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Can Ovulation Cause Hot Flashes?

by
author image Adam Cloe
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
Can Ovulation Cause Hot Flashes?
Can Ovulation Cause Hot Flashes? Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Hot Flashes

The short answer to the question is no. Hot flashes typically occur shortly before menopause and may continue for the first two or so years after menopause. Although it is not exactly known what causes hot flashes, according to the Mayo Clinic it is believed to be linked to low estrogen levels. However, lowered estrogen alone is not enough to cause hot flashes (as evidenced by estrogen-suppressing medications not causing hot flashes), so it is thought that the hot flashes are caused by withdrawal from estrogen. This could cause the hypothalamus, which is a region of the brain that controls temperature, to believe that the body is overheating, leading to some of the symptoms of hot flashes. Hot flashes are marked by a feeling of pressure in the head followed by warmth flooding through the upper body and face. This is often followed by a rapid heartbeat and sweating.

Ovulation

Menopause signals the end of ovulation. As a result, ovulation has almost the exact opposite hormonal characteristics of menopause. Ovulation is the process by which an egg in the ovaries becomes mature and is released. According to americanpregnancy.org, ovulation initially begins with a relatively low level of estrogen, which causes the hypothalamus to release a hormone that promotes maturation of a follicle in the ovary. It is this follicle that will eventually release an egg. As the follicle matures, it will secrete estrogen, which will signal to the rest of the body that an egg has matured and is ready to be released. As a result, though both processes involve the hypothalamus, ovulation is associated with a rise in estrogen, not the estrogen drop that often triggers hot flashes.

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Ovulation Symptoms

According to the website babyhopes.com, ovulation does lead to some symptoms within the body, though these are distinct from the symptoms of hot flashes. Women who are ovulating may experience an increase in their amounts of cervical mucus, which will become clear and sticky. In addition, some women feel a slight twinge in their abdomen, which is thought to be a result of the ovary stretching to release an egg. Finally, ovulation is associated with an increase in body temperature, but this increase is very light (approximately one half of one degree Fahrenheit) and would not cause any of the symptoms of a hot flash.

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