Night sweats are often associated with menopausal symptoms in women but there can be many underlying causes of night sweats in both men, women & children, including infections, cancers, thyroid & other endocrine disorders. Night sweats not related to menopause or accompanied by other worrying symptoms should always be investigated by a GP as they may be a symptom of other underlying medical conditions.
However the most common cause in women are the natural hormonal changes related to peri-menopause & menopause & are often accompanied by hot flushes. Severe night sweats can drench bedding & nightclothes even when the environment is cool. Many women can experience night sweats & hot flushes for 10 years after the menopause. Hot flushes & night sweats are also common in women with a history of breast cancer & men with prostate cancer.
The results to a number of systematic reviews of trials are promising but very much preliminary. In addition to reduced hot flushes & night sweat frequency, participants enjoyed improved physical & emotional well-being, & few side-effects were reported. Further research is warranted into this approach, which offers breast & prostate cancer survivors a choice in managing this chronic condition.