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Hot Flashes In Females- Causes And Management

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May 27, 2022
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Dr Kanika ChopraMBBS, MS Obstetrics and Gynecology
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MENOPAUSE– A stage that every woman has to go through at some or the other point in life. Many women have to really struggle and face a lot of issues that are a result/consequence or impact of menopause, while a few lucky ones have it smooth. Generally, the TOOTH/BONES/ HEART and other organs are slightly vulnerable that can be impacted. Once this starts, many women also have to get a hysterectomy done, which is a major surgery for women.

It is vital to take care of oneself very properly during this time, as the mood swings and emotional upheaval can be very stressful for women. In the recent years the age group.


Menopause is defined as permanent cessation of menstrual periods and is determined when women has experienced 12 months of complete cessation of menstrual cycle. The average year of menopause is estimated to be around 51.4 years. Natural menopause occurring earlier than above mentioned average year can be associated with higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, bone loss and cognitive function alteration.

This phase in the life of a woman is preceded by a period of menopausal transition i.e., the duration between the normal menstrual cycle pattern of a female to menopause. This extends for a period of 4-5 years. It is associated with irregular menstrual cycles and varied fluctuation in hormonal levels. In few, the irregular cycles may be associated with heavy bleeding also and there can be high risk of uterine cancer in such cases and need to be evaluated by a gynecologist.

The symptoms seen during this menopausal transition period and during menopause are hot flushes, sleep disturbances, mood changes and vaginal dryness. Other changes are deterioration in heart and bone health.

In this article, I will be discussing predominately about Hot Flashes. This is one of the commonest and most disturbing symptoms. It is seen in 80% of woman during menopausal transition and menopausal phase of woman’s life. It is described as sudden sensation of heat centered on upper chest and face that rapidly becomes generalized. This is also associated with profuse perspiration, palpitations followed by chills, shivering and feeling of anxiety. The duration of this sensation is usually for 2-4 minutes. The frequency of hot flushes can range from 1-2 times during the day to also every hour. Hot flashes can also be described as night sweats as it is seen to happen while sleeping leading to awakening and thus disturbed sleep.

Hot flashes can also be described as night sweats

The risk factors that may increase the possibility of having hot flushes more pronounced are:

  • Obesity or being overweight.
  • Smoking.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • Genetics.
  • Ethnicity of individual.

In initial years, it was thought that hot flushes in association with other symptoms of estrogen (female hormone) deficiency may diminish within few years of onset of menopause. But in Penn Ovarian Aging Study, the mean duration of hot flushes was found to be 10 years.

Hot flushes are due to estrogen withdrawal which leads to thermoregulatory dysfunction at the level of hypothalamus which is situated in the brain.

If not recognized and treated, hot flushes may also have an impact on the quality of life of the female and her near ones.

The intensity of hot flushes can be described on a four-point intensity scale:

1- Not present.
2- Mild which don not interfere with usual activities
3- Moderate where it interferes with usual activities.
4- Severe where symptoms are bothersome where usual activities could not be performed.

The woman should identify she is suffering first and speak out, take help and visit a gynecologist.

Even counseling can help in majority cases. First and most important therapy is behavioral therapy. This includes avoiding high heat, decreasing room temperature to the degrees you feel comfortable. Start observing the triggers causing hot flushes and try avoid them. Wear appropriate light clothing to prevent over heat. One can change their dietary habits and switch to salads and less spicy food. Intake of phytoestrogens which are plant-based estrogen can help in many. Phytoestrogens are found in soybean, lentils, chickpea.

Woman who are overweight and obese should follow a health dietary routine along with exercise in order to reduce weight. Even yoga and meditation can help in combating the problem especially when symptoms are mild.

Need for pharmacotherapy is required in moderate to severe cases. It requires a proper evaluation and then treatment can be started known as menopausal hormonal therapy which are hormones. The starting of this treatment and continuation requires proper follow up.

The starting of this treatment and continuation requires proper follow up.

So, the recognition of symptoms and taking proper consultation may definitely help. Majority problem can be solved by healthy life style and workout routine which will help in decreasing not only hot flushes but also other symptoms. Even cardiovascular and bone health can be improved with healthy lifestyle.


1)Freeman EW, Sammel MD, Sanders RJ. Risk of long-term hot flashes after natural menopause: evidence from the Penn Ovarian Aging Study cohort. Menopause 2014; 21:924.

Dr Kanika Chopra

Dr. Kanika Chopra (MBBS, MS Obstetrics and Gynecology) is working as an Assistant Professor in Lady Hardinge Medical College, New DELHI. She has also worked as an Associate consultant in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi in the minimally invasive surgery unit. A dynamic and diligent doctor, she was awarded the BEST POST-GRADUATE AWARD in her residency period and has received many prizes for her work. An avid writer and researcher, she has authored over 30 articles in both National and International Journals, and wellness magazines.

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