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Menopause can be a challenging time in a woman’s life. The average age of menopause is 51 but women may experience symptoms earlier than that, known as peri-menopause. Three quarters of women will experience symptoms of menopause and 1 in 4 will experience serious symptoms, but almost half of women don’t seek medical help.
Physical symptoms of menopause
The main treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), although other treatments are also available for some of the symptoms. Some women find counselling useful to help with the psychological effects of menopause.
Menopause in the workplace
According to a study from the Faculty of Occupations Medicine 8 out of 10 menopausal women are in work, but the majority don’t feel comfortable talking about menopause with their line managers., and many conceal their symptoms at work.
The Government Equalities Report on Menopause found that menopause symptoms can cause lower productivity, reduced job satisfaction and problems with time management. Some aspects of work can make symptoms worse – especially hot or poorly ventilated environments, formal meetings and deadlines. Women may feel that those around them at work are unsympathetic or treat them badly. In some cases menopause symptoms can lead to women leaving their jobs.
The report recommends employers make changes to the organisational culture around menopause in the workplace; compulsory equality and diversity training so all colleagues have a clear understanding of menopause; providing specialist advice; tailored absence policies; flexible working patterns for mid-life women; and fairly low-cost environmental changes, such as desk fans for example.
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