Women's Health

New help for hot flashes

A daily pill joins a variety of nonhormonal options to treat menopause's highly disruptive hallmark symptom.

By , Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch
  • Reviewed by Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor

photo of a woman sitting up in bed holding the back of her hand to her forehead, drenched in sweat from menopause hot flashes

Do you have your private summers?" In generations past, women knew exactly what this question alluded to: menopausal hot flashes and night sweats far more awful than their alluring "private summers" nickname would suggest.

Yet there's nothing singular about this phenomenon, known medically as vasomotor symptoms. Hot flashes and their nighttime iteration, night sweats, affect an estimated 80% of women and last an average of seven to nine years. For a third, these bursts of intense warmth, sweating, and flushing last more than a decade, according to the Menopause Society.

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About the Author

photo of Maureen Salamon

Maureen Salamon, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Maureen Salamon is executive editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later covered health and medicine for a wide variety of websites, magazines, and hospitals. Her work has … See Full Bio
View all posts by Maureen Salamon

About the Reviewer

photo of Toni Golen, MD

Toni Golen, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing; Contributor

Dr. Toni Golen is a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, practicing in Boston. Dr. Golen completed her residency training at George Washington University Medical Center in 1995, and is an associate professor at Harvard Medical … See Full Bio
View all posts by Toni Golen, MD

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No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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