A N I N T R O D U C T I O N T O T H E M E N O P A U S E
The menopause is when a female stops having their period and their ovaries lose its reproductive function. For most, the menopause starts between the ages of 45 and 55, but in a small number of cases some become menopausal in their early 40s or even younger (see the below content on Early Menopause).
The menopause is influenced by a change in hormone levels. When fertile, a females ovaries produce hormones called oestrogen and progesterone in response to other hormones. All these hormones interact as part of the monthly menstrual cycle, which results in the development of an egg in one of the ovaries.
As a female gets older, the store of eggs in their ovaries decreases, as does their ability to conceive. Less and less oestrogen is produced, causing the body to behave differently. The body does not stop producing oestrogen overnight, and the process can take several years.
The image belows shows the symptoms of Menopause. Click here for more information.
U N D E R S T A N D I N G T H E M E N O P A U S E
Check out these resources to understand more about the Menopause.
Check out this podcast by the Women's Collective "In Conversation With... Lou Proctor & The Menopause" where Ruby and Naomi talk to our Joblink Assistant Manager Lou Proctor about her experience of the Menopause.
Women Friendly Leeds have a menopause meet up on the first Wednesday of every month, on zoom. This is a relaxed session where you can meet others experiencing menopause, and have a chat. For the zoom link or more information, please contact Paulette at: email@example.com
Line managers play a vital role in supporting colleagues with menopausal symptoms and so the CIPD and Bupa have created a guidance booklet for line managers to support their staff going through the menopause.
E A R L Y M E N O P A U S E
Early menopause happens when a woman's periods stop before the age of 45. It can happen naturally if a woman's ovaries stop making normal levels of certain hormones. In particular the hormone oestrogen. But it can also happen as a side effect of some treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The main symptom of early menopause is periods becoming infrequent or stopping altogether without any other reason. The main treatment for early menopause is either the combined contraceptive pill or HRT to make up for your missing hormones. A GP will probably recommend you take this treatment until at least the age of natural menopause (around 51 on average), to give you some protection from osteoporosis and other conditions that can develop after the menopause.
L I N E M A N A G E R S G U I D A N C E
The Menopause at Work: Guidance for Line Managers
Menopause shouldn’t be a taboo, and everyone should feel they can have a conversation with their line manager, especially when they need guidance and advice. But how confident do you think a member of your team would feel to talk to you about the menopause?
Research has shown that almost 1 million women in the UK have left their job because of menopausal symptoms or have been forced to take long-term absence from work.
This guide offers practical advice on what a manager needs to know about the menopause to effectively support their team.