Metluma - Favicon
Metluma - Favicon
Hot Flushes: the Hot Topic in the Workplace

Hot Flushes: the Hot Topic in the Workplace

3 minute read

Hot flushes are one of the most widely experienced symptoms of menopause. For many Australian women they can have serious and far-reaching consequences. So, what causes this sudden spike in temperature, how can it be treated, and how can we support women through the experience?

What causes hot flushes?

Hot flushes refer to a sudden feeling of heat which is sometimes followed by profuse sweating. This feeling can also be accompanied by an increased heart rate, red or flushed face and heat affecting the whole body. Importantly, hot flushes often feed into other debilitating aspects of menopause. Intense night sweats contribute to insomnia, which in turn can cause brain fog, lack of focus and decreased mental health.

More than 57% of women will experience hot flushes during their menopause years. For some, the impact will be mild. For others, with moderate to severe symptoms, hot flushes can persist for 10 years. Some women may continue to experience hot flushes and sweats beyond the age of 80.

During menopause, oestrogen levels decline significantly – and sometimes suddenly. In response to this, glands release higher amounts of other hormones that affect the brain’s thermostat, causing body temperature to fluctuate. This is the most common cause of hot flushes in women. These lower levels of oestrogen also have a significant effect on the hypothalamus, which controls sex hormones, body temperature, sleep function and appetite.

Managing hot flushes

There are many steps we can take in our day-to-day lives to alleviate symptoms. These include;

  • Avoiding alcohol, spicy foods, and caffeine as these products can exacerbate menopausal symptoms.
  • Quitting smoking, which will improve overall health, and ease symptoms. 
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and incorporating movement into day-to-day life. Women who are overweight may experience more frequent and severe hot flushes.
  • Practicing meditation and mindfulness, which can also help with stress and anxiety. 

If lifestyle changes don’t make a difference, hormone replacement therapy has also been successful in alleviating the symptoms of menopause. HRT replaces the estrogen that your body stops making during menopause. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so Metluma can help you decide if HRT is a good choice for you, based on your lifestyle, family history and symptoms.

What is the impact?

As a result of menopause, many women reduce their work hours and shy away from managerial roles. Up to 50% of women report finding work difficult because of menopausal symptoms, with up to 10% of women leaving the workplace as a result. If so many of us are going through this, why does it feel like everyone is on their own?

The first step is for workplaces to recognise that menopause is a health issue which impacts all of us. While many workplaces have introduced menopause leave to support women through the transition, education within the workforce is a major factor. Speaking openly about menopause and its impact removes the stigma, de-isolates women and educates whole teams on how to support those going through symptoms. 

While hot flushes have long been a hot topic, it’s time to own the impact of menopause and ensure women have the information, support and resources to manage symptoms.

Metluma provides evidence-based health and wellbeing support for women at all stages of life. Learn how to live longer, be healthier, and optimise your health during menopause.