Surgical induced menopause and hot flushes

RIM24RIM24 Member Posts: 6
edited August 2017 in General discussion
Hi All, I had a lumpectomy in March followed by radiation therapy. At 53 I still had fully functioning ovaries with no signs of menopause so I had the choice of medical or surgical induction of menopause. I choose surgical as I'm one of those people who manages to suffer the side effects of all drugs. Since having my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in June the hot flushes have hit with vengeance. I am having over 20-30/day & night and they are not settling down. My medical oncologist gave me a variety of options including magnesium at night, Clonidine, Efexor, Gasapentin, acupuncture, & CBT. Magnesium has made no difference, most of the medications are not suitable for me due to side effects. I am starting Japanese acupuncture tomorrow and using CBT techniques. I am walking gradually 15min 3 times a day (my back decided to pack it in thus the slow pace).

Any other suggestions that will help settle down the number of hot flushes I'm having?????


  • NaomiVNaomiV Member Posts: 25
    Hi! I'm 37 and recently had my ovaries removed and the hot flushes were intense!
    After trying a variety of things I'm currently on gabapentin (only 100ml per night before bed) and wow! What a difference it has made for me! No side effects and I can sleep again... I wasn't too keen on more drugs (I had chemo etc etc and am on aromasin now so I try to avoid as much as possible) but for me it is worth it for the benefits.
    I have heard that Maca can be really helpful for some ladies? So that might be worth a try! Good luck!
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    @Rim24 I am also very drug sensitive, Chemo unfortunately threw me into an unnatural menopause in 2015, it was so severe and I hadn't even started my Arimidex at that point. The only thing I can honestly say that has settled mine is time, I probably only get maybe 5 a day if Im lucky, its not as bad. I do take Magnesium but I think that takes a long time to accumulate and I havent heard that used for Hot Flushes to be honest. Effexor I tried twice and couldnt stomach it, so if you are drug sensitive as I am, you won't be able to take anything for it. There is no quick fix to stop it and sounds like surgical or medical induced is still severe unfortunately. Lots of ladies will tell you they carry spray bottles, wear layers to strip when needed. Even legs out the bed helps alot!!! Sorry couldnt help more, hugs Melinda xo
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,301
    Unfortunately my peri menopause was just like that. It did get better as my body adjusted. Watch your caffeine intake, spicy foods, alcohol and wear layered clothing so you can strip off all help.
  • Hopes_and_DreamsHopes_and_Dreams Gold CoastMember Posts: 752
    Hi @RIM24, I was similar to @primek.   When I first started a natural although early menopause, it was a nightmare.  Hot flushes all day and night.  I started taking HRT which made a huge difference.  Of course this all stopped when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 months ago.   I've been taking Arimidex for the past 12 month which blocks my oestrogen and progesterone and can honestly say that the hot flushes have reduced over that time.  I get maybe one a day and one during the night.    I try not to rug myself up to much, better to be feeling a little cool knowing I can count on my inbuilt heating system!   I feel more comfortable at night having my shoulders and arms out of the quilt and kick a leg out as needed.   Really hope you find something that helps you as it can be so debilitating until things settle down.  Jane xx
  • NadiNadi Member Posts: 558
    edited August 2017
    OMG @RIM24. I So hear you!!! Chemo slammed me into menopause at 47 and this has been the hardest thing for me to deal with since my BC diagnosis. There have been lots and lots of posts about this. Just type in 'hot flushes' in the search field across from the new discussion button and next to the page index on the online network home page. I am 18 months since chemo finished and 9 months since Herceptin finished and while I have had a couple of good weeks here and there (including a short time when I cut out coffee) I still get them on average every 20 minutes sometimes every five minutes. I have tried effexor, magnesium, acupuncture and Clonidine. I live with a glass of ice and a fan beside my bed and had to get a doctor's certificate to allow me a fan on my desk at work. Both are off/on, off/on all day and night long. Like @primek I wear layers. I find it more uncomfortable in winter. My hair has grown back but it gets so sweaty at night that I end up freezing cold once the flush finishes. I get very sleep deprived after a few nights and so my GP prescribed Endep which is a mild antidepressant but is also used as a sleeping pill. I take them once or twice a week just so I can catch up on sleep. So far this is the only thing that gives me a few hours rest from them. I know how debilitating these can be so I really wish you luck with them!
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,974
    I've gone back to being a baby where I cannot regulate my own body heat. I am hot and cold and hot all the time. I have a light coat that I slip on and off all day and slip off easy slippers or shoes. I carry a drinker bottle with me at all times, even during shopping and if one of the nasty pin prick sweats kick in then I drink the cold water profusely. The cold in my belly cools me off and it passes faster. I have sort of gotten used to it all and just put myself down as quirky.
  • RIM24RIM24 Member Posts: 6
    Thank you everyone for your input. I guess it is going to take time for my body to adjust to the hormonal change and hopefully they will settle down to a more manageable level. I will keep trying different ways that work for me.
    The joys of being a women!
  • Lisa_BCNALisa_BCNA Staff Posts: 123
    Hi @RIM24, I am sorry to hear that you are having really difficult hot flushes. I just wanted to send you the link to our Menopause and Breast Cancer booklet in case it is helpful. Pages 6-10 include a range of tips, strategies and information about things that might help. 
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 1,374
    I had an early sudden menopause years ago pre-bc -was dreadful as could barely function.Remifemin helped me a lot with hot flushes but not sure how that sits with breast cancer hormone therapy treatment. It's herbal - based on Black Cohosh and been used in Germany for 60 years . Please check with your oncologist  before using it though. 
  • RIM24RIM24 Member Posts: 6
    Thank you again. I have read the booklet just wanted to know what other women have found have worked for them. 
  • Hopes_and_DreamsHopes_and_Dreams Gold CoastMember Posts: 752
    From what I've read it seems that many of we older ladies who started a natural menopause and then had the rest of our hormones shut down through chemo or chemical blockers are having an easier time of it than the younger women who are suddenly plunged into menopause before their time.   I had an early menopause at 46 (runs in the family) and struggled with  hot flushes for a good year or so.  I then took HRT until my breast cancer diagnosis 12 months ago. 10 years post menopause and after a year on Arimidex I have less hot flushes than I did at 46.  As if breast cancer alone isn't terrible enough, turning off a woman's hormones overnight just tops it off.   Sending best wishes to all those struggling.  Jane xx

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