What are hot flashes?
Hot flashes are short episodes of intense heat sensation of the head, neck, and chest. When it occurs with a red face, neck, and/or chest it is called a hot flush. Some women experience sweating and/or palpitations (a sense of the heart beating irregularly) during these episodes. They can occur at any time without warning and usually last 3–5 minutes. However, they can vary from 30 seconds to 30 minutes. Some women have hot flashes/flushes up to 20X/day or more. Hot flashes/flushes can disturb sleep and can be awkward when they occur inexplicably in social situations.
The most common symptom of menopause and perimenopause is hot flashes/flushes, which are estimated to occur in up to 80% of women. Bothersome hot flashes can occur day or night. Nighttime hot flashes often cause night sweats and can interrupt a woman’s sleep.