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The cost of menopause to UK employers is huge


Dr Karen Morton

MA, MRCP, FRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and founder of of Dr Morton’s – the medical helpline©

At last menopause is hitting the headlines with Woman’s Hour devoting a whole week to it and celebrities like Kirsty Wark and Mariella Frostrup ‘coming out’ in prime-time documentaries.

In April 2019, all companies who employ over 200 people will, by Law, be expected to report for the second time their Gender Pay Gap, and to explicity say what they are doing about it.

The economic evidence menopause matters

The government commissioned ‘Menopause transition: effects on women’s economic participation’ by the University of Leicester, published July 2017, showed that the menopause has adverse impact on the  economics of businesses and families; the time has come to address this.

Men need to know about menopause too

With effective communication, organisations and pressure groups such as Henpicked, Good Midlife Vibes, Hot Flush and many more, major corporations are developing and implementing Menopause Policies and raising awareness of not only their female employees but the men as well.

Even if a male line-manager is not responsible for women of menopausal or post-menopausal age at work, he may benefit from understanding the physiology and impact it may be having on his partner at home.

Busting the myths about menopause

There are so many myths which need to be dispelled if women are to get the right advice about this inevitable time in their lives.

  • It is essential that they asses their lifestyle, eat healthily and exercise sufficiently (being overweight is the biggest single risk factor for breast cancer).
  • Women can start HRT, if they want to, before their periods have stopped.
  • There is no time limit on how long you can take HRT for.
  • Cognitative behavioural therapy can definitely play a role In symptom management.
  • You can take HRT if you are a migraine sufferer.

Work out your personal philosophy

You only get one life! Menopausal symptoms hit just when life is at its fullest, with teenage children and elderly parents, not to mention needing and wanting to work. Exhaustion emerges from sleepless nights and anxiety which seems so out of character.

Do not be one of life’s ‘putter-uppers’. Read about It. Look at the NICE guidelines your self. Prepare yourself for a meeting with your GP. If you don’t get the help you need go to see a specialist or speak with a specialist online.

Be an ambassador for women in a similar situation to yourself by suggesting to your boss that their company should take a proactive approach to the health of this most valuable of assets: experienced, hard-working women!

University of Leicester July 2017 Menopause transition: effects on women’s economic participation
Benefits of CBT for menopausal symptoms
NICE guidelines on Menopause February 2017

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