Complete Symptom Guide to Menopause Sweating | Stella

Menopause sweating


Sweating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing at any time and menopause sweating can happen during the day or night. Sweats have a habit of appearing at the most inconvenient times. Read on to find out more about the causes, treatments, and when to seek help.


A small part of your brain called the hypothalamus regulates your body temperature and your thermoneutral zone is a set temperature range. Hormonal changes can narrow your thermoneutral zone, making you more sensitive to temperature changes. Your body cools itself by sweating and opening up blood vessels to release heat.

Sweating may be accompanied by hot flashes and heart palpitations. You may find that sweat seeps through your clothes, makes your hair damp, or ruins your make-up. Hot flashes and palpitations can impact your sleep and make you feel anxious, which can affect your day-to-day life.

Sweating, hot flashes, and palpitations may also happen due to underlying medical conditions, so it is important to see your healthcare provider if you are worried.

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Menopause night sweats definition

A night sweat is when you sweat so heavily that your bedclothes and bedding are drenched, even though your room is cool. You may need to get up and change clothes and sheets, as well as dry yourself off.

Night sweats can be less severe but still cause your neck, hair, or chest to be so wet it disturbs your sleep. Lack of sleep impacts your ability to function the next day and can lead to fatigue, depression and weight gain.

How common is sweating caused by menopause?

  • Increased and unwarranted sweating and hot flashes are known as vasomotor symptoms because they are associated with the changes in the vascular system that affect blood flow in the body
  • Hot flushes and night sweats affect around 75% of people as they go through menopause
  • Vasomotor symptoms are the most common reason why most people seek treatment during menopause

Read more about the stages of menopause.


During a hot flash

At night when having hot flashes

Abnormal sweating can be associated with several other medical conditions unrelated to menopause


In general, the earlier your vasomotor symptoms start, the longer they tend to last. Typically people experience them for one to five years, although everyone is different and some may experience them for much longer than this.

One study found that vasomotor symptoms last for more than seven years for over 50% of people in menopause.

After the final menstrual period, vasomotor symptoms last for around 4.5 years on average.

Tips to help with sweating during menopause

1. Be prepared at home. Have a towel, a change of pajamas, if you wear them, and a spare sheet or blanket near you in your bedroom. If you wake up soaked, this can limit disruption if the things you need to swap out for dry ones are close to hand. A fan by your bed and cooling sprays can help cool you back down too. Make sure your bed clothes are natural fibers and consider buying some sweat-wicking pajamas designed for menopause.

2. Be prepared at work. A spare change of clothes is handy in case the sweats strike at work. Keep a cooling spray and hand fan in your bag (or desk) too.

3. Manage your emotions. You can feel frustrated, upset, and angry about having your sleep disturbed once again by sweating and end up in a negative cycle of thinking about the impact on the next day.

How you think about sweating can have a big impact on your experience. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help you recognize, control, and change negative thoughts and worries. The North American Menopause Society recommends CBT for managing hot flashes and night sweats.

4. Control your breathing. There is evidence that breathing and relaxation exercises can calm your mind when you are under stress, such as during a hot flash. It can help relax you during moments of heightened stress.

Can hormone therapy (HT) help?

HT is the most effective treatment available for vasomotor symptoms, including night sweats.

You can usually expect to see an improvement within four weeks of starting. Most can expect a reduction in both the severity and frequency of episodes.

However, HT does come with risks and is not suitable for everyone. Speak to your healthcare provider about your treatment options.

If you are unable to take HT, other medications may also help. The most commonly used include gabapentin and certain antidepressants.

Read more about HT risks and benefits.

Menopause and sweating FAQs

During menopause, the hormones which regulate your menstrual cycle change. This includes a marked decrease in the amount of estrogen released by the ovaries.

Vasomotor symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, are thought to occur because these hormonal changes affect part of the hypothalamus – the body’s ‘thermostat’. This makes the body more sensitive to temperature changes, meaning that it is easier to trigger the body’s cooling mechanisms.

You can see your body’s inappropriate and exaggerated attempts to cool itself in the form of sweating and hot flashes.

See a healthcare provider if you have:

  • Night sweats regularly
  • Lost weight without trying
  • Sweats that affect your daily activities or quality of life
  • Any other new or worrying symptoms


HT risks and benefits. Read more

10 Steps to a good night’s sleep during menopause. Read more

How to deal with embarrassing symptoms at work. Read more

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