Can Pregnancy Cause Hot Flashes

What Are Postpartum Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes and Chills During Pregnancy

Hot flashes, sometimes known as hot flushes, come on suddenly. They usually occur in the weeks after your baby is born. You may experience sensations of heat on your face, shoulders, neck, and chest that can cause you to sweat profusely. This can also be accompanied by redness in those areas. Sometimes, a slight chill follows this excessive heat, causing you to feel both hot and cold.

Hot flashes at night are called night sweats. This is when you wake up in the middle of your sleep to find yourself feeling hot and wet with sweat.

How To Cope With Hot Flashes During Pregnancy

Pregnancy hot flashes can be annoying, but a few simple solutions may help you chill out.

It came on like a late-night craving for chocolate-chunk ice cream: I was at my second-trimester ultrasound, and somewhere between determining my babys gestational age and gender, I was hit with an intense hot flash. The exam room became a sauna. My vision blurred and, for a moment, my baby seemed to have two heads. The technician gave me a cold cloth for my forehead and sped through the rest of the exam. Soon after leaving, however, I felt fine, and admired the photos of my lovely, healthy, one-headed baby.

Hot flashes affect more than half of pregnant women, usually in the first and second trimester and on a weekly basis, according to a 2010 study from the University of Pennsylvania. Pregnancy hot flashes, like those related to menopause, result from fluctuating levels of hormones , which tend to soar when youre expecting.

It sounds counterintuitive, but some research has shown that working up a sweat can actually combat hot flashes. A 2010 study in the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery found that women who exercised reported fewer hot flashes.

And dont be surprised, says Turner, if your hot flashes continue after you deliver. Your hormones will continue to fluctuate until youve gone through the whole process of conceiving, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

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Is It Ok For Me To Use A Heating Pad

A heating pad or a hot water bottle can help soothe muscle pain right where you need it. Its OK to use one occasionally while youre pregnant. But its best to avoid using it near your stomach you dont want to directly heat up your baby. There is danger to heating up the belly.

Make sure the heating pad is a comfortable temperature. Too hot and it can scald your skin. Use a towel or soft cloth between the heating pad and your body to avoid too much heat.

You can also spot treat areas with a heating pad. Rest your tired feet on one or soothe back pain. Never use a heating pad while sleeping. If you think you might fall asleep during heat therapy, unplug it first!

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Associated Factors Of Hot Flashes

Numerous studies have looked at hot flashes as a symptom in the past. Different approaches have been used and various results have been reported. The most common associated condition is menopause, primarily among the female population.

One study2 found that, even though menopause is the most commonly associated factor, medical experts need to look at additional health factors, as well as lifestyle factors, that may also contribute to the experience of hot flashes.

The study found that there are numerous additional factors that need to be considered when a woman complains about experiencing hot flashes frequently. Some particular factors that have been pointed out in this study include:

  • The ethnicity of the patient.
  • The consumption of phytoestrogens and soy isoflavones in the patients diet.
  • Bodyweight, body mass index and the possibility of obesity as a major contributing factor.

The conclusion made by the study provides a more effective approach to treating hot flashes as a symptom. Instead of primarily targeting menopause as a cause for hot flashes, medical experts are urged to consider additional contributing factors.

With the detection of associated factors, treatment can be administered to address these additional possible causes thus leading to more efficient treatment methods without the need for experimenting with several treatment options before finding the most suitable option for a particular patient.

What Symptoms Do You Feel When Your Pregnant

Hot Flashes

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include: Missed period. If youre in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. Tender, swollen breasts. Nausea with or without vomiting. Increased urination. Fatigue.

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When To Consult A Doctor

Hot flashes are never a medical emergency and rarely require medical intervention. However, sometimes, if you experience them often, you will feel exhausted and dehydrated. Consult a doctor in such a case. Frequent episodes of hot flashes can also be an indicator of an underlying medical condition, so it is suggested that you visit a doctor if you experience them too often.

Diabetes And Hot Flashes After Sugar

If you have ever experienced a hot flash, you know how uncomfortable they can be. If you experience hot flashes habitually, you are surely looking for any sort of relief from the issue.

The first step to minimizing hot flashes is to pay attention to what situations may trigger them. While it may be frustrating to learn that your diabetes may be causing these hot flashes, knowing the cause can actually help you avoid certain triggers and limit such episodes.

If you are ready to learn how you can reduce your hot flashes and manage your diabetes, keep reading!

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Varicose Veins And Leg Oedema

Varicose veins of the legs are very common in pregnancy due to a combination of factors, including increased volume of circulating blood during pregnancy, and pressure of the pregnant uterus on the larger veins. This increased pressure on the veins can also result in swelling of the legs that can cause pain, feelings of heaviness, cramps and other unusual sensations.

