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What Do We Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause?

What Do We Know About Hot Flashes in Menopause?

It is 3 am, and while in bed, you are awakened by a sudden burst of heat in your face, neck, and arms that forces you, now drenched in sweat, to throw off the covers, only then to chill. With up to 75% of women experiencing this phenomenon during the menopause transition and 10% for a lifetime, what do we know about the biology of hot flashes?

Was The Women's Health Initiative Good Or Bad For Women's Health?

Was The Women's Health Initiative Good Or Bad For Women's Health?

Most women are familiar with the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), the largest randomized controlled trial to date, sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to evaluate the role of hormone therapy in menopause to protect cardiovascular and bone health. Begun in 1991 as a proposed 15‐year study, women in menopause with a uterus were randomized to take orally either a placebo or PremPro®, a combination of Premarin®, a conjugated equine estrogen (CEE), and medroxyprogesterone, a synthetic version of progesterone. Women with a hysterectomy were given either CEE alone or placebo. In part, this $725 million study was intended to resolve the controversy over whether menopause should be embraced as a natural transition in life, a position taken by the feminist movement at the time, or, as proposed by such books as Feminine Forever (Pocket Books, NY, 1968), that menopause was a hormone deficiency totally preventable with hormone therapy.

Menopausal Intimacy - What's Sex Got To Do With It?

Menopausal Intimacy - What's Sex Got To Do With It?

Many women reach menopause and wonder what happened to their sex lives. They feel a decreasing desire for vaginal sex but crave partner intimacy and trust. Sexuality evolves as we age. Intimacy is defined in this context by Webster's Dictionary as a close personal relationship marked by affection and love. It also has been used to denote sexual intercourse. Intimacy in menopause does not necessarily involve sexual intercourse.

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Intimacy And The Breast Cancer Survivor

Early detection and directed treatments have led to improved outcomes for women with breast cancer. Nonetheless, the gynecologic impact of these treatments is significant. In one study, 42% of breast cancer survivors experienced vaginal dryness, 38% reported that intercourse was painful, and 64% felt loss of libido. For many women, these changes affect her relationship with her partner directly, thereby increasing her risk of depression. Furthermore, medical treatment for depression can accelerate loss of sexual interest and further endanger the relationship. In one series, when 610 breast cancer survivors with normal sexual activity were given antidepressants, 57% experienced loss of libido.

The Pill Or The Patch? Are All Estrogens The Same?

The Pill Or The Patch? Are All Estrogens The Same?

Picture this scenario. You are 55 years old, three years into menopause, with hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness and pain on intercourse. Your care provider suggests hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, he recalls that in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) reported that of 10,000 women‐years, HRT produced 18 more women with blood clots, eight more with stroke, and seven more with heart attacks than those not on hormones. You have a family history of blood clots. You hesitate; is this for you?