Did you know that World Menopause Awareness Day is 18 October 2021
Hot flushes, bloating, lack of sleep and concentration, low self-esteem, anxiety, brain fog and feeling you’re going to evaporate?
Does this sound familiar?
Welcome to the world of the menopause.
Most of these changes are completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Menopause doesn’t discriminate whether you’re a working woman balancing home, work, children, caring for elderly parents etc. but it can bring about changes to your physical and mental health.
Several high-profile women including Davina McCall and Mariella Frostrup are speaking out and healthcare professionals and employers are starting to listen. Large corporates such as M&S Bank, HSBC and First Direct have signed up to a ‘Menopause Friendly Accreditation’ which recognises companies willing to build awareness around the menopause. ‘Opinium’ a research company working on behalf of Vodafone surveyed over 5000 women in the UK and Europe, who were going through or had been through the menopause at some point between February and March 2021.
It was found that two-thirds of women who have had menopause symptoms said this impacted them at work and that more support is needed. 44% said they have felt too embarrassed to ask for support in the workplace and 33% said they hid this at work.
By 2025 there will be more than one billion women experiencing menopause in the world – that’s 12% of the population!
Attitudes are changing, albeit slowly and menopause is losing it’s ‘taboo subject’ status.
Have you considered setting up a support group in your workplace? Why not have a chat with your head of HR to see if the company would help? See the British Menopause Society www.thebms.org.uk for further information and reading.
So, what can a woman do about it? An obvious choice is HRT – a sympathetic chat with your GP, practice nurse or a visit to a women’s health clinic for a simple blood test to see if a drop in oestrogen has triggered the levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to rise, will measure these two hormones to see if they’re in the menopausal range.
Whilst some women can’t take HRT due to other medical factors, we can all consider and benefit from a few lifestyle changes.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet, reducing caffeine and alcohol, reduce added sugar; try a low-carb or Mediterranean diet; swap snacking on crisps and sweets to nuts or dark chocolate.
Walking in nature (good for mental health too), gentle weight bearing exercises, yoga, pilates, swimming.
Meditation, journaling, giving yourself a small treat; doing something creative; Reflexology!
Turn off the mobile phone or anything with an LED display! The bedroom is for sleeping in; keep the room cool.
What is your sense of purpose?
Do something you love and are good at.
This is a time for you to pause and think about who you want to be for this next phase of your life and how you will achieve it.
I wish you well