DEAR DR. ROACH: If women are prescribed a hormone replacement for hot flashes, do the hot flashes return once the medicine is discontinued. If you take hormone replacement therapy, are you just delaying the symptoms for a while and will have to deal with hot flashes either way? -- C.H.

ANSWER: Hot flashes are a common symptom when women go into menopause -- 60% to 80% of women will experience them. About half of women will stop having hot flashes after about five years. The remainder will have a longer duration. A third of women will still experience them after 10 years, and in about 10%, they continue for 20 or more years after menopause.

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