The 18th October is World Menopause Day – the perfect opportunity to have much needed conversations about the menopause. let’s talk about the menopause!
One of our Directors, Lucy Malarkey, has written a blog about the menopause journey of herself and a group of close friends. This blog was shared on the WISH (Women in Social Housing) website, but we thought it was good enough to share here too!
Let’s Talk About the Menopause
I’ve just recently returned from a holiday with 7 girl friends to Santorini, it was a rather belated 50th birthday celebration for us all. Delayed for over two years, in part due to Covid and in part to busy lives. We had an amazing time – sunshine, great food, so many laughs and a LOT of discussion about the menopause!
All of us are currently experiencing it, all of us in different ways with symptoms at varying degrees and all of us are managing it (or not) having had very different experiences from medical professionals.
For anyone reading this of menopause age, or anyone who has listened to what the high-profile menopause champions are saying, none of those observations will come as any surprise. The subject can become all-consuming and it’s so true that there’s an even more minutiae factor than a post code lottery when it comes to menopause medical support – it really does depend on the doctor you see and that day of the week on which you have a blood test (if this is even offered).
Out of the eight of us, two are managing, for now, without any extra hormones, four are on HRT and another two are desperately trying to get their GPs to understand their symptoms and the impacts these are having on their daily lives.
Because without doubt the menopause does affect our daily lives, the lack of sleep from hot sweats and night-time anxiety, the erratic nature of bleeding, brain fog and memory loss plus an increase in feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence.
The trouble is that we are just not talking about and discussing the menopause enough. Yes, it’s improving and high-profile figures like Davina McCall are making a significant difference BUT we’re not all high profile and we don’t all work in organisations that will proactively approach the menopause….
So, what needs to be done to improve the current situation?
As individuals we should be talking and listening more, learning about the menopause and the effects it can have, being supportive and allies for those who are experiencing it. And as organisations we should be promoting an open environment in the workplace to encourage positive discussion, providing training for line managers so they know about the symptoms and how to offer support and reviewing policies and practices around workplace adjustments, flexibility and sick leave.
It’s not rocket science and yet it’s obviously not happening. A recent study of over 4,000 women aged between 45-55, as reported in Women’s Health, found that over half said that their menopause symptoms were affecting their ability to do their job, nearly 85% said there was nobody in the workplace to turn to and 10% had quit their job as a result!
World Menopause Day on 18th October provides a perfect platform for employees and supportive allies to start the very necessary conversations about the menopause.
Let’s get talking!