Hot flashes and night sweats are among the most common symptoms of menopause. More than 1 million women in the United States experience menopause each year and about 80 percent of those women experience hot flashes, according to Dr. Working through menopause: The impact on women, business and the bottom line. Despite the large number of women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats, many people, whether employers, family members, or even doctors, fail to see the impact it can have on a woman’s mental health and well-being.
“It affects a person in many ways,” says Dr. Seibel. “A woman can feel like she’s literally on fire, which is uncomfortable and upsetting, and makes her unable to do anything.” Despite this, moderate to severe hot flashes — also called vasomotor symptoms (VMS) — go untreated in most women, and because of a lack of public health education, it’s the women who suffer. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The first step is to raise awareness about the impact of menopausal symptoms and what can be done about them. “The first thing to understand is that there are treatments for hot flashes,” says Dr. Seibel. “There is no reason to suffer in silence and put up with this or try so hard to cope with it. Women should talk to their health care providers about treatments because there are new medicines that will come out in the near future.”
How does it affect work
A study published in the August 2014 issue of Menopause: Journal of the North American Menopause Society assessed 500,000 women with hot flashes. Half of them were treated for hot flashes, and the other half were not treated for hot flashes. Women who did not receive treatment for hot flashes missed more work, were less productive, and were absent more often. There was also a lack of focus and they had an average of six more visits to the doctor every 12 months than the women who were treated for hot flashes.
says d. Sybil. “Everyone around you notices that you need to change your clothes, but there’s nowhere to go, so you can’t focus because of how you feel about your appearance. It causes a certain lack of self-esteem and can affect performance, resulting in women not being able to Living up to her potential at a time when she is already at the peak of her career because she has been in business for decades and has the foundations of knowledge, work experience and assets that a good employee can have, but is nevertheless held back by a normal biological process.”
How does it affect daily life
With night sweats, sleep can often be disturbed. “You could be asleep and then suddenly you’re so hot and drenched in sweat, and you have to change your clothes,” says Dr. Seibel. “This is very disruptive to sleep, and it can lead to other problems.” According to the CDC, several studies show similarities between fatigue-related impairment in cognitive and physiological functioning and impairment due to alcohol intoxication. For example, being awake for 17 hours is similar to having a BAC of O.05%, and being awake for 24 hours is like having a BAC of 0.10% (the US defines legal intoxication for driving purposes as a BAC of 0.08% or greater). With that in mind, lack of sleep can be detrimental to your focus and concentration as well as negatively affecting your mood (it can make you more irritable, irritable, or restless) and memory.
How does it affect relationships
It’s no secret that painful sex can sometimes be a symptom of menopause, but what about hot flashes and/or night sweats? “If you’re feeling tired, irritable, foggy, angry, sleep-deprived, etc., that doesn’t work well with relationships,” says Dr. Seibel. Pesky hot flashes, especially if they’re associated with night sweats and disturbed sleep, can certainly affect your libido, according to the North American Menopause Association. When your overall quality of life is poor and you’re tired of rustling the covers all night long, sleep may take priority over sex, but it doesn’t have to remain that way. As mentioned by Dr. Seibel, women don’t have to put up with burdensome hot flashes or night sweats. There are home remedies you can try or treatment options available. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor to find out what course of action might be best for you so you can get back to living your best life.