NASA has funded technology that helps to relieve symptoms of menopause.
The London-based Fifty One Apparel used the agency’s Outlast material to create apparel with temperature-regulating properties.
In Houston, Texas, Johnson Space Center, NASA was looking for methods to improve insulation in spacesuit gloves in the 1980s.
Johnson entered a Small Business Innovation Research contract with the Triangle Research and Development Corporation to explore the use of phase-change materials.
The materials maintain a steady temperature as they change phase from solid to liquid.
Triangle could demonstrate the effectiveness of a temperature-stabilizing fabric insert for a spacesuit glove by embedding phase-change materials into microcapsules inside the material.
Gateway Technologies – which was later known as Outlast Technologies – acquired exclusive patent rights from Triangle and began marketing the material under the name Outlast.
The founder of Fifty One Apparel, a textile marketer named Louise Nicholson, noticed that there didn’t seem to be any brands using the tech for menopause.
The company products include tops, bottoms and nightwear, as well as accessories.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.3 million Americans begin experiencing symptoms of menopause each year.
Menopause, which can last for years, is usually characterized by feelings of intense heat known as hot flashes.
It is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period.
It occurs when a woman’s ovary stops producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
The change often occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.