Some women go through the menopause with little impact on their daily life. However, for every ten women experiencing menopausal symptoms, six say it has a negative impact on their work performance and attendance. A bad night’s sleep can affect concentration, for example, while heavy periods or hot flushes can be physically distressing and embarrassing. The psychological effects such as anxiety can also impact relationships at work.
However, with the right support, there’s no need for women to feel it is affecting their work. Often a few simple changes to someone’s working environment can make a world of difference – enabling someone experiencing menopausal symptoms to continue performing and contributing to their full potential. Even just talking about it openly can reduce the impact of someone’s symptoms.
Furthermore, leading a healthy lifestyle can also help to reduce menopause symptoms.
- Most women experience the menopause between the age of 45 and 55 – but some start experiencing symptoms much earlier.
- Symptoms can include not just the commonly thought of hot flushes but sleeplessness, palpitations, memory loss, headaches, depression and anxiety.
- Around half find it difficult to cope with work during the menopause.
- Some women feel a complete loss of identity from who they were before and during/after menopause.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help manage and reduce some menopause symptoms and reduce the risk of problems menopause can contribute to. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet incorporating adequate levels of calcium
- Exercising regularly (including weight bearing and resistance exercises) to both maintain a healthy weight and to stay fit and strong
- Minimising alcohol consumption
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing stress levels
For example, following these healthy lifestyle choices above can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis – a major risk factor of menopause. Also, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly, as well as reducing stress levels, may help with hot flushes and night sweats. Furthermore, ensuring you are getting plenty of rest and sleep, taking up yoga/tai chi and/or undertaking cognitive behavioural therapy can help to manage mood changes, anxiety and depression.
More information on relieving and reducing the symptoms and side effects of menopause, can be found on the NHS website.
Some of our Health & Wellbeing Champions have a keen interest in helping support staff and can provide further information on menopause. Filter the Champions by interest and menopause to find the relevant contacts.
From time to time the Health & Wellbeing Team or some of the Champions put on workshops, talks and other activities related to menopause. Keep an eye on our Events page where these will be listed.
If you need further advice and support, in the first instance discuss with your line manager how they could support you in the workplace. For further support on managing the symptoms, contact our Employee Wellbeing Advice and Support Centre or ask your manager to refer you to Occupational Health or the Wellbeing Support Service.
Page updated: 13/08/2021 11:49:47