Out of nowhere, your body heats up and is drenched in sweat within seconds. Or, you wake in the middle of the night with the same experience, only to find yourself freezing a second later as the sweat cools.
Collectively known as vasomotor symptoms, hot flashes and night sweats affect about 75% of women before, during, and after their transition through menopause.
If you’re looking for ways to turn down the heat on your menopause symptoms, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Denise Molina Furlong and our team here at Chicago Center for Women’s Health help women through every transition of their reproductive lives, including the often bumpy one through menopause.
Here are five ways you can manage your hot flashes and night sweats.
Hormone replacement therapy
If you want to go beyond managing your symptoms to getting rid of them altogether, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is your best solution. The North American Menopause Society describes HRT as the most effective treatment for such menopausal symptoms as vaginal dryness, night sweats, and hot flashes.
HRT works quickly to replace your lost estrogen, which puts an end to hot flashes and night sweats for most women.
Dress in layers
A good way to manage hot flashes during the day is to dress in layers and always have an extra layer on hand (usually the one that’s closest to your skin).
When you feel a hot flash coming on, you can quickly shed a layer or two, and then put them back on as you begin to cool off again. If you soaked through your first layer, you’ll be happy you brought along a replacement.
Keep cold water on hand
Another great way to manage a sudden hot flash is to always have cold water handy, which you can sip to bring down your body temperature. You can also use the bottle directly against your skin for instant relief.
Know, and avoid, your triggers
Many women find that their vasomotor symptoms are often triggered by something, such as:
- Spicy foods
While these are easier to avoid, many women find stress to be a trigger. To better manage hot flashes, and your overall health, we recommend that you focus on ways to relieve stress. Deep breathing, yoga, mediation, or going for a walk with friends are all effective stress relievers.
Staying comfortable at night
With night sweats, you’re often drenched, and the thought of getting out from under your covers isn’t all that appealing. It’s a good idea to have a change of pajamas in your nightstand, and you may even want to have an extra top sheet on hand.
Just like your clothing, make sure that your bedding comes in layers that allow you to accommodate every change in your body temperature.
The good news is that about 80% of women who experience hot flashes and night sweats only have to endure them for about a year or two.
If you have questions about navigating menopause, we’re here to help. To get started, please contact one of our two locations in Bedford Park or Oak Lawn, Illinois, to set up an appointment.