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Mastering Midlife

  • How to Make Sure Your Doctor Has Your Back—Even in Our Broken System

    Our health care system is a mess. The combined forces of capitalism, government, and the cozy yet troubled relationship between them has led to a “system” that is the most complicated in the world, the most costly by far, and nowhere near as effective as it should be.

    If you’re like most Americans, you’ve noticed Continue reading

  • Why I Don’t Wear a Pink Ribbon

    no pink ribbon

    October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it seems everyone is wearing a pink ribbon.  I don’t and here’s why:

    Continue reading

  • We're Getting to Know Some Pretty Cool Women!

    It's October 7, 2014 and our first national study of our PrettyCoolWoman garments is nearly complete!  We have some guesses about what we’ll hear back, but the truth is, we really don't know!  We'll all have to stay tuned to what our study volunteer/ product testers have to say. This is hugely important to us, because their feedback will help us make some major decisions about our next steps as a company that serves women's needs at mid-life!

    Our study started with an extensive survey of women from around the country who have hot flashes and/or night sweats and cannot or choose not to use prescribed hormone therapy.  Each woman who volunteered for the study got 2 garments of her choice, one for day and one for night – and agreed to wear them for at least 3 consecutive days and 3 consecutive nights per week for two weeks.  All participants get to keep the garments afterwards, regardless of their comments.

    The survey is confidential, so we won’t release any personal or identifying information, but here are some of the highlights from the initial pre-trial survey:

    • We have 21 participants from 14 states from Alaska to Florida!
    • Age range is 39 to 68, with an average age of 52.
    • Household income ranges from under $40,000 to over $500,000.
    • Over half our testers experience more than 6 hot flash episodes per day.
    • Over half say that hot flashes are a major distraction that affects both work and play.
    • Over half have night sweats every night, and over 60% say they are tired all the time.
    • The biggest reported trigger for hot flashes is stress. Over 75% of our testers feel their job is above average stress-wise, with 45% feeling that they need to be "ready for anything, at all times."
    • None of our respondents was satisfied with non-hormonal prescription hot flash meds:

    o   1/3 said they didn't work at all;

    o   1/3 said they didn't work enough to bother with; and,

    o   1/3 said they worked for a little while, and then stopped.

    o   All of the women who took or take antidepressant medication said that it does not help their hot flashes.

    • Half of those who tried hormone creams said they didn't work at all, the rest said they weren't worth the bother.
    • 61% would be surprised or completely shocked if their physician ever suggested a non-medical approach to their health (e.g. acupuncture, herbs). Only 11% have ever gotten a non-medical suggestion from their primary care provider.
    • Most of our testers feel they’re in good touch and have a healthy relationship with their bodies.
    • 87% loved being pregnant.
    • Most (over 75%) of our respondents like their jobs. Several rated their jobs a perfect "10".
    • Our testers average about 180 Facebook friends each. About half said they have a few very close female friends, and about 1/3 said they are generally more comfortable with men. Over 80% say age doesn't factor into their friendships; they have friends of all ages.
    • Despite the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause, most of our testers have a positive outlook – 45% simply see it as another stage of life, while over 27% find it a positive, liberating experience.
    • 60% feel that menopause has no effect on their career status while 35% think it's a plus.
    • Half did not feel that the youth-oriented marketing focus of the fashion industry was a problem in finding clothing that worked for them, but almost as many wished that there were more stores that catered to women at this stage of life.
    • There was no consensus on what our demographic of women should be called!

    I’m encouraged by the positive outlook our testers have shown. Overall, they feel good about themselves, their bodies, their careers and relationships. They know themselves and seem to know what they want going forward.  I can’t ask for a better group of women to give us some clear (and tough!) answers about how PrettyCoolWoman's products perform on different bodies in different climates and activities.  And that's what we want – clear and tough answers that help us serve you better!

    What do you think?  Can you relate?  Now that these women have tried our products for several weeks, what would YOU like to know about their experience?  We’re creating our post-test survey now and we’d like to include YOUR questions of women who have tried our products and have NO VESTED INTEREST IN PUSHING OUR PRODUCTS!

    Need a solution for your menopause or temperature regulation symptoms? Want to know if our products will work for YOU?  Send me your questions at DebraMD@PrettyCoolWoman.com or in a comment below, and I’ll make sure to incorporate them in the survey!  But hurry!  We're sending out our final, follow-up questionnaire to our testers this Friday October 10!

  • If the Gear Fits, Wear it!

    Female climber on the summit.

    I’ve been thinking…  I’m blessed to have a 30 year marriage with a man who makes it his mission to meet my needs.  Really!  To the point that he often will know what I need before I do!  Which is great for me because I realize I’m not the only woman who doesn’t always know what I need until it’s presented to me! Continue reading

  • When Words Fail...

    sunset I’m rarely at a loss for words, but today I find that the deeper truth I want to express defies words.  I can’t write it, text it, or verbalize it.  It’s deeper than words and comes from  Continue reading

  • Robin Williams and the S Word; Plain Talk About Suicide, Men and Women

    tightrope Robin Williams has become the tragic poster child for suicide.  His death by his own hand rattled us; we felt like we knew him because Continue reading

  • A Husband's SurTHRIVEal Guide to Menopause

    Is there an elephant in the room? Is there an elephant in the room?

    I'm a man going through menopause. No, not the gradual decline of testosterone that is part of a man's natural aging process-although that's happening, too. I mean female menopause, with my wife of 30 years. We are partners in all things, so I am part of this process through my empathy for her, but also through some very practical realities. Continue reading

  • Off to College Special!

    Many of us have or are about to have children going off to school. It's a well-known fact that college students have terrible sleep hygiene. Continue reading

  • The PrettyCoolWoman Inner Circle – what your membership means

     

    As a new and still tiny company in an industry dominated by large manufacturers and large-scale distributors, we at PrettyCoolWoman.com have a real challenge getting noticed. While specialized clothing products have always had their niches, the customers for those products usually know what they’re looking for and where to find it – ski clothing at ski shops, business wear at department stores or Continue reading

  • All or Nothing Thinking--Hazardous to Your Health? 

    Nothing All Buttons Show Full Or Nill

    Today is “All or Nothing Day.”  Never heard of it?  Me neither.  I know nothing about its history or who put it on the calendar, but it occurs to me that I have little use for all or nothing thinking, at least when I’m in my right mind!
    Most of the time, as a mature woman physician, wife, mother, designer and entrepreneur, I’m pretty good at thinking things through thoroughly, seeing shades of gray, and thinking outside the box.  Except when I’m not!

    Maybe you can relate: Continue reading

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