Ask anyone who has been pregnant and they'll tell you that, in some ways, it's a life-long thing. Sure, you're not technically pregnant for the rest of your life, but it does have lasting effects on your body. For anyone who ever doubted those testimonies, there's finally more research to back them up. According to a new study, pregnancy disorders can lead to more hot flashes in the future.
During pregnancy, many women may find themselves experiencing hypertensive disorders. Essentially, hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. According to MedScape, hypertensive disorders are the most common medical problem encountered during pregnancy. As noted by the American Family Physician, hypertensive disorders occur in up to 10 percent of pregnancies.
In addition to hypertensive disorders, gestational diabetes is becoming increasingly common. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gestational diabetes occurs in up to 10 percent of pregnancies every year. The CDC outlined that gestational diabetes occurs when your body can’t make enough insulin during pregnancy.
Although both of these disorders can essentially go away after pregnancy, it doesn't mean that they have no lasting impact. Now, researchers are looking into how disorders experienced during pregnancy have some sort of impact on women later in life.
A new study looked into the effect that histories of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and gestational diabetes may have on women during menopause. The study's findings will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in San Diego, Oct. 3-6, according to Medical Express.
For many women, hot flashes become a part of their reality, sometimes even before menopause. In fact, according to Web MD, hot flashes are one of the most commons signs of perimenopause, or the years leading up to actual menopause. About 75 percent of women will experience hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause, WEB MD noted, with the episodes becoming severe enough to interfere with quality of life for 25 to 30 percent of women.
In recent years, hot flashes have been associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction. According to Medical Express, researchers were motivated to look into a possible association because hypertensive disorders and gestational diabetes had always been linked to vascular endothelial dysfunction.
For the study, researchers worked with data from more than 2,200 women who participated in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). And, according to Medical Express, researchers concluded that hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and gestational diabetes may be associated with a greater number of hot flashes.
Dr. Rhoda Conant, lead author of the study from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, said, according to Medical Express:
"This study further underscores the importance of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia for later health, particularly cardiovascular health at midlife. Women with a history of these pregnancy disorders were heavier and more likely to be taking lipid-lowering medications and diabetes medications."
Cardiovascular illness has been on the rise in women, as noted by Web MD. In fact, according to the Texas Heart Institute, cardiovascular disease affects more women than men, and is responsible for more than 40 percent of all deaths in American women. Knowing this, the importance of study's examining how pregnancy disorders play out long-term cannot be understated.
Overall, this study highlights how necessary it is to understand pregnancy as something that continues to impact people throughout their lives.