Hot flashes only occur in women, right?
Not exactly. Up to 75% of men who are treated with hormone therapy for prostate cancer have hot flashes. It’s not something most people think about. But it is a common side effect in a very common cancer in men.
If more men did have the most well-known menopause symptom, hot flashes, would they be more sympathetic and empathetic to the challenges of menopause?
Apparently so, a recent report in Women’s Agenda suggests.
A menopause awareness campaign conducted in the UK involved asking male Members of Parliament (MP) to wear a special vest that simulates hot flashes.
And they did not like it one bit.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting participated in the campaign conducted by the Menopause Taskforce.
The vests, created by Over the Bloody Moon, contained several electric heating elements that imitated the sensation of hot flashes.
Some of the descriptions the men used to describe their experience were, “deeply unpleasant,” and “I can’t wait to take this off.”
One man said, It’s like being warmed by the sun, but almost volcanic inside.” The Woman’s Agenda article quoted another male MP as saying, “Imagine making a speech in the House of Commons and suddenly getting a hot flush,” “If [men] had this, we’d be complaining a lot.”
The women who conducted the study used the opportunity to comment that menopausal women needed air conditioning, ventilation, fresh air, and cold water in the workplace. These are some of the suggestions provided in the book Working Through Menopause: The Impact on Women, Businesses and The Bottom Line.
The Woman’s Agenda article quoted a female MP as saying, “Welcome to my world. I don’t need the vest to be hot and bothered.”
The more people are aware of menopause symptoms and how significantly they can impact the business woman, the more support there will be for woman in the workplace as they transition into and through menopause.
Currently, approximately half of the workforce is women and half of them are in perimenopause or menopause. So one-fourth of the workforce is being affected by hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
At present, less than five percent of women are using hormone therapy and only a small percentage of the remainder use any menopause treatment at all. So most are dealing with their symptoms at work without support–the vast majority of US businesses do not provide any menopause support for women in the workplace. As a matter of fact, in many companies, the topic is taboo.
And the more that men come to appreciate the impact menopause symptoms are having on their female workforce, the sooner that situation can change.