Cool Tips for Menopausal Hot Flashes

Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD


August 12, 2014

In This Article
Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD
Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Past President, American College of Physicians

Cool New Tips for Hot Flashes (and More!)

This edition of Staying Well looks at new treatment options for menopause. The menopause is a single event in life: a woman's last menstrual period. The average age at menopause is 51.5 years, ranging from 45 to 55 years.[1]

Because hormone therapy (estrogen alone after hysterectomy, or with progestin in presence of an intact uterus) is no longer recommended for prevention of chronic conditions, deciding who needs treatment is more personalized and individualized. The decision to treat is based on the presence and severity of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and dyspareunia. It also means matching the type of symptoms experienced by a woman with specific therapies, taking other current and past medical conditions into account.

Two new selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and an old depression medication (in a new dose) are changing the landscape of menopause treatment options.[2,3,4] Here is a discussion of the newest kids on the block.

Vasomotor Symptoms: Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot?

For some women, the menopause transition is a breeze. It's merely a blip on the radar screen. For others, it is an unending inferno. Hot flashes occur in 75% of women after menopause.[5] Ten years after their last natural menstrual period (menopause), 10% of women still experience vasomotor symptoms. For some women, symptoms last even longer. Up to 16% of women aged 85 years or older still experience vasomotor symptoms.[1]


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