It’s no secret that some women have hot flashes years after menopause, but are there factors that influence this?
Are you suffering from hot flashes even though you’ve completed menopause years ago?
Or maybe you’re simply wondering if women can have a hot flash here and there, years after menopause.
Yes, it can happen. A new study investigated over 10,000 postmenopausal women between age 54 and 65. The mean age in the study was 59.
Several factors were suspected as being somehow associated with hot flashes years after menopause.
These were age, body mass index, hormone therapy, hysterectomy, mood and lifestyle habits.
The women were given a questionnaire that included questions about medical history.
A follow-up questionnaire was given three and a half years after, which asked about lifestyle, skirt size when they were age 20 and current size, and if they were currently taking hormone therapy.
Most (89.6 percent) reported having the annoying symptoms at some time.
However, 54 percent reported currently experiencing the symptoms, which range in severity, duration and frequency from one woman to the next. Age was not related to the prevalence.
It was determined that the following had predictive status of ever having hot flashes or night sweats:
- Smoking history
- Previous hysterectomy
- Higher intake of alcohol.
As for current hot flashes or night sweats, the following had predictive value:
- Years since last period
- Less education
- Anxiety hot flashes years after menopause
- Feeling depressed
Interestingly, women who reported current use of hormone therapy (12 percent) were less apt to report current symptoms.
Past users of HT were more apt to have current symptoms, regardless of age.
The average timeline was that of having hot flashes (and night sweats) 10 years after menopause.
“Age didn’t seem to affect the prevalence or frequency of the symptoms,” says Professor Myra Hunter, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, study co-author.
“Health professionals need to be aware that women can still have hot flushes and night sweats in their late 50s and 60s.” Hunter adds that there exists a need for a non-hormonal, effective treatment for this problem.
“There needs to be increased awareness of this amongst women and health professionals and more research into future treatments.”
To learn more about hot flashes years after menopause, read the full investigation report in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (2011).
Of note: Hot flashes in women years after menopause don’t necessarily mean this relates to a woman’s cycle.
Plus, a night sweat actually refers to sweating overnight that leaves a person’s clothes and even bed sheets soaked.
Medical conditions can cause these symptoms, particularly night sweats.
Hot flashes can be caused, for instance, by an overactive thyroid. Night sweats have a variety of causes, including AIDS, certain medications, lymphoma and bone infection. Mayoclinic.com says that “they typically aren’t a sign of a medical problem.”