According to the Mayo Clinic, hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth on the body, most usually across the face, neck, and chest. Although more commonly associated with menopause, hot flashes are actually a symptom noticed by many pregnant women as well. Hot flashes can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple minutes.
What causes them?
Like hot flashes during menopause, hot flashes during pregnancy are likely caused by fluctuating hormone levels in the body, specifically declining levels of estrogen. Hormones like estrogen are your body’s messengers, and when there’s an imbalance, the results can be a bit unpredictable.
There is no medication or surgical procedure that stops hot flashes – basically, the only way to treat them is to manage the effects. For instance, you can try wearing layers so that you can lose a layer or two (or three) when the moment strikes. Otherwise, the best thing you can do when hot flashes arise is to relax, stay calm, and remember that this too shall pass.
Hot flashes can be a nuisance, but are very common, and perfectly healthy. Just remember that hot flashes do not raise your body temperature, while fevers do, so it’s important not to confuse the two.
- Sir John Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 8th ed. Keith Edmonds. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2012. Print.
- Susan Storck et al. “Fetal Development.” U.S National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus, 9/30/2013. Web.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “First trimester pregnancy: what to expect.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/22/2014. Web.