Menopause really shouldn’t be seen as the last taboo
Menopause directly affects approximately 50% of the population but it will certainly have an impact on the other 50% and that’s why we all need to talk about it. Often called the last taboo, regularly the butt of jokes and still referred to as the change, this natural stage in a woman’s life can have devastating effects for those who struggle with debilitating symptoms.
Menopause is often associated with hot flushes and night sweats but for many women it’s the mental and emotional symptoms that creep up on them. Low mood, anxiety, foggy brain and forgetfulness can all contribute to a loss of self confidence and self esteem.
Approximately three in four women experience symptoms ranging from mild through to those that can seriously impact on quality of life. Home, work and relationships can all be affected and too many women are suffering in silence. Those that do seek help are often left frustrated and disappointed when doctors mistake menopausal symptoms for depression and prescribe anti depressants rather than discuss appropriate treatments such as HRT.
There is still much fear and confusion around the subject of hormone replacement therapy amongst both doctors and women and 67% of women recently surveyed said there was a general lack of support or advice for those going through menopause.
The workplace presents yet another challenge, in the Nuffield survey 9 out of 10 women felt they could not approach their manager to talk about menopause. 18% said they had needed to take time off, 1 in 50 was on long term sick leave. No less than 10% of women seriously considered giving up work due to their symptoms.
Personal relationships can suffer and partners often struggle to understand what is happening. Many women report that their sex lives are affected by their symptoms and communication often breaks down at this difficult time.
Menopause can represent an opportunity to look ahead to the next phase of life but women need to be given more information about their menopause to empower them to make informed decisions about their treatment options and embrace the future.
Menopause can represent an opportunity to look ahead to the next phase of life