Menopause is a natural stage in a women’s life and are part of the natural ageing process, although not all women experience symptoms the majority will at some point experience at least one of the 34 symptoms associated with menopause.
Recognising that 77% of the 1.3 million people of the NHS workforce are women, the Trust wants to support its colleagues through this time, by creating awareness and guidance for staff.
Currently within the Trust we have a fantastic Menopause Steering group who will be working alongside our newly appointed project manager Sarah Hepworth-Dodds to start building Menopause awareness in the Trust.
The aim of project menopause is to create an environment where staff can talk about menopause and its effects openly, providing information, guidance and support for those directly and indirectly experiencing symptoms of the menopause.
What’s next with Project Menopause?
After the success of our event on September 27 ’talking all things menopause’ and feedback received, we will be looking at hosting our next event in the coming months focussing on Brain Fog, stress and anxieties caused by the Menopause, with the view to having regularly scheduled events discussing all things menopause.
As we go into the New Year, we will be working with various directorates focussing on support and guidance for line managers and employees who are directly or indirectly effected by the symptoms of menopause.
Keep an eye out for communications on all things menopause in the Trust.
What is Menopause?
The medical definition of the menopause is when a woman has had her last period and is a natural part of the female ageing process. It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, although it can occur any time up to a woman’s mid-60s.
A premature menopause can occur, with periods stopping before the age of 40, either naturally or as an effect of a medical condition or its treatment.
Around 1 in 100 women will experience a premature menopause and this of course can be at a time when still planning to conceive.
- Mood Swings
- Pains in Joints
- Hot Flushes
- Night Sweats
- Brain Fog
- Low Libido
- Feelings of not coping
- Changes to periods
If you are struggling with any of the above you maybe premenopausal or menopausal. Please rest assured you are not alone and your symptoms can be managed. Do discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
Use this simple symptom tracker to take to your doctor and some useful hints on planning your visit.Menopause symptom tracker
- Drink 1.5-2ltres of water per day
- Minimise Caffeine and alcohol intake
- Avoid refined carbohydrates and Sugars
- Stop Smoking
- Exercise at least 3 time per week a brisk 30 minute walk is all you need
- Get adequate sleep
- Eat natural foods, avoid processed foods
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce stress – yoga, meditation, listen to some music, get some fresh air
- Keep a diary of how your feeling – what helps/doesn’t help
Conversation at work
For many of us having a conversation about menopause is daunting, whether you’re experiencing symptoms of know someone that is it’s good to talk.
A simple 3 step guide to having those conversations with your manager and colleagues:
Before your conversation
Ask yourself – 1. What are the main problems? 2. What do I want to get out of this conversation?
Do some research there are plenty of social media pages and useful resources below.
Plan but don’t script
Make notes on what and how it is effecting you in the work place, don’t be afraid to present some reasonable solutions.
Outline your conversation
- I have a problem
- This is how its effecting me
- This is how its impacting my work
- This is what I need help with and how long for
- Arrange a follow up
Not all Managers and colleagues will have knowledge or experience of menopause symptoms be open and honest, use the resources available to you.
Unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ with menopause, everyone is individual and experiencing different levels of symptoms at different stages below are some useful resources: