- Question from BevP: I have been having severe hot flashes since menopause (age 55). Now I'm 72. Effexor doesn't help. Why do some women have never-ending hot flashes for the rest of their lives? I thought they were supposed to only happen during the few years around menopause.
- Answers - Charles Loprinzi Dr. Goldman knows the answer!
- Mindy Goldman, M.D. Although it is true that most women's hot flashes resolve by about 3-5 years after menopause, about 15% of women persist in having hot flashes throughout their menopausal years. For many of these women, the severity of hot flashes may not be as great as when they first went into menopause.
- Charles Loprinzi It's unknown as to why these women continue to have persistent hot flashes. Some women who are overweight or particularly underweight may have more trouble with hot flashes than others.
- Mindy Goldman, M.D. We think that hot flashes are due to loss of estrogen and its effect on certain parts of the brain that have temperature control mechanisms, but the reality is even in 2008, we're not 100% sure what causes a hot flash. Because of this, it's harder to predict who will be in that 15% of women who do continue to have hot flashes throughout the remainder of their lives.
On Wednesday, August 20, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Managing Menopausal Symptoms. Charles Loprinzi, M.D. and Mindy Goldman, M.D. answered your questions about how you can manage menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and more.
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