If you have varicose veins, it is recommended that you:

  • Wear support stockings.
  • Avoid standing for long periods.
  • Exercise gently and regularly .
  • Lie down to rest with feet elevated, when you can.
  • Try massaging your legs.

How Can I Deal With Hot Flashes In Pregnancy

32 Weeks Pregnant Baby #2 Measuring ahead / Hot flashes

Below are a few handy tips to maintain your body temperature and reduce hot flashes:

  • Sip on something cool. It may be a cold drink, sherbet or plain water.
  • If you experience hot flashes often, consider cutting back on spicy food.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or simple deep breathing. Remember that stress and anxiety can further exacerbate this.
  • Prepare a cold pack by placing a few ice cubes in a napkin or buy ready made packs which can be applied when the hot flash hits.
  • Going for a walk during the evening is also known to be effective in reducing hot flashes.
  • Try to stay away from hot environments.
  • Wear light, airy clothes.
  • Avoid hot coffees and teas, they are hot and contain caffeine, which may aggravate the condition.


  • A few over-the-counter drugs are available in the market, which may work like hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants, but do not consume them. If hot flashes bother you, get in touch with your obstetrician.
  • Likewise, some herbs are famous for combatting hot flashes. Remember what works for others may not work for you. Do not experiment.

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What Else You Might Experience Throughout Pregnancy

Throughout your pregnancy, your body will do some weird and wonderful things. Some of these physical changes may subside, while others may continue over the course of your pregnancy. These are some of the changes you may experience during the second and third trimesters:

Most of the time, these physical discomforts and changes are completely normal, but there are some signs you should not ignore, including severe headaches, changes in eyesight, or sudden swelling . If you notice anything that just doesn’t seem right, consult your healthcare provider.

These daily signs of being pregnant can be pretty tiresome, but in no time at all, your due date will be here, and you’ll be taking your baby home. Putting up with all these pesky pregnancy symptoms will have been worth it! See our Pregnancy Calendar for a more detailed description of what happens during each week, month, and trimester. You’re embarking on an amazing journey â enjoy the ride.

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Hot Flashes And Hormonal Imbalance

The two main female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are linked to sexual function, metabolism, bone density, and more.

Estrogen and progesterone levels naturally begin declining when youre in your 30s, eventually triggering perimenopause and menopause once you reach your 40s and 50s. Certain other factors, like pregnancy and childbirth or an illness, can cause hormone levels to fluctuate, too.

When female hormone levels drop, many women suffer hot flashes, or periods of intense overheating. Hot flashes are one of the earliest signs of perimenopause, and they last an average of seven years.

Hot flashes generally begin with a heated sensation that spreads on your face, neck, and chest. You might start sweating, and the hot flash may last anywhere from one to five minutes at a time.

Some women experience hot flashes triggered by hormonal imbalance a couple of times a week, while others may suffer hot flashes dozens of times a day. Frequent hot flashes can be bothersome, and severe hot flashes can quickly begin impacting your quality of life.

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Are Hot Flashes An Early Sign Of Pregnancy

No, experiencing hot flashes alone is not a sign of pregnancy and you may not experience them before you miss your periods. But hot flashes can be a sign of pregnancy, if they are accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms such as tender breasts and morning sickness.

Hot flashes are just one of the many ordeals that you may have to go through during pregnancy. Yes, you will feel the heat and stressed, but the episodes of hot flashes wont last for long. This symptom will pass just like other unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy. However, if you experience hot flashes often, consult a doctor and get yourself checked.

When Can I Expect The Sweating To End

What Causes Hot Flashes In Pregnancy And How To Deal With Them

You can probably expect to be extra warm and toasty right up to and after birth. The sweat effect will likely dissipate gradually as your hormones start to regulate themselves probably about the time you start ovulating again a few months post-delivery.

After delivery, your basal temp should go back to normal. But anecdotally, many women say they never went back to their pre-pregnancy selves, temp-wise . Its all fine and normal!

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Some Pregnant People Experience Cold

For some women, pregnancy means perpetually feeling like you have a cold.

Trish Booth, author of “Pregnancy Q& A: Authoritative and Reassuring Answers to the Questions on Your Mind,” told Parenting that the extra hormones and blood production that come with pregnancy can also cause mucous membranes to swell, dry, and crack.

Question: Can Early Pregnancy Cause Hot And Cold Flashes

Hot flashes Hot flashes and night sweats dont just appear during the period before menopause they may also affect women in early pregnancy. In a 2013 study in the journal Fertility and Sterility, more than a third of women reported having either hot flashes or night sweats during pregnancy.

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How Quickly Can I Know If Im Pregnant

Pregnancy is a different experience for each woman. Some women may suspect theyre pregnant within the first few days of pregnancy, while others dont notice anything until they miss a period. There are also some women who dont know theyre pregnant until months after conception.

