- Women's Health
Menopause and Hot Flashes Oh My
What causes hot flashes during menopause
Understanding menopause might help you when you are going through the effects of hot flashes, loss of sex drive, and mood swings. It can also help your partner, if you two can sit down together and discuss what exactly is going on. Yet in this day of instant information on the internet, many women still do not fully understand what menopause is, when it starts, and how it will affect them. There are two basic kinds of menopause, regular menopause that generally occurs after 40 and premature menopause that occurs before a woman turns 40.
What causes menopause
Depending on whether it is regular menopause or premature menopause the cause can vary. Regular menopause is caused by your body no longer releasing eggs. Every woman has a finite number of eggs, and when the body no longer ovulates menopause will occur. For women who go through premature menopause the cause can be a little bit different. If you have a hysterectomy for example you will go through menopause, other causes can be associated with some sort of damage to the ovaries including chemotherapy.
What is the typical age you will go into menopause
Most women typically go through menopause starting at age 40; however some of the symptoms can show up earlier. What is known as perimenopause occurs when a woman starts experiencing the symptoms of menopause but is still ovulating. Some women will go into menopause earlier this is called premature menopause and is caused by such things as premature ovarian failure or could be induced by surgery where the ovaries are removed for one reason or another.
What to expect
While not all women will experience the same effects there are some general discomforts that you might go through. The most common symptom is hot flashes. Hot flashes occur when your brain misinterprets what is going on with your body and tries to cool you down, the brain getting mixed signals will think that you are overheating and so will kick in the body’s natural cooling mechanism, this can cause a warming sensation, flushing of the skin, and cold chills. While the symptoms of hot flashes can be uncomfortable the good news is they eventually do go away, if you cannot handle them though there are some options to help alleviate the discomfort.
What to do to alleviate the discomfort
There are several options on the market today to help with the discomfort associated with menopause. One such option that women have tried and found successful is Amberen. Other options include hormone replacement therapy, and natural alternatives. Most doctors shy away from hormone replacement therapy and would recommend that you try natural alternatives first. These can include Black Cohosh, Vitamin E, Soy, evening primrose oil and flaxseed. All of these natural alternatives have been shown to help with the symptoms of menopause not just the hot flashes, and they are relatively safe to use. For more information on what is safe to use check out this list of top herbal remedies for hot flashes.