Hot flashes

What are hot flashes?

Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms (VMS), are sudden feelings of warmth which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. They result from decreasing estrogen levels and represent the hallmark symptom of the menopausal transition.

While hot flashes are normal, they can negatively impact quality of life for some women. Over 80% of women experience hot flashes around menopause, with symptoms often lasting 6 months to 5 years. However, around 10% of women experience moderate to severe hot flashes for more than 10 years!

What Causes Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes happen when the hypothalamus, the body's internal thermostat, becomes more sensitive to small changes in body temperature. This triggers:

The exact reasons why this happens are still being studied, but we know it relates to changes in estrogen and neurotransmitters like norepinephrine.

Managing Hot Flashes:

While hot flashes will eventually dissipate for most women, there are many things you can do to find relief in the meantime:

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