How Long Do Hot Flushes Last?

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This question can be read two ways, both “How long does an individual hot flush episode last?” and “How many years will hot flushes persist?” Keep reading to learn the answer to both these questions as well as more about hot flushes in general and potential treatment options.

Hot flushes may appear fifteen years before a woman hits menopause.

About Hot Flushes

Researchers estimate that as many as 70% of menopausal women experience episodes of hot flushes. Of these women, most report that their hot flushes involve a brief rush of intense heat that radiates throughout the body for a little bit, disappearing almost as quickly as it arrived. Women also report the following symptoms:

Profuse sweating

Nausea

Rapid heart rate

Flushed skin

Anxiety

These characteristics of hot flushes are all fairly common. If a woman is unsure if her symptoms are directly related to hot flushes, she should seek the opinion of a trusted doctor.

Hot Flushes: How Long Do They Last?

Typically, hot flushes do not last much longer than thirty seconds. Many women report that hot flushes leave almost as quickly as they arrive, barely staying long enough for other people to notice – though when other people do notice, women may of course experience additional discomfort. Some women, however, do report that their hot flushes last as long as ten minutes, although this is relatively rare.

Hot flushes that last for any duration of time can greatly disrupt a woman's daily life. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to mitigate their intensity or duration, such as regulating room temperature, wearing lightweight clothing, and avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, and excessive caffeine.

How Long Will Hot Flushes Continue?

Hot flushes may begin to appear as long as fifteen years before a woman hits menopause. Though they may be sporadic and less intense, these early hot flushes may frighten some women.

Once a woman does reach menopause – the time when her period has not appeared for a full calendar year – her hot flushes may not cease completely. As many as 85% of women who experience hot flushes still have episodes a full year after menopause, and 50% of those women report episodes of hot flushes as long as five years after menopause.

More Information

Women who are concerned about hot flushes have a number of treatment options, divided into the following categories:

Lifestyle changes

Alternative medicines

Prescription medications

Women can explore these links and then discuss their findings with a trusted doctor in order to learn more about hot flush treatments.

Other Related Articles:
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5 Foods that Can Help You Relieve Hot Flashes
Beating the Heat: Managing Menopausal Hot Flashes in Summertime
Hot flashes and hysterectomy
Home remedies that alleviate hot flashes during menopause

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