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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What could cause night sweats and hot flushes in a post-menopausal woman?

    I get night sweats that wake me also in morning and during the day. I also have chronic pain and soreness in my muscles. I have been diagnosed with fatty liver, cologenous colitis, GORD and high blood pressure, previously. What is causing the night sweats and hot flushes as they are a new symptom? I'm 59 and have passed menopause and stopped taking HRT 4 years ago.
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    Dr Barry Wren

    Endocrinologist, Gynaecologist

    Dr Barry Wren was one of the original founders of the International Menopause Society in 1976 and subsequently founded the Australian Menopause Society, becoming its … View Profile

    the commonest cause of night sweats for a woman following the menopause is estrogen deficiency. Although the last ‘period’ may have occurred 4-5 years before, there may have been sufficient estrogen still being produced by the ovary to reduce the problem of flushing and sweats for several years before she is completely depleted. The best way to determine whether a woman is estrogen deficient is to ask your doctor to order the FSH level, the estrogen level and the free androgen index. These three hormone levels will indicate what state your ovary has achieved and if they confirm deficiency, then a trial of estrogen and progestogen for three months will soon confirm whether you should embark on a regimen of HRT or not. Clinical evidence for estrogen deficiency can be obtained by evaluating the state of the vaginal epithelium. If it is thin, dry, lacks elasticity and has an alkaline secretion then this is clear evidence for the need for estrogen therapy. 

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