Menopause symptoms are enough to make any woman reach out in desperation for something that will help, says Adrienne Wyper. And there are medical treatments, over-the-counter supplements and foods that work, but when it comes to lifestyle products such as clothing, you can pay over the odds for hot-flush-friendly items, thanks to what I’m calling meno-marketing.
According to a recent report, the global ‘menopausal hot flashes market’ for hormone treatment has been predicted to reach $5.28 billion by 2023. That’s a lot of money clenched in sweaty fists. No wonder lots of companies are keen to cash in on the change.
As any sufferer knows, night sweats are a nightmare, and there are several sleepwear ranges that can, it’s claimed, keep you cool overnight. Cucumber Clothing has a small range of simple designs, with ‘built-in new generation anti-microbial nano-technology’. Their fabrics are, according to the Daily Telegraph 100% polyester microfibre and 90% polyester microfibre/10% rayon. (The Cucumber website doesn’t specify the fabrics’ composition.). A knee-length, spaghetti-strap nightie costs £115.
I’m all for looking good at all times, but that just seems too expensive. In my quick online search for a cheaper alternative, I found a slip for a fifth of he price, that you could wear to sleep in. It’s from Marks & Spencer, and is lace-trimmed with Cool Comfort [TM] Technology. And for £22.50, you could buy one for every night of the (working) week for the cost of one Cucumber nightie!
Basically, what you want for hot flushes/night sweats, as for working out, is a ‘wicking’ fabric that draws the moisture of your sweat in and dissipates it into he surrounding atmosphere. Cotton doesn’t do this; it stays damp, which is uncomfortable.
Cool-jams has simple nightwear designs made of wicking, anti-bacterial fabric for £44.27, via Amazon.
Personally, I find that sleeping naked is now most comfortable, flicking the quilt on and off as needed, and sometimes turning the pillow over to the cool side.
One of the more extreme products claimed to be magic for menopausal symptoms is the Ladycare, a £35 magnet that you pop down your pants where it can, the makers claim, reduce hot flushes, help with weight loss, improve your mood, boost energy levels and give you better skin tone as well as a better night’s sleep. Presumably its purple glitteriness aids efficacy. There are trials listed on the site which appear to show that it works (and satisfied reviews on Boots website, too). However, Dr Jen Gunter, who specialises in obstetrics and gynaecology, rates them as ‘crap’ on her blog. Personally, I think it may be the placebo effect.
That’s Not My Age has written about what to wear during menopause, with the focus on layering, air flow and breathable fabrics. But when it comes to handing over money for niche-marketed items as vests with built-in ice packs, freezable cooling jewellery and chilled neckscarves, isn’t it time to put the ‘nope’ into menopause?
Words by Adrienne Wyper, who writes about health and wellbeing and other things HERE.
And now for some summer fashion minus the meno-marketing:
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