The Four Main Reasons Why Women Get Hot Flushes

It seems that hot flushes are the bane of many women’s lives during menopause – and certainly generate the most interest when women get together! Hot flushes come on without any warning and can range from being mildly uncomfortable to downright unbearable, and they have quite an effect on those around them too.

Symptoms can range from just a slight redness of the face to a full body sweat that leaves you wringing wet and generating enough heat to boil water, and for some women it is hot and cold sweats at night that can seriously disturb your sleep.

It’s estimated that around 30% of menopausal women will get some form of hot flushes. How affected you are will depend on several factors: your age, any hysterectomy or synthetic hormone use from Pill or HRT and of course our old favourite – the effects of oestrogen dominance on our hormones.

Hot flushes are very much more common in the Western world. There is no word in Japanese for instance to cover this phenomenon because they do not seem to suffer from it – unless they have switched to a predominantly Western diet. If you’re unlucky enough to suffer from hot flushes this article will help you learn why they occur. If you’re not yet a sufferer, then it will help you gauge whether or not you are likely to become one.

The Reasons Why

Although some lucky women escape completely, there are some very good reasons why many of us experience these blasts of heat that we associate with menopause:

1. Blood Vessels

Hot flushes occur when the blood vessels below the skin dilate. This causes more blood to rush to the skin’s surface, and that is what makes you look red and flushed, and feel that tell-tale rise in temperature. The body’s normal response to this is to try and cool you down, and it does this by making you sweat. What is unique about hot flushes is that this mechanism kicks in when the outside temperature can be very low and you do not have any signs of fever.

2. Fluctuating hormones

Well you know all about this during menopause, and in fact the changing levels of your hormones are the prime cause of hot flushes. When your hormone levels fluctuate they cause the temperature control mechanism in the body to be disturbed. The centre which controls this is in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. It seems that it’s changing levels of oestrogen and FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) that can upset this delicate balance.

Women having hot flashes usually have decreased oestrogen levels and increased FSH levels, but it is important to remember that it is the changes and fluctuations in the hormone levels – rather than the actual amount of hormone being produced – that produces hot flashes. For the majority of women progesterone will help control their flushes, but if they are severe then a balanced bioidentical cream containing both progesterone oestrogen will be more effective.

3. Surgical menopause

It’s to be expected that menopause symptoms come naturally when a woman’s childbearing years are coming to a close and the menopause or perimenopause is under way. However, women who have a hysterectomy or their ovaries removed at an age when they would not normally be going through menopause are more likely to experience more severe and frequent hot flashes after the surgery than in a natural menopause transition. This is usually referred to as a surgical menopause and the sudden drop in hormones can bring on severe symptoms in many cases.

Even if the ovaries are retained it’s no guarantee that an early menopause will not occur, as their effectiveness at producing progesterone will be affected and will diminish over time. After a hysterectomy a combined bioidentical cream will replace the lost hormones as it is a natural form of HRT and not a synthetic one.

4. Stress

We are all subject to stress in our everyday lives and mostly we cope, but sometimes it is too much for us and there is no question that it affects our hormones.  Progesterone in particular is depleted by stress and it is ironic, but not  helpful, that being anxious about having a hot flush or sweat in public is stressful and more likely to bring one on.
Doing everything you can to reduce your stress will help and something natural such as

These are some of the reasons behind hot flushes. I hope this article has helped explain why you may be feeling hot and bothered. After all, knowledge is power, and some women do like to refer to their hot flushes as power surges!

More information:

Start with your hormones and check their balance. Some women need progesterone, or a herbal supplement with phytoestrogens, and others with more severe symptoms may need both hormones to get symptoms under control.

Adding phytoestrogens to your diet, in moderation, can be helpful, as can using Rescue Remedy, a herbal supplement made from flower essences. Just a few drops on the tongue has helped many women stay calm by carrying it in their bags or into a small bottle of water and sipping from it through the day.

Try and identify what your main stressors are and do whatever you can to reduce or eliminate them where possible.


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  1. I am 71 and had a histr? When I was 27. Sence I was 70 I have been having these. Is there something I could do to help my self?

  2. I have suffered with migraines do to my period since 18 iam 58 no more periods occasional hot flash but still.get migraines…doctors still don’t have a cure except migraine meds..any suggestions.

  3. I started having terrible hot sweats and night sweats age 41. Last period was at age 55.5, and I am now 66.5, and I have had continuous sweats from age 41. Strong family history for cardiovascular illness and breast cancer. Painful intercourse. What advice can you give me?

  4. Hi I’m Bobbie a 25 year old with 2 kids I have had a tubal but I am at a loss on what’s happening to me I have hot flashes not normal mood swings some times real aggressive minstrel cycles sexual urges more than normal hormonal out bursts seems like the slightest thing irritates me also not like me I’ve had panic attacks every once in a wile that take a bit to get over I am so stressed out this isn’t like me I do have a long family history on both sides of my family of premenstrual women I’m wondering if that’s ways going on I haven’t talk to a dr about it yet just need advice on what’s going on

  5. I am 57 yrs and facing problem of hot flashes .for 7 yrs ,5 yrs premenopause &2 yrs post menopause. I had tab tibofen 2mg for 4 month s one yr back,still facing hot flashes though vagina ID not dry.

    • 20-1, which is a combination cream with the majority ingredient of bioidentical progesterone plus a small amount of two natural oestrogens in a well-balanced formula, would be a natural replacement for HRT and best for hot flashes that are severe. If not vaginal dryness and they are not severe then Serenity would be better.

