It's important to remember that the menopause is normal and that support should be available to help you at work.
Menopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in the workforce, so it's important now more than ever to be able to speak openly about menopause at work.
Menopause can affect a woman's working life. Sometimes menopausal symptoms or working conditions can impact your ability to concentrate or carry out your role to the best of your ability.
In a survey of 1,000 adults in the UK, the British Menopause Society found that 45% of women felt that menopausal symptoms had a negative impact on their work and 47% who needed to take a day off work due to menopause symptoms say they wouldn't tell their employer the real reason.
Many women have said that they often find managing their menopause symptoms in the workplace very challenging. Coping with symptoms in the workplace can be hard, especially as many women find it difficult to talk about menopause at work.
Things you can do
Feel free to ask for reasonable adjustments at work to better manage your menopausal symptoms. This could include:
- Exploring flexible working arrangements
- Requesting a different uniform if hot flushes are bothering you
- Moving to a cooler part of the office or requesting a fan
- Embracing technology, like setting reminders on your phone or taking more notes to combat 'brain fog'
Considering practical changes that suit you is beneficial. If there's an occupational health service, reach out to them for support and potential work adjustments.
Sharing your experiences with supportive colleagues can be reassuring – you might discover you're not alone.
Beyond the workplace, consider incorporating lifestyle changes like increased exercise, more walks, and a healthy balanced diet. Look into local Menopause Cafes or online social media groups to connect with people undergoing similar experiences.
If menopausal symptoms are affecting your work, consider having a friendly chat with your manager. Sharing personal matters at work might feel a bit awkward, especially if your manager isn't someone you usually confide in. If that's the case, try reaching out to another member of the management team or your friendly HR folks.
Before approaching someone, you might want to:
- Jot down your menopausal symptoms and when they impact you
- Discuss your thoughts and plans with a friend for some support
- Think of potential solutions that could make things easier for you
As a manager
There are many resources available that can help you understand more about the menopause and the support women experiencing menopausal symptoms in your workplace may want or need.
There are solutions available to help women continue to work comfortably during menopause.
Things you might want to consider offering employees:
- flexible working such as changing working patterns or working from home
- counselling through workplace
- option to take more regular breaks
- more time to prepare before meetings, appointments or engagements
What is a Menopause Champion?
Well, they play a crucial role within the team when it comes to discussing the menopause and providing support. They can:
- Raise awareness and help everyone understand what the menopause is about
- Promote a positive culture that ensures everyone is well informed about the menopause
- Set up a safe space for colleagues to share their menopause concerns and guide them to support
Become a Menopause Champion
If you work within a primary care network or are a health & social care professional, local business or part of a neighbourhood community group, your involvement is important to us. Whether you are interested in becoming a Menopause Champion or learning about our upcoming events, we would love to hear from you. Contact:0116 261 4605
Transgender individuals and menopause
There isn't much data about the menopause and trans individuals at the moment. If you identify as a man but have a female reproductive system without undergoing medical interventions, you might go through menopause eventually.
Trans individuals starting their transition before menopausal age usually won't experience its hormone depletion effects because gender-affirming hormones are typically lifelong. Trans women on oestrogen don't need to stop treatment to induce menopause; previous concerns about lifelong oestrogen treatment have diminished.
If discussing menopause with your GP feels uncomfortable, Stonewall provides a list of supportive organisations. Call their information service at 08000 50 20 20 for advice.
The Menopause Journey: Embracing the Transition With Confidence
In This Free Course, You Will Learn How To
- Outline the different stages of menopause
- Describe the symptoms associated with menopause
- Explain how mental health and sleep are affected during menopause
- Discuss the range of treatment options available for dealing with the symptoms of menopause
- Describe the benefits of exercise for menopausal women
- Recall the laws and recommendations that apply to menopausal women in the workplace
- Identify diets and exercise that help reduce the risk of osteoporosis
The Menopause Charity Resources
The menopause charity are here to help with evidence-based information and advice on the menopause, from HRT to vaginal dryness.
Womens Health Concern
Womens Health Concern
Daisy Network for Premature Menopause
Vita Health Group – Talking Therapies