World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day

The goal of World Menopause Day (18/10/22) is to raise awareness about menopause, eliminate its stigma, and emphasise the resources available to help women improve their physical and mental wellbeing. Because 72% of menopausal employees report feeling unsupported at work and because eight out of ten menopausal people work, organisations must ensure that their workplaces are supportive of women who need it.

Menopause affects co-workers both directly and indirectly, making it a problem that affects more than just the person who is experiencing it. Menopause education is essential for eradicating the stigma associated with the condition and enabling women to start receiving the help they require without experiencing anxiety. Life & Progress is pleased to support organisations in their efforts to improve employee wellbeing whenever necessary and is proud to identify itself with the World Menopause Day’s values.

 

What is Menopause?

Following perimenopause, or the menopausal transition, a woman typically experiences menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. This changeover typically takes seven years, but it may also take up to 14 years. The period might vary depending on several variables, including lifestyle choices, age, race, and ethnicity. There are several ways that the transition can impact a woman. Women may put on weight more quickly than before because of the body beginning to utilise energy differently. Changes in a woman’s physical health, particularly her internal health and day-to-day functionality, are also possible.

Although the menopausal transition is frequently referred to as “menopause,” real menopause does not set in until a year after a woman has her last menstruation. It can also begin from the removal of the uterus or after a hysterectomy. Various symptoms are experienced by many women throughout the menopause. While some women may experience more severe symptoms, others may experience milder ones that can be managed with straightforward lifestyle changes. Some women might not even need treatment.

A woman reaches postmenopause after going through menopause. They may be more susceptible during this time to heart disease and osteoporosis, a condition that damages and weakens the bones. It is essential for a woman to keep a nutritious diet, stay active, and take in enough calcium throughout postmenopause to ensure the best physical wellbeing.

 

How menopause affects employees

Menopause causes a variety of symptoms in women, many of which end in personally distinctive experiences. A woman’s age may contribute to some symptoms; however, the following are the main signs of menopause:

Changes in their menstrual cycle

This is frequently the first thing a woman experiences. Their menstrual cycle can vary compared to what they might be used to. It can be shorter or longer, occasionally varying from month to month, and it can also occur more or less frequently. This is normal, but if periods are frequent, with severe bleeding, or last more than a week, medical attention may be required.

Hot flushes

Hot flushes are a typical symptom that might last for years after menopause. It is a sudden sensation of heat in a particular area of the body or even throughout it, which causes profuse sweating and shivering. For a woman, it can be quite uncomfortable to the point where it wakes her up at night or overwhelms her throughout the day. They can happen anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, occurring numerous times an hour, throughout the day, or only a few times per week.

Bladder control

The affected employee may experience an unexpected need to urinate, which they may be able to manage. However, they may also accidentally urinate when exercising or even as they laugh or sneeze. Those who are impacted might want to consult a doctor.

Impact on sleep

Women who are affected may have trouble sleeping through the night. They can have trouble falling asleep at all or wake up sooner than they should. Additionally, they can be having night sweats, which can cause them to wake up during the night and struggle to go back to sleep. Only having a few hours of sleep, if any, might have an impact on them throughout the day. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and avoiding daytime naps might help with sleep during this period. Avoiding caffeine and avoiding heavy meals at night can both be quite beneficial.

Mood swings

Those who are impacted may go through mood swings throughout menopause and get easily irritated and annoyed. It is difficult to determine why this occurs, but studies have suggested that it is the result of several factors, including family changes, fatigue, and underlying pressures. Employees should discuss their experiences with their care provider if they notice that their mood is being affected.

 

How menopause affects employers

In a survey of 1,000 women, the British Menopause Society discovered that 45% of respondents thought menopause had a negative impact on their ability to perform at work. In the same survey, it was shown that 47% of people who needed to miss work due to menopausal symptoms did not disclose this to their employer.

There are several ways a company might make it more comfortable for women going through menopause to work:

  • Flexible work arrangements, including remote work and flexible roles
  • More time to prepare for meetings and communicate with the team
  • Counselling through an Employment Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Flexibility on how frequently employees can take a break during the day

Employers need to make sure there are policies and processes in place to support employees in the going through menopause. The best way to support workers both now and then in the future is to have regular talks with them and learn what kind of support they need. It is important for employers to listen and resolve any concerns employees may have before legal action is considered by the employee if they are ignored.

Menopause is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act of 2010, but if a woman feels she is being discriminated against or treated unfairly because of it, she can report the issue as gender-based discrimination.

It is critical that employers are approachable when discussing menopause. Raising their team’s awareness of menopause, as well as their own is the first step to open workplace. Bosses must let their staff know they are available for any concerns, although it may be awkward for them to open up and discuss their menopause with their managers or employers. Employees should be directed to someone who can assist and aid them since they may not feel comfortable talking to their employer about it.

 

Menopause in the workplace

According to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, regular, informal talks between managers and their employees can open up a discussion about health issues, including menopause. Menopause should only be brought up when an employee specifically addresses it, as it is not suitable to mention it otherwise.

It can be beneficial for employers to regularly check up on their employee’s wellbeing. If menopause is brought up, employees should be informed that menopause is a normal part of life, that accommodations are simple to make, and that assistance is always accessible.

There are several ways employers can help their workplace become a place of support for those going through menopause:

  • Increase awareness – Help employees and managers gain a better understanding of menopause by researching the topic. This will help managers become more approachable for those who need support.
  • Check in – Regularly asking employees about their mental and physical wellbeing through informal conversations can initiate positive dialogue and give employees an opportunity to voice any concerns.
  • Be flexible – Be ready to offer any relevant adjustments and offer accommodations to employees where possible.
  • Treat every case individually – Women going through menopause often have an experience unique to them. Make sure not to treat every case the same and speak with each employee and look at their individual concerns.
  • Review every case – It can be uncomfortable for employees to raise menopause concerns to their employers, especially if it is someone of the opposite gender. Employers must approach any concerns with openness and empathy, so employees are not embarrassed when voicing their concerns.
  • Stay confidential – Once an employee has a conversation with their manager, the manager must keep the conversation confidential. It is crucial that employees know they can trust their managers and their organisation.

 

How Life & Progress can help

Life & Progress recognises the importance of making sure that the workplace is a place of support for women going through their menopause. Your Employment Assistance Programme (EAP) plays an important role for ensuring women get the support they need.

At Life & Progress, we understand that it’s key employers recognise the importance of menopause awareness and support in the workplace. With our EAP, we can help your and your people through the challenges of menopause and provide the right support to those who need it.

 

Contact us

Contact our team today to learn about our Menopause Awareness training, a phenomenal workshop specifically to talk about menopause, and on how to get the right support and guidance. Achieving balance through total wellbeing.

Contact us today at 0808 164 3941 or service@lifeandprogress.co.uk

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