Spending time with young children could reduce hot flashes and night sweats for some women in mid-life, according to a new study from the Kinsey Institute that focused on women who underwent rapid menopause after surgical removal of the ovaries.
A total of 117 women participated in the study, of whom 69 were menopausal or postmenopausal at the time of their surgery; of them, 29 had at least one child in their home.
The remaining 48 participants were premenopausal, and 28 of them had at least one child at home.
The research team measured hot flashes and night sweats immediately prior to surgery and then again at two, six and 12 months post-op.
"These are intriguing findings," says Tierney Lorenz, a postdoctoral fellow at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University Bloomington.
"For women who were menopausal when our study began, those with young children at home actually showed more symptoms of hot flashes. But the women who underwent rapid menopause because of the surgical removal of their ovaries showed a dramatic reduction of symptoms."
Of the women who went through menopause due to the surgery, the researchers say the effects were limited to those with children younger than 13.
The research team says, however, that they are being cautious with the findings given that menopause is well-known to affect women differently.
The study was published in the journal Menopause.