Vasomotor symptoms are a common part of menopause. They include hot flashes, night sweats, heart rate and mood changes, and difficulty sleeping. A 2018 research review including women going through menopause showed that around 70% of the participants experienced vasomotor symptoms.

Vasomotor symptoms result from changes in hormone levels. These changes affect how the body regulates blood pressure and temperature.

Vasomotor symptoms typically start during perimenopause. This is the time leading up to menopause when levels of the hormone estrogen start to decrease. Perimenopause can last many years.

Research suggests that vasomotor symptoms can continue for 7–10 years. Experts consider people in menopause after a full year without a period. Vasomotor symptoms may also continue once you’re in menopause. 

People can feel the effects of vasomotor symptoms throughout their bodies. The symptoms may interfere with your daily activities and affect your quality of life, mood, and sleep.

Here’s what’s happening in your body when you’re experiencing vasomotor symptoms.