Menopause: Quell Your Internall Heat!

    When someone experiences hot flashes, a doctor can tell with a simple blood test if the problem is related to menopause or due to some other reason. Menopause usually occurs in the 50s, so when someone much younger has hot flashes, physicians will often look for additional causes. Some of the most common ones include:

    • Thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism, which causes an overabundance of thyroid hormone, can increase the bodys metabolism and lead to hot flashes and sweating. While hypothyroidism is the usual culprit in these cases, non-menopausal hot flashes can also be due to thyroid cancer.
    • Food and drink, including spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, can trigger hot flashes. While the symptoms appear after a meal or a few drinks, this type of hot flash can often be stopped by eating lighter and limiting or eliminating caffeine and alcohol.
    • Medication can bring on flushing and continue as long as you are taking them changing medications often makes the condition go away.
    • Stress accompanied by a rush of adrenaline can produce a feeling of warmth like a hot flash, so if you live a stress filled life, you may set off this reaction.
    • Hormone-secreting tumors such as pancreatic tumors override the organs ability to help the body function properly and can lead to hot flashes and sweating.
    • Other conditions such as HIV and tuberculosis can produce symptoms similar to hot flashes and night sweats.

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    Can Menopause Affect My Sex Life

    After menopause, your body has less estrogen. This major change in your hormonal balance can affect your sex life. Many menopausal women may notice that theyre not as easily aroused as before. Sometimes, women also may be less sensitive to touch and other physical contact than before menopause.

    These feelings, coupled with the other emotional changes you may be experiencing, can all lead to a decreased interest in sex. Keep in mind that your body is going through a lot of change during menopause. Some of the other factors that can play a role in a decreased sex drive can include:

    • Having bladder control problems.
    • Having trouble sleeping through the night.
    • Experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.
    • Coping with other medical conditions and medications.

    All of these factors can disrupt your life and even cause tension in your relationship. In addition to these changes, the lower levels of estrogen in your body can actually cause a decrease in the blood supply to the vagina. This can cause dryness. When you dont have the right amount of lubrication in the vagina, it can be thin, pale and dry. This can lead to painful intercourse.

    When Does Menopause Start

    Though menopause is defined as starting one year after the end of a person last period, they may begin experiencing symptoms earlier.

    According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age for a woman to reach menopause in the United States is 51 years. However, this age range varies. Menopause may happen early when a woman is in her forties or later when she is in her late 50s.

    The onset of menopause can also follow surgery that reduces ovarian function or hormones, such as a hysterectomy, where a surgeon removes the uterus, or surgery or other treatments for cancer. In these circumstances, symptoms may begin rapidly as an adverse effect of these procedures.

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    How Long Do Hot Flushes Last

    A hot flush can occur at any time of the day. It usually lasts several minutes, but on average they last around four minutes. You may have them a couple of a times of week or up to every hour. Hot flushes that happen at night are known as night sweats. You may carry on getting them for several years after your periods stop.

    How Can You Deal With Hot Flushes

    Hot Flashes During Menopause Last 7 Years or More ...

    There are some things you can do to help manage hot flushes yourself. Try these tips to stay cool, calm and collected.

    Avoid triggers. Although hot flushes can be unpredictable, you might find theyre worse after drinking alcohol or caffeine, after eating spicy food or when youre stressed, for example. Try keeping a diary for a few weeks to see whether you notice a link or trigger.

    Dress lightly. Wearing lighter clothing made of natural, breathable fabrics, such as cotton, silk or soft wool, might help you to keep cool. Go for looser styles rather than tighter ones. During the colder months, wear a few light layers so you can easily take clothes off when you feel a hot flush coming on.

    Layer your bed linen. The same principle applies at bedtime. Try to keep your room cool. Rather than using one heavy duvet, try layering a few light blankets and sheets made from natural fabrics. Sheets made with 100% cotton are usually cool and comfortable.

    Use a fan. Keep a fan in your bedroom and on your desk for times when you need to cool down. You can also carry a battery-powered mini-fan in your bag, or go for vintage glamour with a traditional hand-held fan.

    Carry a cooling spray. Keep a small spray bottle in your bag, on your desk or close to hand when youre at home. Fill it with water and give yourself a little spritz to cool down during a hot flush.

    Take a lukewarm shower. When you take a shower, aim for a temperature thats a happy medium rather than too hot.

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