Have you ever wondered what it would look like if a man experienced the rollercoaster of menopause?
Well, look no further, because Patrick Gower decided to take on the hot flushes, sleepless nights, and anxiety many menopausal women face all in the name of empathy.
According to Healthify, about 70% of women have significant symptoms with menopause.
Paddy took on the challenge of facing the 'menopause simulation' in a special episode of 'Paddy Gower Has Issues'.
"It is one thing talking about menopause, but my female friends were really keen to make me experience it,” he wrote as he began talking about his experiences.
“I said yes without knowing what I was saying yes to.”
The masterminds behind the experiment were none other than Newshub reporter Kate Rodger, 'Grey Area’s' podcast host Petra Bagust and comedian Karen O’Leary.
Their mission? To make Paddy truly understand the feeling of the most common menopausal symptoms.
To start, they decided to keep Patrick awake with a phone call on the hour every hour to simulate the fatigue many women experience throughout menopause.
While running on little sleep, Patrick applied his morning makeup, slipped into some clothes that didn’t exactly fit (thanks to comedian Eli Matthewson) and chugged an energy drink, making him a jittery mess.
To top it all off Patrick sat in a sauna set at a scorching 70 degrees. You know, just your average day in the life of a perimenopausal woman.
“How women wear makeup while going through this, I do not know…”
After just 30 minutes, he couldn’t take any more. But, just as he thought he was in the clear, Patrick was hit with the hardest challenge of all - his job!
His last challenge was to complete a live broadcast while hot, sweaty and foggy-brained.
“My brain was foggy and I just could not think properly. I threw out a word salad, then puffed and panted my way through it,” Patrick recalled.
The experience was nothing short of chaotic, but it did something profound for Paddy.
He came away from his menopause simulation with a newfound understanding of the challenges women face during this phase of life.
Hundreds of thousands of Kiwi women are having their mental health, confidence and self-image rocked by menopause - but it’s still something most know next to nothing about because it’s not spoken about enough.
So, props to Patrick for giving his curiosity a nudge and putting himself through the educational simulation.
“I saw it as a chance to become less of a menopause numpty, and more of a menopause ally.”
It was a lesson in empathy, a reminder that words like "hot flushes" only scratch the surface of what menopause entails.
Petra Bagust sat down with Niki Bezzant, the Kiwi journalist who authored ‘This Changes Everything: The Honest Guide to Menopause and Perimenopause’ to discuss the effects of menopause on Kiwi women’s mental health.