Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Menopause: Managing Hot Flashes
Most women have
hot flashes at some point before or after
menopause. Hot flashes happen when
estrogen levels drop. While some women have
few to no hot flashes, others have them many times each day.
Hot flashes can be uncomfortable and upsetting. They can lower the quality of your sleep and daily life. But they aren't a sign of a medical problem. They are a normal
response to natural changes in your body.
Hot flashes usually get better or go away
after the first or second year after menopause. At that point, estrogen levels
usually stay at a low level.
You can make some lifestyle changes to reduce your hot flashes. And if those don't help, you may want to try medical treatment.
You also can talk to your doctor about treatments that may either
reduce or stop your hot flashes. These include taking low-dose
estrogen (hormone therapy) for a short time, taking certain medicines, and taking the herb black cohosh.
You can manage hot
flashes by making certain lifestyle choices. You can also take daily medicine.
Some measures help prevent or reduce hot flashes. Others can make you more
comfortable when you're having a hot flash.
North American Menopause Society (2012). The 2012 hormone therapy position statement of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause, 19(3): 257–271. http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-document-library/psht12.pdf?sfvrsn=2. Accessed August 27, 2015.
North American Menopause Society (2015). The North American Menopause Society statement on continuing use of systemic hormone therapy after age 65. Menopause, 22(7): 693. http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2015/2015-nams-hormone-therapy-after-age-65.pdf. Accessed August 24, 2015.
Shifren JL, et al. (2010). Role of hormone therapy in the management of menopause. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 115(4): 839–855.
Burbos N, Morris EP (2011). Menopausal symptoms, search date June 2010. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.
North American Menopause Society (2011). The role of soy isoflavones in menopausal health: Report of the North American Menopause Society. Menopause, 18(7): 732–753.
Other Works Consulted
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force 2012. Menopausal Hormone Therapy for the Primary Prevention of Chronic Conditions: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf12/menohrt/menohrtfinalrs.pdf.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Current as ofOctober 13, 2016
Current as of:
October 13, 2016
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Carla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
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