For most women, menopausal hot flashes last for more than 7 years

Vasomotor symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or night sweats, last for more than 7 years at menopause or during the transition period for more than half of the 1400 women seen in a study. The work was published in the medical journal Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Considering 51 as the average age at which menopause occurs , more than half of women persist with hot flashes until age 58. To date, not many studies have investigated the duration of typical menopausal symptoms. During the study, women of African American origin had longer duration of symptoms than Caucasian and Asian women.

At menopause

Menopause is characterized when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Physiologically, the events occur due to interruption of the secretion of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) by the ovary.

Vasomotor symptoms and night sweats are very specific signs of this period and can negatively affect women’s quality of life. An estimated 80% of women experience hot flashes during the transition to menopause. Another important and common symptom is weight gain.

The study in detail

This study carried out by Dr. Nancy E. Avis of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, focused on analyzing data from women in the menopausal transition period. The study was carried out between 1996 and 2013. The analysis focused on 1449 women who frequently suffered from vasomotor symptoms. These symptoms were manifested for at least 6 days during the two weeks prior to the study.

Pre-menopause and symptoms for more than 10 years

In detail, the average duration of vasomotor symptoms for all women participating in the study was 7.4 years. Considering premenopausal women, that is, the period before the average age at which menopause occurs (in the USA this age is around 51 years), the duration increases to 11.8 years. Remember that some women, whether premenopausal or not, never experience these symptoms.

Significant ethnic differences

If we look at ethnic groups, African-American women had an average of 10.1 years of vasomotor symptoms versus 4.8 and 5.4 years for Japanese and Chinese women, respectively. Among non-Hispanic white (non-Latino) women, the mean duration of symptoms was 6.5 years, and among Hispanic women, the duration was 8.9 years.

The hormone replacement problem

The average duration of menopausal symptoms of 7.4 years shows the limits of prescribing hormone replacement therapy for a short period of time, as is often done to prevent cancer.

The study concluded that because of the increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer with hormone therapy, there is a need to find new treatments that are safe for long-term use and that reduce hot flush symptoms. Create health recommends herbs like sage and cimicifuga to relieve hot flashes. However, always consult your doctor before starting any treatment.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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