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Are there any non-hormonal alternatives to combat hot flashes?

Are there any non-hormonal alternatives to combat hot flashes?

Question: Are there any non-hormonal alternatives to combat hot flashes?

Menopause Transition: Don't Miss This Important Preventative Health Opportunity

Menopause Transition: Don't Miss This Important Preventative Health Opportunity

Sometime between ages 45 and 55, for many women, gynecologic and related health issues begin to emerge. Menstrual cycles now seem different, mood swings and memory lapses appear, and sleep becomes more chaotic, coupled with warm flushes. And the weight! Why at the mid-section? These irritating acknowledgments belie a more ominous change. During this menopause transition, loosely referred to as “perimenopause,” events are unfolding that have an impact on a woman’s cardiovascular risk.

Hot Flash Connection to Puberty

Hot Flash Connection to Puberty

Puberty is a dynamic process that occurs as young women emerge into their reproductive lives.  The prepubertal process begins in the hypothalamus.  There, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone neurons secrete gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH).  Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone, in turn, enters the portal system in pulses, stimulating the pituitary to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), both of which act on the maturing ovary to initiate the production of estrogens and androgens and then progesterone once ovulation occurs.  Once produced, rising levels of estrogen communicate back to the hypothalamus to slow the process.  But how does estrogen control this feedback process since there are no estrogen receptors on the GnRH neurons?  And what does this have to do with menopausal hot flashes?

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?