Every woman’s experience with the menopause can vary; whilst most will go through the menopause between the age of 45 to 55, some women may start in their 30s or even younger.
On average, women tend to experience symptoms for four years, but around 10 per cent of women have symptoms for up to 12 years or sometimes even longer.
With more women in work than ever before, it is clear that more women will suffer from premenopausal and menopausal symptoms while at work.
In 2017, STUC Women’s Committee carried out a survey on menopause in the workplace, which revealed 99 per cent of respondents either didn’t have or didn’t know if they had a workplace menopause policy and 63 per cent said the menopause has been treated as a joke at work.
The British Menopause Society survey found that almost half of women felt that the menopause had had a strong impact on their life and felt their symptoms had a negative impact on their work.
Moreover, 47 per cent said that if they needed to take a day off because of the menopause, they wouldn’t feel comfortable disclosing the real reason to their employer or colleagues.
Last week, at the Prime Minister’s Questions, MP Rachel Maclean, took the opportunity to ask Theresa May to urge employers to provide further support to women going through the menopause.
Mrs Maclean said: “Working with campaigners, I hear time and time again that women had no idea the symptoms they experienced including depression, anxiety, exhaustion, memory problems, mental health problems, migraines, mood swings, loss of libido, and more, were connected with the menopause. Or even that they could experience these while in perimenopause, before their periods have stopped and in the run-up to the menopause – meaning they suffered in silence or failed to get appropriate treatment.
“By increasing awareness of what the menopause might actually involve, employers can provide a vital role in helping women take the first step to help themselves.”