Your Weather Forecasting is Spot On! Guest post by Susie Hades, Founder, Personally Cool, Inc

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in hot flash, HRT | 0 comments

You may recall that about a week ago, I took the mick out of ColdFront, a new personal cooling system designed to cool those hot flashes. The day that the post ran, ColdFront inventor and Personally Cool Founder Susie Hades posted a comment with an offer to provide with me a sample so that I could try it for myself. Although I turned Susie’s offer down, I did reach out to her via email and phone and we had a lengthy conversation about her vision and the product. And you know what? I was impressed by her philosophy and approach, so much so that I offered her a guest spot on Flashfree.

Part of my mission is to reveal products and agents that work and that don’t, to uncover snake oil approaches and provide data-driven alternative solutions. Mostly though, I believe that information is truly power AND empowering, and that by educating ourselves, we are in a better position to play a role in driving and shaping decisions about our health and our healthcare.

Susie’s goal is not unlike mine and I encourage you to show some love. And Susie? I am glad that we had a chance to exchange ideas and start what is certain to be more than one conversation. We need more of those exchanges if we are ever going to move menopause out from under the Menopause Industrial Complex and into the hands of women who want viable and safe solutions.

I founded Personally Cool in 2007 because I couldn’t find what I call an “and” product for hot flash relief: drug-free; AND effective; AND safe; AND convenient; AND discreet; AND elegant; AND eco- and wallet-friendly.

I must have bought and tried one of almost every type of hot flash relief product available with the exception of bio-identical or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Even though the efficacy was unquestionable, the data tell a larger story for HRT.

In 2002, increased risks of breast cancer, stroke, and a number of other side effects were widely expressed across various studies. As a result, prescriptions of Prempro (a leading Wyeth/Pfizer HRT product) dropped 80% by the fourth quarter of 2003.[1] Women, frightened and confused by the findings of these studies, wanted other choices.

Our own research (both initial and a just-completed survey of 300 women) confirms that women are still looking for safe alternatives to HRT. We also learned a number of other interesting facts – from how often and with what severity women hot flash, to how they handle them. Two poignant realities were derived from this last point. First, more than 80% of the women we surveyed had either never used HRT or they stopped at the advice of doctors or of their own volition. Second, more than 55% of the women currently experiencing hot flashes – given the choices they’ve faced until now – deliberately choose to do nothing at all. In other words, they literally sweat them out.

I invented coldfront to be the “AND” product that other products aren’t, and I am proud to say that it is. A test panel conducted late in our product development to make sure that we got it right was critically helpful. We abandoned certain product features that we loved but that our intended audience didn’t. After testing coldfront for three days, over 80% of our panelists reported that they’d never use anything other than coldfront to relieve their hot flashes. This was huge!

Yes, coldfront is great at cooling a hot flash, but we couldn’t ignore larger forces at work – the enormous need for psychological and social relief from the stigma of menopause. Although we’re living up to a third of our lives post-menopause, our society still sees menopausal women in an unflattering light. Among women my age, there is a growing desire to reassert control over our own lives and bodies, and to put a stop to allowing other people to define for us what this time of life should mean. Personally Cool wants to change the perception of midlife women and create our own conversation. When we say, “we make menopause cool,” we mean it – on a number of levels!

With coldfront, we are encouraging women to take charge of their own relief, which – in our case (pun totally intended!) – is no farther away than your handbag and no more complicated than what we already know works – cold – especially when it’s in the palm of your hand. It is so discreet and convenient that it allows most women to get through a hot flash without letting anyone know they’ve even had one.

And this, ultimately, is what sets coldfront apart from every other cold therapy product available today:

  1. coldfront was designed in every way to be compatible with the life of a menopausal woman who defines herself, simply, as a woman. It is the least intrusive, most effective, complete, and portable cold therapy system for hot flashing women on the market.
  2. coldfront can go right from the freezer to your bag because it was engineered to be condensation-free. Your bag, phone, or iPad will not get wet; you won’t be uncomfortable; and you don’t have to worry about batteries or enlarging your “carbon footprint.”
  3. Each woman experiences hot flashes differently and in different parts of their bodies. The two palm packs are formulated to last the average length of a hot flash, 1-3 minutes, and they can go wherever a woman needs them. After replacing them back in the case, within 20 minutes they will be cool again and ready for use.
  4. Hot flashes make you sweat! The antimicrobial super absorbent cloth wicks away moisture and is easily washed.
  5. Your day is long, and you’re not always near a freezer. coldfront will continue re-cooling the palm packs for up to 12 hours.
  6. Unlike one-time use cold packs, which can create over 600 pounds of toxic waste over the course of five hot-flashing years, and literally cost thousands of dollars, coldfront is phthalate-free, non-toxic, and costs less than $100 over the life of the product.
  7. Everything in the system is reusable and is designed to last.

Liz, thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your community and to speak about our product. Because women all experience menopause and hot flashes differently, we know that coldfront won’t be for everyone. But, we believe deeply that coldfront is something special – not just because it works, but because it speaks to a societal issue we believe we can change.

Here’s to a new kind of coldfront moving in!



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