Monday 18 October 2021 is World Menopause Awareness Day. The purpose of this campaign being to raise awareness of the menopause and the options available in supporting the health and wellbeing of our staff and supporters.
What is the menopause?
Menopause occurs when a person who menstruates stop menstruating for 12 months due to low estrogen levels. The lead up to it, which can take up to 10 years, is called perimenopause. The median age is 51 years old, but 5% experience this much earlier, between the ages of 40-45. As this takes place across several years, it is best described as a ‘transition’ rather than a one-off event.
What are the symptoms?
Menopause can cause a range of over 30 known physical and psychological symptoms, the majority of individuals affected experience some or all of them. However, it is important to note that the symptoms can vary for each individual. Some of the most typical symptoms include:
- Mood disturbance, anxiety and/or depression
- Memory loss, panic attacks, lack of confidence and reduced concentration
- Hot flushes (brief and sudden surges usually felt in the face, neck, and chest)
- Sleep disturbance that can make people feel tired and irritable
- Night sweats (hot flushes that happen during the night)
- Muscle and joint stiffness, aches, and pains
- Recurrent urinary tract infections, including cystitis
- Weight gain
- Palpitations (heartbeats that become more noticeable)
- Skin changes (dryness, acne, genital itchiness)
- Reduced sex drive
Why should we discuss the menopause in the workplace?
Some people may ask this question and some people may go through the menopause with little impact on their daily life. But others experience symptoms that can last for years and have a negative impact on their performance and attendance at work. CIPD research found that 59% of people experiencing menopausal symptoms said it had a negative impact on work. A bad night’s sleep can affect concentration, for example, whilst heavy periods or hot flushes can be physically distressing and embarrassing. The psychological effects can also affect individuals’ confidence and relationships at work. It is therefore important that it is talked about in the workplace in order for individuals to feel comfortable when experiencing symptoms and so managers are able to support them where needed.
What support can Nottinghamshire YMCA provide?
- Our staff Menopause Policy gives some further information on the menopause and how we will support employees.
- Line Managers are typically the first point of contact if someone wants to discuss their health concerns or need a change or adjustment to their work environment or working hours. Your manager may also wish to discuss a risk assessment to have in place for supporting your symptoms in the workplace.
- The HR team are here to support employees with any further advise they may need with the menopause. You can email email@example.com for further support or guidance.
- We also have a number of wellbeing initiatives in place to support employees. You can talk to our Workplace Chaplains, Mental Health Champions or the HR Team who are all happy to support you.
Further information on the menopause can be found at:
- Women’s Health Concern
- British Menopause Society
- Support for premature menopause
- Talking Menopause
- Menopause Matters
- Menopause support
Supporting our LGBTQ+ communities
We respect that not everyone who menstruates identifies as female. If you would like support more bespoke to your personal journey, the below links could be a positive place to start: