Hot flushes in menopause

Hot flushes in menopause

Why do you get extra warm during menopause? Have you experienced hot flushes, redness, and night sweats? You're not alone, hot flashes and night sweats during menopause are a common menopausal symptom and they usually start at menopause (when your period stops). In fact, it is the most common signal that menopause has started.

When a woman enters menopause, the amount of oestrogen drops and eventually settles at a low stable level. Oestrogen has many functions in the body, one of which is to maintain endorphin levels in the brain that regulate the body's thermostat. During menopause, when oestrogen drops and the thermostat is disrupted, many women will experience night sweats and hot flushes.

Some women, as many as 25%, go through the menopause without hot flushes and sweats, and about 1 in 10 women continue to experience hot flushes even after the menopause, but this subsides over the years.

The hormonal changes of the menopause also mean that your sweat changes, perhaps becoming more abundant or more smelly. If, for various reasons, you don't drink enough water either, your sweat will become more concentrated and more smelly. However, it may also be that your sense of smell is changing and it is possible that only you (and not the people around you) feel the 'smell'.

It is common to get hot flushes during the menopause, but there are also women who become more cold and experience cold flushes. You may feel cold during the night even though you are wearing several blankets.

Getting hot flushes when you are not in the menopause is unusual but does happen. During pregnancy, hormones in the body change and this can disrupt the thermostat. It is not uncommon to experience hot flushes even then.

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