Boots worker experiences what life is like for women during menopause – and brands it 'torturous' | The Sun

Boots worker experiences what life is like for women during menopause – and brands it 'torturous' | The Sun


MENOPAUSE is a condition that affects every woman at some point in her life.

It can be debilitating, which is why one Boots worker has taken part in an experiment to find out what it's really like to go through 'the change'.

The High Street retailer decided to put staff through their paces in 'Menovests', which replicate what millions of women experience each day.

The vest mimics the feeling of hot flushes, with Luke Davies having to deal with eight during the hour, each one lasting two minutes.

After just an hour of living in a menopausal woman's shoes, Luke said it was a 'torturous experience', adding it had been 'unlike anything' he had ever done before.

For the experiment, the field sales territory manager had to serve customers, unpack delivery and stock the shelves.

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After a full hour of trying the vest, Luke said: "The last hour for me has been something I have never experienced before.

"It’s been almost torturous in a sense of the dread. When the vest was heating up my concentration levels totally went out the window and all I could concentrate on was the temperature and the feeling of being really uncomfortable.

"Waiting for that moment for the vest to cool down and go back to normal was all I could think about

"It was totally confusing for me and I couldn’t think as clearly as I usually would.

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"I have so much more empathy – I didn't know how it would feel and it’s opened my mind."

While it's a condition most people know about, it's something that men and even younger people struggle to understand.

It's mostly associated with hot flushes, but other symptoms can include irregular periods, mood changes and sleep issues to name just a few.

Menopause usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 but in some women it can happen far sooner.

Your periods stop due to lower hormone levels – which need to be replenished through medication such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).

A lot of the time, those experiencing hot flushes are laughed at, with many joking 'you're having a moment'.

Around 75 per cent of women struggle with this, even when taking HRT.

The symptom, for some, can also trigger other issues such as anxiety, brain fog and a loss of confidence.


Last October, Fabulous launched our Menopause Matters campaign to support our readers who were suffering in silence.

Fronted by Lisa Snowdon and backed by celebs like Zoe Hardman, Trisha Goddard and, of course, Davina, it aimed to make HRT free through the NHS and to put a menopause policy in every workplace.

Just weeks later, the government pledged to cut the annual cost of repeat HRT prescriptions to £18.70 (a saving of up to £205 a year), while companies like pub chain Young’s and Estée Lauder pledged support for staff.

In June, Menopause Matters was awarded Campaign of the Year at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards 2022.

But our work isn’t done – we’ll continue speaking out until the taboo surrounding the menopause has been smashed for good.

Before the experiment, Luke was given a full health check and was told he could take off the vest at any point.

However, he was encouraged to leave it on – due to the fact that women can't choose when their symptoms stop and start.

The clip shows Luke getting on with his duties, throughout the hour, he becomes notably confused and flustered due to the affects of the vest and at points, he is even seen fanning himself to try and cool down.

At one point, a customer asks him to locate the tissues.

In his confused state, Luke struggles to find them, taking the customer down various aisles before finally getting her the product she asked for.


At some points, Luke also struggles to get his words out and it's clear the vest is taking its toll on him.

As the hour goes on, Luke's heart rate reaches 110 beats per minute.

Most adults have a resting heart rate between 60 and 100bpm.

During his first flush, Luke said it felt like 'real bursts of heat'.

"All you can describe it as, is it's all you can concentrate on, all you can think of," he said.

Luke has been part of a No7 initiative which has been using the vests in store to help team members appreciate what their colleagues with the menopause might be going through.

Team members now have a better understanding, but have also been given bespoke training on how to deal with members of the public who may also be struggling.

Boots wanted to make sure others know what it really feels like to suffer with the menopause and also want women to feel as though they are being listened to and understood when it comes to their symptoms.

Each woman will experience the menopause in a different way and by training staff, Boots believes that every woman will be able to get the help and support they need.

Lavinia Moxley, Head of Global Beauty Academy, No7 Beauty Company said the vest is particularly helpful for men and those who have yet to experience the menopause.

She said: “We filmed team members wearing the vest and trying to function as normal behind a busy No7 counter in a Boots store. We then shared the film with all 1,400 No7 Beauty Advisors to support their menopause training. 

“It’s part of a unique experiential approach to encourage learning and allyship around the menopause.

"By training our No7 Advisors like this it gives them an empathy and understanding, which women seeking help with menopause at No7 counters in Boots will benefit from. This approach makes Boots the best place on the high street for women to go to for support with symptoms.”

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The brand now also offers a skincare range specifically targeting issues caused by menopause.

It's been developed with No7 scientists and experts at the University of Manchester.

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