18th October 2021 – World Menopause Awareness Day

 

Why does the menopause get so much attention in the media?  It’s got it’s own day on 18th October 2021 for a start.  Or does it?  When you start looking into the information available around the menopause, there is a huge lack of understanding.  It’s only in the last 4 or 5 years that workplaces have started to take notice of the impact a poor menopause experience can have on their workforce.

Perimenopause and menopause

The very fact that we use the term “menopause” as a blanket term for the end of a woman’s fertility shows that the information out there is not even accurate.  Even amongst a lot of our GP’s there is a big misunderstanding in some cases.

It is said that a woman has gone through the menopause when she hasn’t had a menstrual period for 12 months. The average age that this takes place is between 45-55.

 

But, the perimenopause is all of the things that change in a woman’s body before the menopause “happens”.  This is where the hormone levels start to change and can cause a negative impact on the physical and mental health of the woman.

Perimenopause and mental health

This year’s theme is to raise an understanding of the impact of the perimenopause on mental health.  Lots of women who don’t realise when the perimenopause might begin feel like they are losing their mind.  They may experience depression, mood swings or even anxiety.

We’ve heard reports that a number of women leave work as they feel they can’t cope with the changes they are experiencing.  A visit to the GP might result in treatment for depression or therapy which isn’t really going to help.  Too often, the health service don’t consider the impact of the perimenopause for women in their 40’s.

What should I look out for?

Considering that 50% of the population will experience the menopause, there is very little information available, although that is improving.  It’s a fact that not everyone will have a bad experience – some people don’t have any symptoms at all.

There are 30 symptoms of the perimenopause and the menopause,   Research shows that women on average experience 9 of them.

Perimenopause symptoms

  • Period Changes
  • Hot flushes & Night Sweats
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Sleeping Problems
  • Brain Fog & Poor Concentration
  • Skin & Hair Changes
  • Mood Changes
  • Low Energy
  • Joint & Muscle Aches

From <https://healthandher.com/hot-topics/menopause-awareness-month/>

Menopause symptoms

  • Sleeping Problems
  • Hot flushes & Night Sweats
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Weight Gain
  • Low Energy
  • Brain Fog & Poor Concentration
  • Skin Changes
  • Mood Changes
  • Urinary Changes

From <https://healthandher.com/hot-topics/menopause-awareness-month/>

What can I do?

If you feel you are starting to experience any of the symptoms for either the menopause or perimenopause, if you are in your late 30’s, 40’s or 50’s it’s always worth asking the GP to check your hormone levels.  If you’ve got a friend or colleague who you are concerned about then maybe make the suggestion to them.

We’ve added some websites for organisations who provide more in depth information.

 

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