Menopause has several symptoms, from hot flashes to night sweats, vaginal dryness, breast soreness, and so on. The reason for these troublesome physical changes is the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone.
At the mention of menopause, the symptoms that mostly come to mind are hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disruptions, and mood swings. But can menopause cause fever? Many menopausal women have reported fever during menopause and its transition phase. There have been a lot of myths about this. One of the most common speculations is that the hot flashes manifest into fever. So, let us know if menopause causes fever or not. We will also learn about the common symptoms to watch out for.
Fever or a Hot Flash?
A hot flash is the most identifiable symptom of menopause. The main reason for its occurrence is the low estrogen levels that cause your body’s thermostat to be sensitive to the slightest temperature changes.
The hypothalamus is part of the brain that controls your body temperature. So, in menopause, if the hypothalamus senses that your body has become hot, it will attempt to cool it instantly. The result will be the bouts of hot flashes.
During a hot flash, you feel warm on the neck, face, and chest. Your skin will appear flushed and blotchy. You could even sweat and feel chilled later when there’s an increased heat loss.
Now, that was about hot flashes. But do hot flashes lead to fever? The answer is NO. Hot flashes could raise your skin’s surface temperature and make you feel hot and flushed. This is because your body attempts to do away with the internal heat caused by the hot flashes. But, it will never increase your body’s core temperature. So, hot flashes in the perimenopause and menopause phases will never lead to a fever.
Can You Have Fever in Menopause? Know the 2 Reasons
Checking your core temperature can determine whether you have a fever or are feeling hot just because of the hot flashes. If you are hot, and the thermometer measures an increased temperature, you have a fever, not hot flashes. Your body’s normal temperature is 98.6°F. Specific studies have suggested that average body temperature ranges between 97°F and 99°F. When your temperature has crossed 100.4°F, you have a fever. There are many reasons to have a fever during menopause. Let us know about them in detail.
1. Hormonal Imbalances
It is not unlikely to have a fever during the menopause transition phase. The condition could be labeled as hormonal flu. In the perimenopause phase, there is a fluctuation and drop in the estrogen and progesterone levels. The hormonal imbalance could make your body go through inflammatory reactions, resulting in fever.
2. Weakened Immune System
The hormonal fluctuations affect your physical and psychological state immensely. You would be bothered by the recurrent episodes of hot flashes, night sweats, sleep issuefms, and vaginal dryness. All these would impact your mood, making you stressed and triggering concentration issues. So, when so much is happening physically and mentally, your immune system will likely go for a toss. A weakened immune system makes you more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections, leading to a fever.
What are the Symptoms of Menopausal Fever?
There are specific symptoms to watch out for, which will help you distinguish a hot flash from a fever.
1. Chills and Shivering
When you have a fever, it is expected to have chills or shivering. The reason for this is your body’s response to the infection. Moreover, during a fever, the muscles contract and relax at a fast pace, leading to an increase in the body temperature.
Chills could lead to discomfort, but mostly aren’t severe. You could subside the fever with rest, sufficient fluid intake, and proper medications.
Well, it is essential to know that you may even experience chills when the core temperature is lowered because of sweating. So, the moment a hot flash subsides, it could culminate into sweating and chills. But that differs from your fever chills since your body temperature rises then.
2. Rise in Body Temperature
As mentioned, your core body temperature gets elevated when you have a fever. In hot flashes, the reverse happens. Studies  have shown that the internal body temperature of women fell after every hot flash episode. It was also seen that the temperature in the toe and finger rose before a hot flash but fell after it.
So, if you need clarification about whether the heat, chills, and discomfort are because of a hot flash or fever, you must always check your temperature. A high body temperature points to a fever.
3. Muscle Aches
Muscle pain is a common sign of fever. When your body is fighting against an infection, your immune system goes on to release WBCs (white blood cells) to combat it.
The feeling of sickness and muscle pain indicates that your body is battling against the infection.
Muscle pain and spasms are lesser-known symptoms of perimenopause and menopause due to the fluctuating hormones. But it isn’t a sign of hot flashes.
These are the common signs mentioned above, which help to distinguish menopausal flu from hot flashes. However, when sick, you will have an overall feeling of discomfort. You will experience headaches, appetite loss, and even dehydration, primarily if your fluid intake isn’t maintained well.
If you have recurrent fever during perimenopause and menopause, it’s understandable that the hormones are doing their job. You can’t do anything to stop the play of the hormones. However, to manage fever and other menopausal symptoms, it is essential to have a healthy diet of leafy greens, fruits, nuts, fish, etc. You must ensure that all your essential nutrients, like vitamins, proteins, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, are met.
Exercising regularly, prohibiting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, and doing away with unhealthy habits will also help to boost your immune system.
When you haven’t had a period for a year, you are in menopause. The time after that is postmenopause. Most menopausal symptoms lessen in intensity and frequency by then. So, if your fluctuating hormones are responsible for fever, it will go away in a few years after reaching postmenopause.
Menopause often makes your body go topsy-turvy, the culprit being the fluctuating hormones. It is a crucial time, and tracking your symptoms and their frequency closely is essential. Sometimes, the reason may not be menopause but an underlying health issue. If you have a fever quite often accompanied by vomiting, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, rashes, etc., do not pass it as menopause. Talk to your doctor at once.