Dear Dr. Roach: If women are prescribed a hormone replacement for hot flashes, do the hot flashes return once the medicine is discontinued. If you take hormone replacement therapy, are you just delaying the symptoms for a while and will have to deal with hot flashes either way?
Hot flashes are a common symptom when women go into menopause — 60% to 80% of women will experience them. About half of women will stop having hot flashes after about five years. The remainder will have a longer duration. A third of women will still experience them after 10 years, and in about 10%, they continue for 20 or more years after menopause.
The most effective treatment is hormone replacement therapy — specifically, estrogen. But estrogen should not be given without a progestin in women who have a uterus, i.e., those who have not had a hysterectomy. HRT neither shortens