Rachel gets Persistent Hot Flushes

Are you feeling the heat of menopause like Rachel?

Rachel persistent hotflushes

Rachel definitely knows she is menopausal

Rachel works full time in retail management. She is 53 and started looking out for the signs of menopause when she turned 50. For her, the change of life was not subtle.

She has been having hot flushes for over two years now and the impact on her life is not trivial.

Hot flushes are not cool

Rachel used to be a self-professed “cold fish”. You know the one – the lover of electric blankets, fluffy duvets and always an extra layer (of merino!) when going outside. Not any more.

She knew what to expect with hot flushes but wasn’t prepared for her body to feel constantly over-heated. Just one look at Rachel and you know something is going on. Her face and neck are constantly red and her skin looks and feels dehydrated. And when the hot flushes come, she can literally feel the sweat dripping, and becomes conscious of body odour. This is so not cool when you are working in retail.

There are times when she just wants to hide from people. Her male boss doesn’t see her anxiety and she’s embarrassed to talk to him about it. She worries that she can’t perform her job and this stress seems to feed her hot flushes.

Oh and you should see Rachel’s bed now – a single sheet and she still gets drenched from night sweats – in the middle of winter!

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.