The Hot Flash Button to the rescue
I had a senior position as a Chief Operations Officer of a bank and had to attend many board meetings. At the same time, I was suffering from severe hot flashes during my perimenopause. I was at the top of my career and in a very responsible position, but I would get intolerable hot flashes in the middle of my board meetings, which were very difficult to manage.
During these episodes, I felt like I wanted to tear off every bit of clothing and throw myself into the snow outside. Of course, that wasn’t an option. So, I sat there very still, suffering the intense heat rising from my midriff and burning my face. I felt like I was covered with volcano lava.
All I could do was wait for it to subside and hope that the next one wouldn’t come too soon.
I wish I had something like our Hot Flash Help app at the time when I was dealing with the misery of hot flashes. I wish I could have been able to reach for the app under the table and press that Hot Flash Button pouring out all the frustration and heat I was feeling.
The initial idea
As my co-founder and I talked about how to help women overcome all the challenges of perimenopause and menopause, an idea started slowly forming. We knew that more than 70% of women in this transition suffer from hot flashes. This is the reason we started with this particular menopause symptom.
Our question was: How could we use technology to ease this challenging issue in menopause!?
As the idea evolved, we included a number of strategies (or actions) that have been scientifically proven to help with hot flashes. We wanted to help every woman to find what works for her. So, the app guides the woman by testing different strategies to find which ones are effective for her.
The most frustrating thing for women going through perimenopause and menopause is that there isn’t one single remedy that can help with all the discomforts of this phase in life that can last for several years.
The Hot Flush Help App Actions
Our philosophy is to use only scientifically proven strategies that can help with the frequency and severity of hot flashes. You can choose any of these suggested strategies and try it out for a few weeks. The reports included in the app will help you see how that strategy affects your hot flashes (or hot flushes).
Let’s take coffee as an example.
When you chose coffee from the menu, the app asks you to note how many coffees you have every day now. You can set the number by pressing + or – to reach the current consumption of cups of coffee per day.
You are then asked to set your goal to see if lowering the number of caffeinated drinks will help with your hot flashes. Again, you can set the number by pressing + or – to reach the goal of how many cups of coffee per day you want to have.
Choosing how many weeks you want to try this
The next step is choosing how long you would like to reduce the number of coffee cups, strong black tea, or other caffeinated drinks you usually have per day.
We recommend that you try your chosen strategy (or action) for at least 3-4 weeks. Your body needs to adjust to the change and may only show improvement after some time. Give it that time. Be kind to your body.
We encourage you to look at this as an experiment of one. You are trying to find out what works for you by examining different strategies.
And now let’s start this cycle
When you press “Let’s do it!” you are will be starting your coffee cycle.
You can easily log the number of coffees you have every day by pressing the + sign on the main home screen.
As long as the dot above the coffee cup is green you are within your goal.
If you added a cup of coffee you didn’t actually have by accident; you can delete it by pressing on the – (minus) sign.
Hot Flash Button!
To benefit from using the Hot Flash Help app, it is important that you press the Hot Flash Button every time you have a hot flash. It logs the frequency and intensity of your hot flashes and, at the end of the cycle, helps you assess if reducing the number of cups of coffee had an impact on your hot flashes.
When you press the Hot Flash Button, you get tactile-haptic feedback from your phone. It vibrates briefly, and the flames around the button reflect the intensity of your hot flash. The longer you press the button, the hotter and bigger the flames get.
We wanted you to pour out your frustration and heat onto that screen. Get the stress of that hot flash out of your system.
The number above the flames indicates the intensity of the hot flash that you are logging. You can rate the intensity of your hot flash from 1-10, 1 being very mild and 10 being a burning inferno.
When you finish pressing the button, a reset timer will be available above the flames for 10 seconds. You can change the intensity during this time if you think you pressed it longer or shorter than your intention was. This way, you can readjust the intensity you logged.
Morning check-in on the Hot Flash Help app
Every morning we ask you how you are feeling. There are 5 emojis with different facial expressions, from very sad to very happy.
The little red dot above the sun icon tells you that you haven’t completed your morning check-in.
When you click on the emoji that reflects your mood, you will get a personalized motivational message to help start your day and give you some additional information on menopause and remind you of the goal you set.
Resetting your cycle – choosing a different action
We recommend that you continue for 3 or 4 weeks with the same strategy before trying something else. However, you may decide to change the strategy you are following and prefer to try something. In this case, you will need to reset the cycle and start a new one. You can do this from the settings menu.
On the settings screen, you can also set the time you prefer for your morning check-in notifications. Choose the time that is convenient for you for being reminded about how you feel that day.
The three parallel lines in the top right corner of the screen are called a hamburger icon. Please don’t ask us who came up with this name, but apparently, this is what tech-speak calls it!
When you click on the hamburger, it takes you to a screen where you can view the tutorial, watch the – less than Oscar-worthy – “how to” videos, and have direct access to the blog.
We are adding new features all the time. We will soon add a diary feature where you will have space to keep notes about the different things that you think might be influencing your hot flashes. You can add medications, supplements, or any other events that you think are causing you additional stress and making the hot flushes worse or more frequent.
Also coming soon is a feature whereby you will be able to add hot flashes retroactively. This is useful if you didn’t have the opportunity to log a hot flash because you didn’t have your phone with you, it happened at night, or you forgot.
We will also include the ability to change the mood you registered if at any point you change your mind about how you were feeling that day
Reports – What worked?
The main point in all of this is to let you find out how changing a particular habit or practice affects your hot flashes. Click on the 3 vertical bars at the bottom right of any screen to go to the reports.
The reports are there to tell you what is working for you. Have you experienced less frequent hot flashes, or are they less severe? For example, let us say you have chosen to reduce the number of coffees you have per day. If the report is now showing a reduction in your hot flashes’ frequency &/or severity, this is a good result. You might want to try another cycle with even fewer cups of coffee.
You can see the reports in another view by clicking on the grid-like icon on the top right of the report screen. This is the view that can show you all the cycles you tried side by side and helps you to compare results.
Question Mark Icon?
At any time you feel you lost track of what day of a cycle you are in or what your goal for this action or strategy, you can click on the question mark in the top left corner of the screen and get all the details about the current cycle.
Wherever you are in the app, you can always go back to the home screen by clicking on the home icon in the lower-left corner of the screen. This is the screen that shows up when you open the app if you are already logged in.
The Hot Flash Button is always there for you to press. It helps reduce the stress of that hot flash!
Tell us what you think about the Hot Flash Help app
If you have used the Hot Flash Help app for some time and gone through at least one cycle, we would love to know what you think about it and what works and what doesn’t.
Try it and find what works for you
We hope that while using our app that you will find what triggers or soothes your hot flashes.