5 Tips for Dealing With Menopausal Hot Flashes

5 Tips for Dealing With Menopausal Hot Flashes

Every day in the United States, about 6,000 women enter menopause. Though side effects of this transition can vary greatly, one of the more common complaints is having hot flashes. Here’s how you can better weather the heat.

Each year in the United States, more than 2 million women enter menopause — that’s about 6,000 women every day! What each of these women can count on is that her journey will be her own. Some women sail through menopause with few problems while others are saddled with serious quality-of-life side effects.

Though no two journeys through menopause are alike, between 75% and 80% of American women do experience hot flashes.

If you count yourself part of this group and hot flashes due to menopause are having an impact on your life, you’ve come to the right place. In this month’s blog post, the team of board-certified OB/GYNs here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health is covering a few great tips, including a new medication that’s taking the heat out of menopause.

Why the hot flashes

This common side effect of menopause is a vasomotor symptom, and it occurs because the decrease in estrogen hormones that comes with menopause can disrupt your body’s internal thermostat. With hot flashes (or their nighttime counterparts, night sweats), your body believes it’s too hot and sets off a reaction that’s designed to cool you down. This is what creates the instant flushing and sweating that’s common with hot flashes.

Hot flashes usually don’t last long, but they can leave you drenched and vulnerable to subsequent chills.

Most women experience hot flashes as they transition through menopause and these can last one year, two years, or a decade or more.

Turning down the heat on hot flashes

If you’re dealing with problematic hot flashes during menopause, you can take a few steps to keep the heat down, such as:

1. Hormone replacement therapy

If the sudden drop in hormones caused by menopause is causing strong hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other related symptoms, hormone replacement therapy may be a good solution. 

By replacing your lost estrogen and progesterone hormones, we can put an end to those hot flashes and make you feel more like you again.

2. A new hot flash medication

If you aren’t keen on the idea of taking hormone replacement therapy, a new medication was approved by the FDA back in May 2023. Under the brand name Veozah®, this medication blocks receptors in your brain that regulate body temperature.

Veozah is available by prescription, and we can help you figure out whether this medication is right for you.

3. Avoid triggers

Many hot flashes can be triggered, so knowing what your triggers are can be helpful. Some examples of common triggers include:

  • Spicy foods
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

If you spend some time tracking the circumstances under which you tend to get hot flashes, you can try to avoid those same circumstances in the near future.

4. Dress in layers

Another great tip for dealing with hot flashes is to dress in layers. As you know, the flashes come quickly, and you can be drenched with sweat in seconds. When this occurs, shedding clothing quickly can be helpful. And it can be equally as helpful to have something to put on afterward when your sweat turns cold, leaving you chilled.

This layering also applies to night sweats and your bed — have layers of blankets or sheets that you can add and subtract easily throughout the night.

5. Have cold water on hand

This last tip is an important one. If you’re dealing with sudden changes in your body temperature, it’s a good idea to always have a cold glass or bottle of water on hand, which can cool you down quickly.

As you can see, there are plenty of options that can help you turn down the heat on your hot flashes.

To figure out which hot flash approaches are best for you, please contact our office in Mobile, Alabama, to schedule an appointment.