Around 3 in 4 American women suffer from hot flashes during perimenopause, and 25% of women who do say their discomfort is significant enough to make them want to speak to a specialist.
At Physicians for Women in Madison, Wisconsin, our team of compassionate board-certified obstetrician/gynecologists and Certified Nurse Midwives is dedicated to providing comprehensive women’s health care, including support through menopause.
5 commonly asked questions about hot flashes
On average, the American woman starts menopause at around age 51, but the normal range stretches a decade on either side of this number. Hot flashes are one of the hallmark symptoms, but menopause isn’t the only cause.
1. What causes hot flashes?
Hot flashes may originate in the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature. At the onset of menopause, your hypothalmus can experience changes due to decreased estorgen that trick it into thinking your temperature needs regulation. This can cause hot flashes and chills in rapid succession.
2. Are hot flashes caused by anything else?
Thyroid disease can cause hot flashes as well as other symptoms that mimic menopause. If you’re pretty sure you haven’t entered menopause yet, but are experiencing hot flashes, you might ask your doctor to check your thyroid.
3. How long do hot flashes continue?
Women can have hot flashes for only a few months, or their recurrence can last for up to a decade from the first episode.
4. Can hot flashes be treated medically?
Prescription hormone replacement therapy is the typical method for treating hot flashes and other symptoms related to menopause. We can discuss the HRT method of controlling hot flashes with you if they disrupt your life. There are also several other medications that can be prescribed off-label to help with hot flashes.
5. Can herbal supplements stop hot flashes?
There are no known herbal supplements that have been proven to help with hot flashes. In addition, most herbal supplements aren’t regulated, which means you don’t know if they’re pure, safe, or even what they claim to be. It’s best to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, as many herbs have adverse side effects and/or can interact with prescription drugs.
You don’t have to be afraid of hot flashes, but you don’t have to suffer in silence, either. We can help you manage your menopause-related symptoms and determine if your hot flashes are due to menopause or are the sign of something else.
Need more information? Call our office at 608-218-4835 today, or schedule a consultation using our online booking system.