Menopause sweating is one of the more common symptoms during this time of life. The good news is it tends to ease up once your hormones settle. Read on.
The hot flash is one of the stars of menopause. And it can be accompanied by a sidekick: menopause sweating.
Like most hormone-related issues, the matter is a little complicated.
As you embark on your journey through menopause, there is a range of symptoms you could experience.
But how long and how often, and how intense these experiences are, tend to vary quite dramatically from one person to another.
And yes, menopause sweating is no different.
In this article: 📝
- What does menopausal sweating feel like?
- Is it normal to sweat a lot during menopause?
- How long does menopause sweating last?
- Finding relief for menopause sweating
What does menopausal sweating feel like?
More than 80% of women experience hot flashes around menopause.
But not all of them will experience menopause sweating.
If you’re dealing with a sweating-hot flash combo, it may begin as an impossible heat in your head or chest that then radiates across your body.
You may feel pearls of sweat pop out of your skin, grow and roll down your face.
Before you know it, you’re sweating under your breasts, between your inner thighs, or down your neck and back.
Time slows, and your skin drips moisture.
After five minutes or so, the heat passes, and you’re left feeling damp and bothered.
It’s common for all of this to happen at night, in what is aptly known as a night sweat.
This can be really disruptive and get in the way of your sleep — so if you’re feeling frustrated right now, you have full license to be.
Is it normal to sweat a lot during menopause?
In a word, yes.
Sweating and menopause often go hand in hand.
No one knows exactly what causes sweating in menopause, but there are a few plausible theories.
The most common theory is the seesawing of estrogen.
It’s thought to impact the hypothalamus — a control center in your brain responsible for managing hormones — meaning your body is less able to regulate its temperature than it was before.
When your core temperature rises, your body’s natural response is to cool you down.
The hypothalamus jumps in by telling your blood vessels to dilate (expand) so as to get the heat out. And hence the red, flushed feeling.
But your body might also be taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to the cooling process.
Send in the sweat!
As the sweat evaporates from your skin, it takes the heat with it.
Another theory involves leptin.
This, in turn, causes, you guessed it, more sweating.
How long does menopause sweating last?
Hot flashes and menopausal sweating episodes usually last for around five minutes at a time and may repeat 20 to 30 times a day.
They often reoccur for about 2 to 2.5 years.
But for some people, they can last much longer than that — even carrying on for as long as 11 years.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to manage these symptoms.
Finding relief for menopause sweating
For around 10 to 15% of menopausal women, hot flashes and menopause sweating will be so severe they disrupt daily life.
Menopausal sweating can’t always be stopped in its tracks (sorry).
But there are things you can do to get some relief.
Lifestyle changes, non-hormonal treatments, and hormonal therapies can all help smooth your transition through menopause.
Know that there is no one right choice here because our experiences of menopause and our medical histories are all so different.
If you want to opt for medication, non-hormonal treatments like low-dose antidepressants have proven effective.
(An SSRI called paroxetine has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of hot flashes.)
And menopausal hormone therapy works for many people.
(Unfortunately, it’s not an option for everyone and may not be right for you if you have a history of cancer, blood clots, stroke, or high blood pressure.)
Some other ideas to keep you cool include:
- Dress in layers so you can peel off as you heat up.
- Keep hydrated with cool water.
- Avoid alcohol, spicy food, and caffeine as these can exacerbate hot flashes.
- Layer up at night so bedclothes can be adjusted when night sweats hit.
- Wear moisture-wicking underwear to draw moisture away from your skin.
- Sleep with a cool pack at your feet or under your pillow to beat the heat at night.
As your body adjusts to the new hormone levels, the symptoms that had you up at night or stripping off during the day may become a distant memory.
And if you’re looking for support through this chapter, head over to the Peanut community.
It can really help to chat with others to find out what worked for them. ❤️