“Each woman experiences hot flushes differently. Some can have hot flushes that are mild and quick, while others can have one a day or more than 20 a day”.1

Umbrella
What may the Hot Flushes Differences Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Hot Flashes/Flushes Cultural Differences
  • Hot Flashes/Flushes Differences
  • Hot Flashes/Flushes Individual Differences

Different Differences

Do all women have hot flushes?

No. In Managing Menopause: Don’t Let Symptoms of Menopause Reduce Your Quality of Life – Hot Flushes/Night Sweats the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

“About 60% of women experience mild to moderate hot flushes and night sweats, while 20% are severely affected, and the other 20% not at all”.2

Cultural Differences

What are some hot flushes cultural differences?

The (United States) Mayo Clinic note:

  • “Ethnicity. More African-American women report menopausal hot flashes than do women of European descent. Hot flashes are less common in women of Japanese and Chinese descent than in white European women”.3

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Who Gets Them? the author elaborates on:

“About 75% of women will have hot flashes. In the United States, African American women get the most severe and persistent hot flashes. Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women fall in the middle, and Asian women in the United States have the fewest hot flashes”.4

Individual Differences

What are some hot flushes individual differences?

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s (JH) explain:

“Each woman experiences hot flushes differently. Some can have hot flushes that are mild and quick, while others can have one a day or more than 20 a day”.5

PatternHot Flushes Differences

Do hot flushes follow a pattern?

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) note:

“Menopause-related hot flashes typically follow a consistent pattern unique to each woman”.6

Description

How may hot flushes be described?

DotS the description of hot flushes may vary. The IMS’s description is:

“Hot flushes usually start with a sudden sensation of heat or warmth, often accompanied by sweating, reddening of the skin, and palpitations. It usually starts in the upper body, and then may spread”.7

In Hot Flushes: Menopause the (United Kingdom) NHS’s (National Health Service) description is:

“They’re often described as a sudden feeling of heat that seems to come from nowhere and spreads throughout the body.[/su_mm_paragraph] You might also experience sweating, palpitations and flushing of the face”.8

The JH’s description is:

“Hot flushes generally start in the chest area and spread to the upper chest, then the neck and to the face, but can spread over the whole body. They have been described as a burning, overheating sensation with reddening of the skin and different degrees of sweating”.9

The (United States) National Institute on Aging’s (NIA) description is:

“A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. Your face and neck become flushed. Red blotches may appear on your chest, back, and arms. Heavy sweating and cold shivering can follow”.10

Women’s Description

How may women describe hot flushes?

The NHS explain:

“Women often describe a hot flush as a creeping feeling of intense warmth that quickly spreads across your whole body and face”.11

Heart Palpitations

What are heart palpitations?

DotS the definition of heart palpitations may vary. The (United States) MedlinePlus’ definition is:

“Palpitations are feelings or sensations that your heart is pounding or racing. They can be felt in your chest, throat, or neck. You may:

  • Have an unpleasant awareness of your own heartbeat
  • Feel like your heart skipped or stopped beats
The heart’s rhythm may be normal or abnormal when you have palpitations”.12

Start

When do hot flushes start?

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are You A Super Flasher? the author elaborates on:

“…when women have hot flashes varies dramatically. Some women will have them primarily in their 40s and 50s, when they are still having menstrual cycles, and others will start having hot flashes only when their cycles have stopped. A lucky few (about a quarter of women) will have no or few hot flashes over the menopause transition. Finally, another quarter of women are what investigators for this research have dubbed “Super Flashers.” These women will begin having hot flashes when they are still having menstrual cycles and will continue to have them well after their cycles have stopped. These “Super Flashers” will have hot flashes for well over a decade”.13

Average

How long does an ‘average’ hot flush last?

The IMS explain:

“An ‘average’ hot flush last around 3 to 4 minutes, but they may last for only 30 seconds, or they may last up to an hour”.14

According to the (German) Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care:

“Hot flashes last about three minutes on average. Their frequency, severity and duration can vary from day to day”.15

Frequency

How frequently do hot flushes occur?

In What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause? Hot Flashes the NIA explain note:

“Most hot flashes last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes. They can happen several times an hour, a few times a day, or just once or twice a week”.16

Frequency Pattern

Can the frequency of hot flushes change?

The NAMS explain:

“Their frequency usually increases during perimenopause, peaks during the first 2 years of postmenopause, and then declines over time”.17

Severity

Can the severity of hot flushes vary?

According to the IMS:

Hot Flushes Differences “In about 30% of women, these symptoms can be severe”.18

The (United States) Breastcancer.org explain:

“Seventy-five percent of the women in the United States experience hot flashes of some kind as they approach menopause and for the first year or two after their periods stop. Between 20-50% of women continue to have them for many more years. Most women have mild to moderate hot flashes, but about 10-15% of women experience such severe hot flashes that they seek medical attention”.19

Is there an association between hot flashes and the faster you transition from regular periods to no periods?

