New Study on Duration of Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms (Hot Flashes) Over the Menopause Transition

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Hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause typically affect women much longer than previously thought, a median of 7.4 years, according to a new study.
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at a group of nearly 1,500 women with frequent symptoms of the onset of menopause and found significant variations in duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) between ethnic groups.
African-American women experience symptoms for a median of 10.1 years, more than any other ethnic group. On average, Chinese and Japanese women experienced the symptoms for the shortest duration—5.4 and 4.8 years, respectively.
Women who experienced hot flashes and night sweats at a younger age tended to have them last longer, the study found, as did women with less education and greater levels of stress.
You can read more in this article.

After struggling with her own severe menopause symptoms and doing years of research, Ellen resolved to share what she learned from experts and her own trial and error. Her goal was to replace the confusion, embarrassment, and symptoms millions of women go through–before, during, and after menopause–with the medically sound solutions she discovered. Her passion to become a “sister” and confidant to all women fueled Ellen’s first book, Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness. As a result of the overwhelming response from her burgeoning audiences and followers’ requests for empowering information they could trust, Ellen’s weekly blog, Menopause MondaysTM, was born.

  • Linda Bailey

    I am a 64 year old African-American woman. I have been suffering with night sweats since 1999. I have tried everything. Some products work for awhile and then stop bringing back the symptoms worse than before. Don’t know what else to do. I watch what I eat and exercise weekly. Hoping this stops soon.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Linda, I am so glad you reached out for support. Take a look at this Dear Ellen. there are lots of options to help you deal with hot flashes. Since you are over 60, it is not recommended that you start any hormone therapy. But there are other products on the market that are non-hormonal and various other things you can try. LMK if you have any other questions. More blogs and reading on hot flashes and night sweats here. Good Luck and keep me posted!

      • Linda Bailey, EdD

        Thanks Ellen for your response. I will keep you posted.

        • Ellen Dolgen

          My pleasure, Linda.

  • Lisa

    Ellen
    I’m a follower of almost 2 years which is when things went…well, crazy. Long story long, I’m 54, last cycle Feb. 2013, BAD stuff in 2013. I went in bioindenticals as soon as things got bad and 2014 was MUCH better than 2013 BUT I’m still confused and still looking for answers. While I feel much better I don’t know that I feel as well as I could. I think how you feel as well as your numbers should matter but for the most part the various practitioners I’ve seen are all about how you feel and don’t care much about the numbers. Since I feel so much better they don’t seem concerned that even though I’m on estrogen (.05 Minivelle patch/100 mg oral bio progesterone) my estrogen level has never been good. I want the health benefits of among a host of other things, potentially better cholesterol and lower blood pressure, of a good estrogen level. I was told by my initial provider that on HRT a feel good estrogen level is maybe 80-100 with the progesterone to estrogen ratio (which I can’t remember right now) being very important to avoid estrogen dominance. Do you know the ABC’s of all this? Any input would be hugely appreciated.

    • Ellen Dolgen

      Lisa, I am not a doctor. So I can’t really tell you how much hormone replacement is right for you. A good menopause specialist will be able to do that. Most of the research shows, that it is best to be on the lowest dose of hormone replacement – so most doctors start out low and then see how their patients feel. If they are still not sleeping, hot flashing and having lots of symptoms then they usually adjust the dose. Download my free Menopause Symptoms Chart. If you have marks on this – take it in with you to your specialist for re-evaluation. Remember that there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to your menopause numbers or treatment. At different times in your life you may need more or you may need less. If you are not confident with your Menopause Specialist here are some tips on how to find one in this Dear Ellen.

      • kim

        Hello:

        I am 57 years old and have been suffering with night sweats and daily hot flashes for a yr now. Also, the most unusual sweating. I feel like a need a heavy duty deodorant. I have never sweated like this. I was in a staff meeting yesterday afternoon. I could not raise my hand due to the fact I had sweat marks under my arms like a man. I have been on Prometrium 100 mg at night. Might I need an increase? is this common?
        Thanks!

        • Ellen Dolgen

          Kim, I am so glad that your reached out for help. Please go back to your menopause specialist and discuss your night sweats and hot flashes. These are a sign that your hormones are not balanced properly. If you feel it is time for a new specialist – read this Dear Ellen for some helpful tips. You might also find some helpful tips in this Menopause Mondays: Not So Hot – Hot Flashes! You do not need to suffer like this! Good Luck and keep me posted!