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Hot flashes

Hot flashes can be defined as suddenstrong heat sensations in the upper part of the body, followed by the sudden and increased heart rate and excessive sweating, as well as by strong flushing ofthe face, neck and the chest.

Even though the hot flashes are a conditionthat is characteristic for menopause, it may also appear in pregnancy as well. Manypregnant women know what they can expect in pregnancy even before they staypregnant since they are warned about the changes that their body has toundergo. However, since only few know that hot flashes are also quitenormal in pregnancy, many expectant mothers are afraid for the health of theirbaby when hot flashes suddenly appear. Hot flashes usually last from half aminute to about five minutes, and while some pregnant women constantly have them, there are also many pregnant women who do not have them at all.

Causes of hot flashes duringpregnancy

In the majority of cases, hotflashes usually appear in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy. They canbe induced either due to the changes in the levels of the hormones, or due to changesin the body temperatures.

Estrogen and progesterone are themost important hormones in the female body and their levels are considerably elevatedin pregnancy. The levels of progesterone and estrogen are constantly increasedduring the whole pregnancy since estrogen is important for the development ofthe baby and progesterone for the preparing of the body for growing of the baby. Progesteronecauses ligaments and joints in the entire body to become loose. As aconsequence of the increased levels of these two hormones, a pregnant woman experiencesmood swings and hot flashes along with many other discomforts.

In pregnancy, the core temperature and the basal metabolic rate tend to increase constantly. Many experts share opinion that in pregnancy, the heat in the regulatory areas in the brainrises causing the rise in the body temperature. When the body’s temperature iselevated during the last six months of the pregnancy, it is likely to cause hotflashes. Apart from these two main reasonsfor the occurrence of this condition in pregnancy, hot flashes may also appearwhen the pregnant woman is exposed to hot weather or when she eats a lot ofspicy foods. For that reasons, almost every pregnant woman dislikes thesummer season.

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