According to Breastcancer.org:

“Every woman’s experience is a little bit different. However, the faster you transition from regular periods to no periods, the more significant your hot flashes may be”.20

Can the severity of hot flushes change?

Breastcancer.org note:

“As time goes on, the intensity usually decreases”.21

Stop

When do hot flushes stop?

In Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are You A Super Flasher? the author elaborates on:

“It was long thought that hot flashes would last just a few years, right around the last menstrual period. However, we now know that they last much longer. For most women, hot flashes will last about 7 to 10 years; milder hot flashes likely last much longer”.22

In Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. How long will I have hot flashes? the NAMS note:

“A. Most women experience hot flashes for 6 months to 2 years, although some reports suggest that they last considerably longer—as long as 10 years, depending on when they began. For a small proportion of women, they may never go away. It is not uncommon for women to experience a recurrence of hot flashes more than 10 years after menopause, even into their 70s or beyond. There is no reliable way of predicting when they will start—or stop”.23

In Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? the NIA note:

“Research has found that African American and Hispanic women get hot flashes for more years than white and Asian women”.24

Health Care Provider

What if I need help with my hot flushes?

If you need help with your hot flushes, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The Mayo Clinic explain:

“If hot flashes become particularly bothersome, consider seeing your doctor to discuss treatment options”.25

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Symptoms of Menopause: Hot Flushes & Night Sweats. Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 16 October 2019
  2. Managing Menopause: Don’t Let Symptoms of Menopause Reduce Your Quality of Life: Hot Flushes/Night Sweats. 02 October 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/news/managing-menopause-dont-let-symptoms-of-menopause-reduce-your-quality-of-life Assessed: 16 October 2019
  3. Hot Flashes: Symptoms & Causes – Risk Factors. 10 February 2018. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hot-flashes/symptoms-causes/syc-20352790 Accessed: 16 October 2019
  4. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Who Gets Them? 14 August 2017 http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  5. Symptoms of Menopause: Hot Flushes & Night Sweats. Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 16 October 2019
  6. Hot Flashes. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  7. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Background Information: What Are Hot Flushes and Night Sweats? October 2011:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/wmd_media_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 16 October 2019
  8. Hot Flushes: Menopause. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/hot-flushes/ Accessed: 16 October 2019
  9. Symptoms of Menopause: Hot Flushes & Night Sweats. Last Updated 04 February 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health http://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 16 October 2019
  10. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause? Hot Flashes. Content Reviewed: 26 June 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-signs-and-symptoms-menopause Accessed: 16 October 2019
  11. Hot Flushes: Menopause – What Does A Hot Flush Feel Like? Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/hot-flushes/#what-does-a-hot-flush-feel-like Accessed: 16 October 2019
  12. Heart Palpitations. Updated Date: 12 May 2018. Page Last Updated: 02 October 2019. MedlinePlus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003081.htm Accessed: 16 October 2019
  13. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Hot Flashes Such A Big Deal? 14 August 2017 http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  14. Hot Flushes and Night Sweats – Background Information: What Are Hot Flushes and Night Sweats? October 2011:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2011/wmd_media_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 16 October 2019
  15. Menopause: Overview – Symptoms. Last Update: 24 August 2016. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279311/ Accessed: 16 October 2019
  16. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Menopause? Hot Flashes. Content Reviewed: 26 June 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-are-signs-and-symptoms-menopause Accessed: 16 October 2019
  17. Hot Flashes. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  18. Women and Menopause Fact Sheet: Facts. October 2012:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/wmd_general_menopause_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 16 October 2019
  19. Who Gets Hot Flashes and When? Last Modified on 29 March 2016. Breastcancer.org http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/menopausal/treat/hot-flashes/who Accessed: 16 October 2019
  20. Menopause Symptoms: Hot Flashes Last Modified on 19 September 2018. Breastcancer.org http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/menopausal/treat/hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  21. Who Gets Hot Flashes and When? Last Modified on 29 March 2016. Breastcancer.org http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/menopausal/treat/hot-flashes/who Accessed: 16 October 2019
  22. Thurston, R. Hot Stuff: What’s New About Hot Flashes? Are Hot Flashes Such A Big Deal? 14 August 2017 http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-take-time-to-think-about-it/consumers/2017/08/14/hot-stuff-what-s-new-about-hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  23. Menopause FAQs: Hot Flashes – Q. How long will I have hot flashes? North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hot-flashes Accessed: 16 October 2019
  24. Hot Flashes: What Can I Do? Content Reviewed: 26 June 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hot-flashes-what-can-i-do Accessed: 16 October 2019
  25. Hot Flashes: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms: When to See A Doctor. 10 February 2018. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hot-flashes/symptoms-causes/syc-20352790 Accessed: 16 October 2019
Topic Last Updated: 16 October 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 16 October 2019
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