Night Sweats

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Menopause Symptoms: Emotional, Physical, and Sexual

Menopause symptoms can be perceived as physical problems, emotional disturbances, or problems associated with sexual functioning.

Some of the variety of symptoms of menopause may include:

  • Painful intercourse
  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Forgetfulness or problems with concentration

Quick GuideMenopause and Sex: 10 Ways to Deal With Menopause Symptoms

Menopause and Sex: 10 Ways to Deal With Menopause Symptoms

Night sweats facts

  • Night sweats are a common symptom that can be related to many different causes.
  • The menopausal transition in women is a common cause of night sweats.
  • Less common causes of night sweats include infections and cancers.
  • Hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of approaching menopause can precede menopause by many years.
  • Treatment of night sweats is directed at the underlying cause.
  • Certain medications, hormone disorders, neurologic problems, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) are other possible causes of night sweats.

What are night sweats?

Doctors in primary care fields of medicine often hear their patients complain of night sweats as they are common. Night sweats refer to any excess sweating occurring during the night. However, if your bedroom is unusually hot or you are using too many bedclothes, you may begin to sweat during sleep, which is normal. In order to distinguish night sweats that arise from medical causes from those that occur because one's surroundings are too warm, doctors generally refer to true night sweats as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, which are not related to an overheated environment.

In one study of 2267 patients visiting a primary care physician, 41% reported experiencing night sweats during the previous month, so the perception of excessive sweating at night is fairly common. It is important to note that flushing (a warmth and redness of the face or trunk) also may be hard to distinguish from true night sweats. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 6/23/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Mold, JW, Mathew, MK, Belgore, S, DeHaven, M. Prevalence of night sweats in primary care patients: an OKPRN and TAFP-Net collaborative study. J Fam Pract 2002; 51:452.

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