The most clear-cut way to know if youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. When you take a pregnancy test, its measuring a hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin . This hormone starts building in your body from the moment of conception and will multiply rapidly in the beginning of your pregnancy. Despite its early appearance in the process, it takes some time for your body to build up enough hCG to register on a pregnancy test. Typically, it takes about three to four weeks from the first day of your last period before theres enough hCG in your body for a positive pregnancy test.

Associated Symptoms Of Thyroid Gland Disorders

High Blood Pressure In Pregnancy Linked With ‘More Bothersome’ Hot Flashes During Menopause, Study F

A study6 conducted by the Mansoura University Hospitals in Egypt found that dysfunctions affecting the Thyroid gland can manifest symptoms quite similar to those found in menopause.

For this reason, it is vital for medical experts to look at the Thyroid gland as a possible contributing factors to symptoms when a woman is going through menopause, and not to immediately prescribe her estrogen replacement therapy medication as a solution to her symptoms.

The study was conducted among a group of 360 women. The study found that 11.1% of the women suffered from Thyroid disorders and the administration of appropriate treatment to assist with regulating Thyroid function yielded positive results in regards to their symptoms.

Determining associated symptoms of Thyroid gland disorders, and looking for these particular symptoms when hot flashes are experienced, will help the treatment options provided to a patient suffering from hot flashes be more appropriate and work faster.

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Hot Flashes In Pregnancy Boy Or Girl

Folklore has it that hot flashes during pregnancy can be indicative of the gender of the unborn baby. Just like they say that if you are carrying low, its a boy and carrying high and wider it is a girl.

However, it needs to be noted that hot flashes are not a sign of your babys gender, they are just hormonal triggers during your pregnancy. Science does not claim any such finding so rest assured, hot flashes are no more than another pregnancy hormonal condition.

Some mums may continue to experience hot flashes even after pregnancy, its usually nothing to worry about. You will be alright once your hormones have settled down. Just keep your calm, get plenty of rest and relax yourself. Most of the problems will be solved when you stop thinking too much.

What Causes Hot Flashes In Pregnancy

It is not completely known what causes hot flashes. A few studies indicate the following as the potential causes and risk factors for triggering hot flashes in pregnancy.

  • Fluctuating hormones: Hormonal transitions are common during pregnancy. These changes may trigger alterations in brain chemicals and thermoregulatory events, which may increase the blood flow and heat sensations in the body .
  • Increased body temperature: Increased metabolic rate in pregnancy might result in increased body heat, which might cause hot flashes. However, hormonal changes and increased blood supply might make you feel warmer than usual during pregnancy .
  • Dehydration: If you have insufficient fluid levels during pregnancy, it might lead to increased body temperature, making you feel hot and exhausted .
  • Being overweight: Gaining a few extra pounds during pregnancy and having a higher body mass index might make your body warmer, leading to an increased risk of hot flashes.

Other risk factors that might increase the prevalence of hot flashes in pregnancy are smoking, anxiety, history of blood pressure disorders, depressive symptoms, and stress .

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Postpartum Hot Flashes And Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, your body begins producing prolactin to stimulate the growth of mammary tissue in anticipation of breastfeeding. The progesterone and estrogen present during pregnancy suppress milk production, but as those hormone levels drop after childbirth, the body can begin producing milk.

When this happens, your body temperature increases by about half a degree, contributing to hot flashes. Lactation tends to delay the return to ovulation, explains Dr. Dweck. The longer the delay until ovulation and estrogen production, the longer hot flashes may last. “

Even if you are not breastfeeding, your body still produces prolactin. But prolactin levels are stimulated by suckling, so if you do not breastfeed, your levels will naturally drop.

As milk production reduces, your period will probably return within six to eight weeks, bringing you some relief from hot flashes. With the return of menses, hot flashes tend to subside, Dr. Dweck says.

What About A Sauna

What Causes Hot Flashes During Pregnancy? (with pictures)

The same goes for dry or wet saunas. Overheating can occur if you stay in a sauna for too long. Medical research found that most women at any stage in their pregnancy can safely stay in a 158°F sauna for only up to 20 minutes without overheating.

Again, if you always feel hot or unwell while in the sauna, its best to get out immediately or avoid saunas entirely during your pregnancy.

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What Do Hot Flashes During Pregnancy Mean

Its a common myth that hot flashes are related to pregnancy gender. It is possible that many people predicted something or it was coincident that their predictions were true. After all, there is a 50-50 chance for either boy or girl.

Hot flashes during pregnancy indicating a boy or girl is not proven. However, some consider that when a pregnant woman has a lot of hot flashes she may be having a girl.

Hot flashes in pregnancy mean nothing but the fact that your body is having a hard time adjusting the temperature. You cant cool down because you need all those vital processes, and cannot raise the temperature permanently. The heat liberation phases are only meant to spread the body heat intermittently. Hot flashes during pregnancy in cases of twins are more plausible.

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