Today is World Menopause Day.
We wrote about World Menopause Day on Monday: -
The purpose of World Menopause Day is to raise awareness of a natural, yet significant, phase in a woman's life - and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. By raising awareness and educating all about menopause, we can support and empower women as they navigate the physical, emotional, and psychological changes that come with this transition.
Menopausal women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the workforce:
3 in 4 women experiencing menopause, will experience symptoms at work.
1 in 4 women experiencing menopause, consider leaving their employment.
1 in 10 women experiencing menopause, leave their employment.
Today we wanted to focus on the symptoms associated with Menopause, and what you can do about them.
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Menopause is a natural biological process that typically occurs between the ages of 45 of 55, but the age at which women experience menopause varies and it affects everyone differently. Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for 12 consecutive months. Perimenopause is the transitional stage preceding this, when women may start to experience a range of physical and emotional symptoms.
We have put together the Top 20 most researched symptoms of menopause:
Irregular periods: Menstrual cycles may become irregular, with variations in the length and flow of periods.
Hot flushes: Sudden, intense feelings of warmth, often accompanied by sweating and a flushed face. Many women also experience feeling cold and can flit between feeling unbearably hot to feeling freezing cold.
Night sweats: Hot flushes that occur during the night, often leading to disrupted sleep.
Vaginal dryness: Reduced oestrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness, which may cause discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse.
Mood swings: Fluctuations in hormone levels can contribute to mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.
Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep is common during menopause.
Weight gain: Hormonal changes can make it easier to gain weight, especially around the abdominal area.
Fatigue: Many women report feeling more tired during menopause.
Low libido: Reduced oestrogen levels can lead to a decreased interest in sex.
Hair thinning or loss: Some women may experience changes in hair thickness and texture.
Memory problems: Some women report mild memory problems and difficulty concentrating known as brain fog.
Altered skin: Reduced oestrogen can affect the skin's elasticity and moisture levels.
Urinary changes: An increased risk of urinary tract infections and urinary incontinence can occur during menopause.
Joint and muscle pain: Some women may experience joint and muscle aches and pains.
Anxiety and Depression: Menopause can cause an increase in brain protein Monoamine Oxidase A, which is linked to depression and one in four women report an increase in anxiety.
Headaches: Hormone headaches can arise and can be excruciatingly painful.
Dizziness: Fluctuating hormone levels may affect blood sugar levels affecting the body's response to insulin, which can lead to dizziness.
Loss of confidence: The multitude of physical and emotional symptoms may affect your sense of self and alter your levels of confidence.
Breathing difficulties: Increased anxiety levels and a drop in oestrogen levels may cause greater levels of inflammation in the body which may interfere with lung function.
Irritability: Around 70% of women experiencing menopause feel that irritability is their main emotional symptom which is linked to a drop in oestrogen levels.
It's important to note that not all women will experience all of these symptoms, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely. Additionally, some women may have a relatively smooth transition through menopause with minimal discomfort, while others may experience more pronounced symptoms.
If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, the first thing to do is to consult a healthcare provider for guidance on managing your menopausal symptoms.
We have put together the Top 10 things you can do to manage and alleviate the symptoms of menopause:
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): HRT involves taking oestrogen and sometimes progestin to replace hormones that are declining during menopause. It can help with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms. However, it's essential to discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider, as HRT is not suitable for everyone.
Lifestyle Changes: Adopt a healthy lifestyle to help manage symptoms. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress through relaxation techniques, and ensuring adequate sleep.
Dietary Changes: Some women find relief from certain menopausal symptoms by adjusting their diet. Incorporating foods rich in phytoestrogens (like soy and flaxseed) may help alleviate hot flushes and other symptoms.
Vaginal Lubricants and Moisturizers: Over the counter or prescription vaginal lubricants and moisturizers can help manage vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex.
Medications: Non-hormonal medications, may help manage hot flushes and mood swings. Discuss these options with your healthcare provider.
Regular Health Checkups: Continue with regular checkups to monitor your overall health. Menopause can increase the risk of conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease, so it's essential to address these risks proactively.
Stay Informed: Educate yourself about menopause, its symptoms, and potential treatments. Understanding what you're going through can help you cope better.
Support Groups: Joining a menopause support group or seeking out community resources can provide emotional support and valuable information.
Mind-Body Practices: Practices like yoga, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can all help manage symptom and stress, improving overall wellbeing throughout this transition. Lower impact exercise including strength training and Pilates can improve bone density without exacerbating aching joints that can occur during perimenopause and menopause
Stay Hydrated: Staying well hydrated can help manage symptoms like hot flushes, headaches and changes to skins moisture levels.
What works for one woman may not work for another, so it's crucial to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with a healthcare provider to determine the best approach for you.
If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, or you know someone who is, have empathy and compassion for their journey. Menopause is likely to be a challenging life event for most, so educating both men and women about symptoms is important to foster a caring, empathetic home and work life.
If you would like to be proactive about supporting menopause in the workplace, check out our menopause training at https://www.enhancingminds.co.uk/services
We offer specific training courses on menopause and menopause for managers to educate the workforce and help create a safe, supportive and inclusive workplace.
At Enhancing Minds, it is our mission that all employees are able to access better mental health support in the workplace. We hope you will join us in celebrating and reflecting on what we can all do to support others around us on World Menopause Day.
Please get in touch to learn more about what Enhancing Minds can offer your workplace this World Menopause Day.
Enhancing Minds - wellbeing training for workplaces