Still flashing after all these years…

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in hot flash | 0 comments


Depositphotos_18075391_xsOy! I’ve got some rather troubling news to share: your hot flashes may continue for up to 9 years after menopause begins and in some women, they may continue past the 10 year point.

Findings from the Penn Ovarian Study suggest that in women with moderate to severe hot flashes, almost half will see their flashes peak during the two years after menstruation stops and then they will continue to decline slowly to premeonpausal levels. Overall, in the 255 women studied, hot flashes lasted a mean 4.6 years among all women regardless of severity, while women with the worst symptoms had hot flashes that lasted nearly two times longer than their peers.

In this group of women, important factors influencing hot flashes included FSH levels before the final menstrual period, body mass index, and anxiety. And, not surprisingly, when the total duration of hot flashes was considered, including the time in perimenopause, African-American women had longer mean total duration of hot flashes (9.5 years) compared to white women. Previous studies have also shown that race is a factor when it comes to menopausal symptom severity and duration.

The study lasted 16 years and the researchers say that it’s not clear how the numbers would have changed had the women been studied longer.  Additionally, current hormone users and women who went into early menopause due to surgery were not included, meaning that the findings might not be generalizable to a pool of women beyond healthy African-American and white women with untreated symptoms.

Still, the findings show that women can expect their hot flashes to last an average of four to five years after their final menstrual period. This emphasizes the importance of preparation and establishing a relationship with a knowledgeable health practitioner so that regimens and strategies can be modified accordingly throughout the pause… The more you know!



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