Why do hot flashes get worse at night? How to stop them?

Why do hot flashes get worse at night? How to stop them?
Why do hot flashes get worse at night? How to stop them?

Why do hot flashes get worse at night? How to stop them?

There comes a time in every woman’s life when her biological clock reaches the point when menopause begins. When it comes to a woman’s sexual fertility, menstruation is the milestone that signifies physical readiness to bear children.

And on the opposite end of time, menopause is the stage of life that signals the end of fertility for women.

Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when she stops having her period and occurs naturally between the ages of 45-50. However, there is no rhyme or reason to what symptoms are experienced or the duration of the phases of menopause from woman to woman.

One of the most notable symptoms of menopause and the period leading up to menopause are hot flashes. Below, we’ll go into more detail about the stages, symptoms, and how to deal with them, especially hot flashes.

Menopause overview

This natural process occurs when a woman’s ovaries do not release an egg (ovulation) and estrogen and progesterone stop the menstrual cycle. Diagnosed after 12 consecutive months without a menstrual cycle, women can begin to experience the transition to menopause in their 40s.

Doctors have found that the average age for women to start menopause in the United States is 51. However, several contributing factors can cause menopause to begin much earlier than the age of 40. There are several reasons that can cause this to happen:

Uterine cancer or endometriosis requiring hysterectomy surgery
Trauma and other injuries from incidents such as a car or sports accidents

Side effects from certain medical treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation
Menopause is actually only one of 3 stages that mark the end of sexual fertility and they include perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.

Perimenopause – This early stage, also known as the menopausal transition, marks the transition for women leading up to menopause. Typically, women enter this stage a few years before menopause is diagnosed.

During perimenopause, the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen and this decrease in estrogen production accelerates during the last 1-2 years of perimenopause.

These last few years of perimenopause are when women begin to experience well-known symptoms, which include physical, emotional, and hormonal changes due to a lack of sex hormones produced in their bodies.

During this phase, women will begin to experience irregular menstrual cycles until the menstrual cycle stops for 12 consecutive months.

Menopause – Once the ovaries stop producing eggs for a year, perimenopause ends. As discussed above, menopause is diagnosed when a woman has had 12 months without a menstrual cycle that is unaffected or not affected by any abnormalities, diseases, disorders, or injuries.

Low estrogen levels cause most women to experience a number of symptoms. On average, menopause lasts about four or five years, but some women may experience menopause for longer hot flashes.

Postmenopause – After menopause, when a woman goes 12 months after her last menstrual period, and for the rest of her life, she is in the postmenopausal phase.

This stage is classified according to the years after menopause, where symptoms will gradually subside.

However, there are some health concerns associated with the loss of estrogen levels as women age, such as decreased bone density.

With the increase in life expectancy, most women will live a third of their lives after menopause.

What do women experience during menopause?

During the time, months, or years before menopause, women may experience a variety of symptoms that are caused by hormonal changes in their bodies. In addition to decreased estrogen and progesterone levels, physical and emotional symptoms are very common and include:

  • irregular periods
    mood swings
    atrophic vaginitis
    weight gain and/or slowed metabolism
    dry skin and other tissues
    thinning hair
    sleep disturbances
    hot flashes/night sweats
    loss of breast fullness
    hot flashes

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