Marked by sudden overheating, sweating, flushed skin, a racing heart, anxiety, and even chills, hot flashes are arguably the most notorious symptom of the menopause transition. They’re incredibly common: 80% of people who undergo menopause experience vasomotor symptoms (VMS)—i.e., hot flashes and night sweats—an average of 4-5 times per day for approximately seven years, per the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. And for a lucky 25% of women in menopause, hot flashes are severe and last up to nine years (how fun).
Despite how disruptive they can be, hot flashes have long been billed as a normal part of the menopause transition that doesn’t requires medical intervention. (Though there are some treatments available to ease symptoms.)