Hot flashes are feelings of intense heat that often affect women during menopause. But men can also experience hot flashes from hormonal changes, lifestyle causes, and some medical reasons.

A hot flash is a feeling of intense heat that isn’t triggered by your immediate surroundings. It often appears suddenly.

Hot flashes are commonly linked to women undergoing menopause. However, men can also experience this condition.

Language matters

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. We use the term “women” and “men” in this article to refer to sex assigned at birth and reflect terms historically used to gender people.

Women experience hot flashes from a sudden fluctuation in hormones as they age. On the other hand, men don’t experience a natural sharp decline in testosterone.

In fact, men experience a less than 2 percent drop in testosterone every year after 30. This is a healthy and steady decline.

Androgen deprivation therapy

Hot flashes in men are most likely to occur as a result of a prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy. This treatment works by restricting the production of testosterone so that it can’t stimulate cancer cell growth.

It’s estimated that as many as 80 percent of men who undergo this form of therapy have hot flashes.

Lifestyle causes

Hot flashes in men sometimes coincide with other symptoms like:

These symptoms may be the result of stress, depression, or anxiety. More research is needed to fully understand how these symptoms correlate to hot flashes.

Medical causes

Low testosterone levels, or “low T,” can result from a variety of causes, but men with this condition can experience hot flashes as well.

Symptoms include:

  • a sensation of warmth that comes on suddenly
  • heavy sweating
  • reddening of the skin

While the triggers of hormone decreases differ for men and women, the symptoms of hot flashes are identical in both sexes.

The sensation of warmth and flushing is felt most intensely in the head and trunk areas. Heavy sweating and a reddening of the skin may accompany these symptoms.

Such symptoms may pass quickly, averaging about 4 minutes, and end in a cold sweat. Some men and women will experience these symptoms infrequently, while others may experience them up to 10 times a day.

Most men stop having flashes after about 7 months of finishing their androgen deprivation treatment, according to a 2017 study. Men who stay on the therapy may continue to experience these symptoms.

Improving your diet, sleep patterns, and overall fitness may help reduce discomfort during hot flashes.

One older 2010 study found that taking antidepressants, progestin hormones like megestrol, or anti-androgen hormones like cyproterone (not available in the United States) may help treat hot flashes in men. Estradiol and testosterone replacement therapy can also help.

A 2012 study also suggested that multiple antidepressant medications may help. It also noted that the anticonvulsant gabapentin is the best-studied and potentially most effective of the nonhormonal treatment options.

It’s important to note that testosterone replacement therapy is not recommended for men with a history of prostate cancer since it may stimulate cancer cells. Talk with your doctor before taking any off-label medications.

You can help prevent hot flashes by avoiding common triggers, such as:

  • alcohol
  • smoking
  • coffee
  • spicy food
  • warm room temperatures
  • tight or heavy clothing