Managing Menopause Over Summer

Published: 16/06/2023

Top tips to surviving menopause symptoms this summer

Finally, it’s that time of year, the sun’s out, the shorts are on and the barbeque coals are heating up, but as the temperature rises so do some of the difficult symptoms associated with menopause, so how do we cope?

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman's life that brings about a multitude of changes, both physical and emotional. While the symptoms of menopause can be challenging to deal with at any time of the year, they can be particularly pronounced during the summer months when higher temperatures and increased humidity exacerbate the discomfort.  

Troublesome symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can be hard to manage and embarrassing for the individual at any time of the year, but in summer, when the temperature is naturally higher, these symptoms can be unbearable.

Rather than shut yourself away and avoid the heat, here are some suggestions for helping to deal with those annoying inconveniences and allowing you to embrace this wonderful time of the year.

For those with access to myTamarin menopause support, book in a 1-1 consultation with one of our menopause nurses for personalised expert advice, or join the conversation in our support groups via the app. 

Tips on Managing Menopause Symptoms

1. Staying Cool During the Day

One of the primary challenges menopausal women face during summer is managing hot flashes. The rising temperatures can intensify these symptoms, causing significant discomfort. 

During the day try leaving your hair wet after showering instead of heat-drying and styling, the dampness will cool the scalp naturally and avoid raising body temperature with heating products.

It is easy to put off doing things that will increase body temperature especially if you worry about sweat patches and body odour. However, avoiding exercise is not advised. Instead, change your routine, exercise earlier in the day before the temperature rises, and then a cooling shower afterwards will set you up for the day ahead.

Carry a cooling spray with you and applying to your face as necessary. If you keep it in the fridge, it makes a refreshing application when a flush hits. When you leave the house take it with you along with a good antiperspirant/deodorant which can be applied whenever you feel it is needed.

Most importantly of all, hydration is vital. Keep spare bottles of water in the fridge and always carry one with you, drinking constantly throughout the day will prevent dehydration especially if you are sweating more than usual as dehydration can lead to headaches, heat exhaustion and more dangerous conditions like heat stroke and renal impairment. If you are not a fan of plain water, try adding slices of cucumber or lemon to alter the taste. 

2. Managing Night Sweats

If night sweats are your biggest problem, preparation is the key. Keep bedroom curtains closed during the day, especially at times of the day when the sun is directly on the bedroom window this helps to keep the room cooler.

Try a cooling blanket to bring down skin temperature they use a special design to cool the individual. This is a cheaper alternative to running an expensive air conditioning unit and can be shared by a partner or kept for yourself if you prefer!

Swap nightwear made of man-made fibres for lighter, cotton-based fibres which are more breathable and thinner. At the same time, change the duvet for a thinner one and if your partner complains it is too thin, try two single duvets of differing togs.

If insomnia is a problem, too, avoid caffeine-based drinks after 3 pm as caffeine can stay in the system for several hours after consumption and disrupt your ability to fall asleep. Caffeine is a stimulant so try drinking something more calming like Chamomile or warm milk.

3. Additional Methods to Managing Symptoms

Yoga and meditation are great ways to help you manage your symptoms and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, (CBT) can provide you with the tools required to manage symptoms throughout the year, especially hot flashes as well as mood issues.

Throughout the day eat light, Mediterranean-style meals which are healthier and will avoid the heavy, full feeling which can make you feel hot and bloated. Include foods high in Phytoestrogens such as: soya; pulses; lentils; pumpkin seeds, etc to help ease symptoms. Avoid spicy foods and foods you know from experience will trigger flashes.

Hormone Replacement Therapy, (HRT) can help reduce many menopause symptoms including flushes and night sweats. If symptoms are not controlled on the dose initially prescribed, speak to your GP about increasing the dose until relief is achieved. Alternately or as well as, Sage Leaf is believed to help reduce sweats and flashes. (As with all alternative medications discuss with your GP prior to commencing to ensure there are no interactions with conventional medications.)

myTamarin Support

myTamarin has menopause experts ready to provide you with the support you need to manage symptoms, and navigate the challenges that come with (peri)menopause. They are not just there to help individuals experiencing it first hand - they can help educate managers, partners, friends too. Get in touch with them today via your employer-specific link, or via the app. 

If you don't yet have access to myTamarin through your work yet, speak to your HR about signing up to this critical support. 

Whether you enjoy the heat or prefer a cooler environment flashes and night sweats can be unavoidable but rather than shutting yourself away and missing out on sun, sea and sand, following a few simple suggestions can ease symptoms and allow you to enjoy a long, hot summer.

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