Many women going through the change are often left wondering: can menopause cause a fever? Let’s talk about this question so that you can know exactly what to expect.
Sometimes during menopause, women may mistake a hot flash for a fever.
If you actually take your core temperature, you’ll notice that you don’t have a fever, you just feel hot. Your skin temperature will be very warm, up to a couple of degrees warmer than your core temperature, but it’s not a true fever.
However, menopause can cause fever. There is something that occurs, usually in perimenopause, that I like to call the hormonal flu. When your hormones are transitioning in perimenopause and you have too much estrogen on board and not enough progesterone, you can actually feel like you have the flu. Symptoms may include body aches, chills, and even a fever. However, you don’t actually have a virus. It’s more of an inflammatory reaction, due to your hormones being so drastically out of balance.
When you’re in perimenopause or menopause, you may not have the period to show for it, but these fevers do seem to have a cyclical effect. Oftentimes, if you’re taking bio-identical hormones, you may notice that the “flu” only occurs when you skip your hormones for a few days.
So yes, in a sense, going through menopause can cause fevers, but just remember that it’s an inflammatory reaction.
Menopause can also aggravate autoimmune conditions, as well as suppress your immune system because your estrogen levels are so low. This can cause stealth viruses or intracellular bacteria to actually surface and cause you to have recurrences, which may lead to fevers. In that case, it’s the microbes that are causing the fevers. However, it’s menopause that makes you vulnerable to the resurgence of these infections.
Remember, it may be easy to confuse a hot flash with a fever. You may feel like you’re burning up, but you don’t actually have a fever when you’re taking your core temperature. Because menopausal women tend to have a lower metabolism, they usually have lower core temperatures.
How do you know what your core temperature is?
You can’t rely on the temperature of your skin, because when you’re having a hot flash, your skin will be incredibly hot. I recommend that my menopausal patients check their core temperatures by taking their temperature orally. An oral temperature will be the most accurate measure of your core.
There are a lot of crazy symptoms that come with the change that is not typical, and oftentimes, you don’t get any sympathy from those around you who don’t understand these atypical symptoms. If you’d like some support, please join us in our hormone support group, which you can access through our Hormone Review Training