One of the most dreaded symptoms of menopause, hot flashes affect about three-quarters of all women.

Among women who get hot flashes, about one-quarter of them will experience hot flashes for five years or more.

For many women hot flashes start during perimenopause, when women are still menstruating.

Here’s how to help keep your internal temperature down.

  • Control your environment as much as you can. This means keeping things cool environmentally, and mentally. When you can avoid stress, it can help reduce the number of hot flashes you flashes
  • Exercise daily. Calming exercise like yoga or tai chi is a good choice.
  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as needed. Consider natural fibers, or fibers designed to wick moisture away from your skin.
  • Stay hydrated. Try drinking cold water at the first indication of a flash.
  • Run cool water over the insides of your wrists for a few moments when you feel a flash beginning.

If hot flashes are very bothersome, talk with your doctor about hormone replacement therapy. There are some risks with hormone replacement therapy, but a short-term course of treatment may be the right choice for you.