  6. I am 18 years old and for the last month or so I have been having what seems like hot flashes. I feel like my entire body is in a sauna. I will be laying in bed or at work and i can feel my body temperature rising which then causes me discomfort and the need to take all my clothes off. I drink a lot of water and am on the Depo shot, I do not know why this is happening, but its driving me crazy

    • Ashley a depo contraceptive injection contains progestins and these do have side effects. As this will be active in your body for 3 months you need to discuss it immediately with your prescribing doctor to see how they can help you.

  7. I’ve been having hot flashes ever since I had my hysterectomy at a young age and I have even lost my desire for sex . I haven’t had sex in over 2 years but my husband knows that im not cheating on him ! I want my sex drive back and the hot flashes to stop , so please help me !!!

  8. I am 71 years old and have been on estrogen for 31 years. I have worn an estrogen patch and recently just estrogen pills. Is there anything that can help me?

    • Severe flushes often respond best to a combination cream such as 20-1, which is a combination cream with the majority ingredient of progesterone with two natural oestrogens added, Sharnette.

  9. I’m 47 and I sweat all the time and it’s just around my stomach and my back, my shirts stay soaked, it’s so embarrassing and I have never been one to sweat, I don’t know what to do for it.’….HELP

    • Have you spoken to your doctor Cherie as there can be a medical reason for this, but if hot flush related then 20-1, which is a combination cream with the majority ingredient of progesterone with two natural oestrogens added, is best for severe sweats.

  10. Hi. I am 35 years old. I had my right ovary removed about 3 years ago. I have always been a “cold ” person…freezing hands and feet, extra sweatshirts and blankets, extreme temperatures never bothered me and I never really profusely sweat unless I ran 5 miles in 80+ degree weather. My husband and boys have always complained that I keep it too hot in the house. Well…over the last 4-6 weeks it is like my body has completed a 180. I have had the air conditioning on since April (in Michigan) and STILL sweat like crazy. I know it’s very out of the ordinary because now my husband and boys are saying it’s freezing in the house and when in my car. I was at my mom’s earlier today (80 degrees and she didn’t have her air on) and was sweating like I just ran 25 miles in a sauna. Plus, at night I’m having a hard time sleeping due to my core feeling as if it’s 104.5 degrees. I don’t have a fever so I know it isn’t related to some type of infection. When I left my mom’s I was soaked. Sweat dripping off of my face, neck, LEGS and my hair was drenched. I know it wasn’t because she didn’t have the air on because both her and my husband agreed that it was warm in the house but neither of even broke a sweat. What is really out of the ordinary weird is when my legs sweat. They’re literally dripping off the back of my knees. I had a uterine ablation 2 1/2 years ago so what periods I have had since then have been light enough to where I only notice a small amount of “old blood” on a tissue after I urinate. Along with the extremely minute menstration, they’re also sporadic at best. Could i be starting menopause this early? I am not under an immense amount of stress or even moderately. Any help, advice or reassuring support would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks so much,

  11. So fed up with being soaking wet all day and note can u give me any information on what I can take coz I don’t want h.r.t

  12. I’m 63 yr’s old. Had hysterectomy at 38yr’s old, still have my left ovary. I have hot flushes all the time, leaves my head wet. Also every night have night sweats, wake up gown wet, hair soaked. What can I do to help this, so in embarrassing. Please help. Thanks,

  13. I am a 24 year old female and I’ve been getting hot flashes for about a year now I’m just curious what could cause that? Do you think it could be going through early menopause?

    • As the article mentions, there can be a number of reasons and stress is certainly one of them. Your age is certainly very young to be in early menopause but we suggest you do discuss this first with your doctor to eliminate any possible medical reason.

  14. I had a hysterectomy 7 yrs ago, everything removed. I started having severe hot flashes 6 months ago. I’ve been off her for a couple yrs because of smoking. How after all this time am I going through this?

    • Erin Women are subject to hormonal changes throughout their lives, as whether or not you have had a hysterectomy you are still producing hormones within your body, including oestrogen. This is implicated in hot flushes, as are increased stress levels or anxiety, both of which are common at menopause.

      If the hot flushes are severe you would do better with a combined cream such as 20 to 1.

  15. I have been getting super hot the past 5 or 6 months. I went through surgical menopause at age 30, I am now 66. These hot flashes can last 5 to 30 minutes. Can come and go often and then not have them for days.
    Weatherwise,,we live on Lake Erie and have just come out of winter. I can be cold to hot and cold again in 5 minutes
    Do you think this is normal?

  16. I am 46.i have been having this needle-like burning feeling all over my will leave for about 5minutes,then it will come and stay for at least 15-1 hour..It have me feeling like I’m about to pass out.No sweating on the outside,just inside..Is this a sign of stress or MENAPAUSING​

    • When get hot flushes for a variety of reasons Lisa, not all of them hormonal. Stress and anxiety play a part and fluctuating hormones are responsible for flushes not just at menopause but also when pregnant and even post menopause.

  17. Having night sweats post hysterectomy and would love to have the latest natural solutions that might help me cope.

    • Night sweats do respond better to a combination cream such as 20-1, which is a combination cream with the majority ingredient of progesterone with two natural oestrogens added, Nicole.

  18. I am 70 age I have hot flashes after a hysterectomy for 40 years ago I have been taking hormone bills I had to stop taking them because I had stroke last year how long will these heat flashes go forward