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Keeping Cool with the Menopause

Posted by Rosie Hetherington (Admin) 4 months ago Posted in Technology

Menopause Cooling Device

 

 As we get older our bodies naturally change and for women the menopause can last for around 7.5 years. Women going through the menopause experience a range of both physical and psychological symptoms and the effect on everyday life can be from relatively minor to hugely inconvenient and embarrassing.

One of the problems experienced by women who are going through the menopause are hot flushes and night sweats. Approximately 60-80% of women are affected and some can experience them more than 20 times a day. Some women continue to have hot flushes even after they have gone through the menopause! Although each individual is affected differently, everyone would agree that hot flushes and night sweats are symptoms they would rather live without.

At the National Innovation Centre for Ageing we held a series of workshops to better understand what women experience during a hot flush or night sweat in collaboration with Cambridge Consultants and Open Lab, at Newcastle University.

A range of scenarios such as sleep, social occasions and holidays were explored and there were lively discussions around how women coped or even avoided these situations. What became very clear was the significant effect hot flushes and night sweats were having on women’s physical, psychological and social wellbeing and the lack of products available to manage their symptoms. One attendee commented that “I’m irritated by the disruption this is causing to my life… I’m tired and it has had a massive impact on my quality of life.”

Valuable insights were gained into the techniques and products that women used to manage the negative aspects of hot flushes and night sweats. One theme that emerged was that women would prefer to avoid having to take drugs such as HRT, either for medical or personal reasons. Some of the methods women used were magnets, a fan and avoiding alcohol. 

As part of the workshop, Cambridge Consultants introduced some initial product ideas which have the potential to dramatically reduce the negative impact of hot flushes and night sweats.  These were received with great enthusiasm and the participants provided excellent feedback which suggested a strong demand for such devices and that rather than a discreet wrist-worn device, women preferred a single product that could be applied to a number of locations on the body, mainly the chest, face and neck.

Through this initial series of workshops and research, the understanding of what women feel, think and do during a hot flush or night sweat has been greatly improved.  In addition, there were glimpses of other symptoms that women experience when going through the menopause. It is clear that there are several opportunities to improve lifelong health and we will be taking this forward, continuing to work with women affected and Cambridge Consultants to develop and bring to market a product would be happy to carry and use.

Image courtesy of Cambridge Consultants

This post was edited on Oct 25, 2018 by Rosie Hetherington

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Comments (1)

Meera Vijay says... 4 months ago

This is great work and a fabulous product idea!

 

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