No, It's Not Hot in Here: The Men's Guide to Understanding Menopause with Dick Roth
By Dick Roth
Author Dick Roth approaches the subject from a men's perspective, dispelling some of the myths and pointing the way towards useful resources.
The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
Moderator: Hello and welcome to WebMD live!
Moderator: Our guest today is Dick Roth. Mr. Roth is the winner of an Olympic gold medal in swimming, which he won while still in high school. A graduate of Stanford University with a major in religious studies, Roth ran a large chain of natural food stores in Santa Barbara, California through the 1970s; worked a ranch of more than a half million acres in Elko County, Nevada for another decade; and during most of the 1990s was a manager and workshop facilitator for the Covey Leadership Center. The father of two young adults, he has been married for 22 years. Tonight, we're talking about Mr. Roth's book, No, It's Not Hot In Here.
No, It's Not Hot In Here is a great title. Where did it come from?
Roth: It's kind of a joke now between my wife and I -- we were not prepared for it and now we use it for fun and I chose it -- and usually the husband would go back to reading the paper.
Moderator: So, Mr. Roth, how did you come to begin working on this project?
Roth: When my wife first started with menopause , I wanted to believe it wasn't happening. It was the farthest thing from my mind. I finally accepted it happening and when I realized what it was, I looked at a couple of books about it but nothing for husbands and I decided someone needed to write a book about it. Men need something about it to understand.
Moderator: Where did you start?
Roth: With the idea if giving an overview and kind of an antidote, kind of paint a basic picture of it. I wanted to just give the overview but scientific overview of it.
Moderator: In your opinion, what is the most common misconception out there about women and menopause?
Roth: Basically three. Widespread in western societies, it is an illness. The way we respond to it. I responded to my wife as if she were sick. I thought we needed to get it treated. I realized it wasn't an illness. I thought it must be degrading to a woman, and the light bulbs went off and I started to treat my wife differently; I started to realize how strong women are. I thought about the menstrual cycle women go through and I became more compassionate.
Moderator: When did you first realize your wife was going through menopause? Did you realize before she did?
Roth: She realized it first and accepted it and began to do something about. It was her early 40s. The menstrual cycles had become irregular and she had a check-up with OBGYN and she told me that this was premenopause. She started to read books about it and I just didn't want to believe it.
Moderator: ... and the age thing, that's why it bothered you so much?
Roth: Menopause is undeniably a marker that we are getting older. It is an unconscious bell going off. Women seem to be more accepting of it. When a man hears that, it's sometimes the red corvette syndrome going off. We don't want to grow old.
Moderator: Do you think that there's a growing awareness in the US about issues associated with menopause?
Roth: Major, yes. Now it's entering menopause age, the largest selling drug is for menopause. Viagra is in third place, I believe. This is kind of like -- men say it's a women's issue. Men will pick it up and deal with it. It's not a women's issue; physicaly, yes. It becomes a relationship issue actually.
Moderator: Are most men inherently clueless about this?
Roth: I think so and they want to stay that way. It has been a major taboo. It hasn't been talked about. Most of our parents haven't discussed it; women want to know about it. These women learned about it, took birthing classes. If you go to www.Amazon.com, you'll find hundreds of books on it. Men have an attitude about it: It's not my problem.
Moderator: What kinds of physical changes did your wife undergo during menopause? Were you surprised?