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More than half of Women have Hot Flashes for at least 7 years

Hot Flashes and Night sweats related to Menopause are not Short term. More than half of women may face these unpleasant change-of-life symptoms for seven years or more, a new study finds.

“Women should not be surprised if their hot flashes last a number of years,” said lead researcher Nancy Avis, a professor of social sciences and health policy at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Four out of five women experience hot flashes and night sweats in the years before their periods cease, leaving some with almost 12 years of unpleasant symptoms, the study found. And women who could pinpoint their final period reported symptoms persisted for an average of 4.5 years afterward.

The symptoms women experience are related to lower levels of estrogen and other hormones. Common among these symptoms are hot flashes — quick feelings of heat sometimes accompanied by sweating. Hormone Replacement therapy is one option but many women avoid it due to increased risk of breast cancer

Low doses of oral contraceptives can relieve hot flashes and night sweats for women whose symptoms start before they go through menopause.

Once they go through menopause, if they want to avoid hormone replacement therapy for an extended period, they “may then want to switch to a non-hormonal treatment.

Also, there are some simple suggestions that may help to relieve from hot flashes. These include avoiding alcohol,caffeine, , smoking and spicy foods; drinking cold water, and keeping one’s room cool. Women can also try some alternatives to medicines such as acupuncture; yoga; slow, deep breathing; and meditation these techniques also work sometimes in some women.

On average, these symptoms lasted for 7.4 years, but in general the earlier symptoms started, the longer they continued, the researchers found.

Those who had hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms before the transition to menopause suffered longest — 11.8 years was the midpoint for that group, the researchers said. And women who underwent early menopause suffered symptoms for roughly 9.4 years.

Women whose hot flashes and night sweats started after menopause fared better — reporting symptoms for a little over 3 years on average, the researchers found.

“Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. There are effective treatments available”