What is the Menopause?
Menopause is said to have happened when a women has not had a period for 12 months. This tends to happen around the ages of 50-55.
The menopause can cause a few negative symptoms, which may arise before the menopause and persist for a few years. 3 out of 4 women experience menopausal symptoms. 1 out of 4 women experiences severe symptoms
Before the full onset of the Menopause, there is a stage known as peri-menopause which may last 4+ years. Some women experience symptoms like the below during this stage:
Hot flushes / Night Sweats
Headaches / Dizziness
Loss of interest in sex
Most women experience the symptoms to varying degree and some may have just one, a few or many of the symptoms all at once. The negative impact of the menopause can have an effect on both a woman’s life outside of work, and in the workplace too!
How can I help myself?
The Menopause affects every woman differently which means it can be difficult to offer specific advice on how to treat/reduce symptoms.
It is important as an individual to work out how to best manage these hormonal changes and the symptoms of menopause. Below are some of the treatments, therapies and lifestyle changes you can make that might be helpful in relation to the menopause.
Don’t forget – your GP is the best port of call for support, advice and medication relating to the Menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a way of replacing the hormone oestrogen that is lost during the menopause.
It can relieve some of the symptoms such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness and osteoporosis. Some women experience unwanted side effects such as breast tenderness, leg cramps and nausea. There are concerns around HRT’s long-term safety due to its link with increased risk of developing breast cancer or blood clots.
HRT is prescribed via your GP – find more info here.
Alternative therapies are what some women opt to use as treatment rather than HRT. These can include herbal remedies, CBT and Acupuncture. These types of solutions have been known to have varying effects and don’t work for all women. It is best to speak to your Doctor before trying any alternative medicines such as St John’s Wort or Black Cohosh.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important.
Exercise is beneficial as it has been known to reduce the symptoms of the Menopause such as hot-flushes and will prevent the progression of Osteoporosis. Exercise is also a really good way of relieving stress.
Diet is also really important, ensuring you get a range of nutrients and vitamins will be beneficial during the menopause. The British Dietetics Association has lots of information about food and the menopause, click here to visit the page.
Access to support
Adopting an active lifestyle is an important way of reducing the negative symptoms of the Menopause. Why not join one of our fitness classes or programmes – some of which can be accessed for free or at a discount price?
Here are some of the physical activities that we have happening for you to access:
Reflexology and Meditation
Check out our Physical Wellbeing & Fitness page on the intranet for further details. https://nww.intranet.rdash.nhs.uk/human-resources/health-wellbeing/physical-wellbeing-and-covid-19/
Alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, Yoga and Reflexology have been cited as a popular choice for helping to limit negative menopause symptoms.
How to do reflexology tips and charts: http://www.how-to-do-reflexology.com/reflexologychart.html
The Health and Wellbeing team have been working with a number of local therapists to provide holistic therapies to teams / areas within the Trust. If this is something you think may be beneficial or you would like to try, contact us at email@example.com
Our Occupational Health provider PAM can provide support to staff – talk to your manager about a referral.
Also, if you find you need to speak to someone, you can always call our Vivup Employee Assistance Programme. They are a completely confidential 24/7 service that offer support for a range of issues, including telephone counselling.
Call 03303 800 658
Below are links to websites and national services that may offer support, advice and signposting relating to the Menopause.
Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists Information Hub: https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/menopause/
Healthtalk The Menopause: Womens Personal experiences of the menopause and shared stories. Includes a section on Menopause at work.
Menopause Matters: Website providing up-to-date, accurate information about the menopause, symptoms and treatment options.
Women’s Health Concern: The patient arm of the British Menopause Society (BMS). Advice service available.
The Menopause Exchange
The menopause exchange is a free independent quarterly newsletter which gives advice about menopause and post-menopausal health.
To sign up, visit: https://www.menopause-exchange.co.uk/index.htm