Article by Dr Nick Siddle, Keynote at CHS Leeds 2022
Stress Matters Stand: How the Menopause impacts every event
2pm – 2:30pm
Every woman has a menopause, 3.7% have it before 40 and 12.2% between 40 and 45. Despite this many women arriving at this point are surprised, ill-prepared and caught short. Younger sisters in the woman’s circle or the workplace are likely to know less or like most men, nothing at all. This is not surprising as menopause is not taught in school and until recently has been such a taboo topic that midlife women haven’t talked to each other very much about it either…
This matters because the menopause is not a trivial matter: it is as critical as the thyroid gland stops working or the pancreas not producing insulin or telling a bloke that at 52 his testicles will shrivel up. That would generate some positive action!
In the workplace it is definitely going to impact how the older female part of the workforce feels and performs and that ultimately involves everyone, doesn’t it? We are used to the idea that we might need to give some consideration to the altered needs of a pregnant woman at work, we now need to find a way to give middle-aged women a similar break but with empathy rather than stereotyping or finger-pointing or judgement.
A further element in the story: the menopause ie the day the last menstrual period started is an event; the consequences of the hormone lack go on forever. Sure, the symptoms may settle down in 5-8 years for most women and only 10% still have symptoms in their 60’s but this is as real as having a leg chopped off. The fact that many women can cope and survive without any hormone help in a changed and altered life is just indicative of the strength of women, it is not proof that this is the right way to go and doesn’t consider the inevitable cessation of sex or the unwelcome cosmetic changes or bone fragility that hormone lack entails in the 60s and 70s. Yes, the menopause is a natural phenomenon but so is famine, Covid 19 or a tsunami: natural does not equal good
The final piece in the jigsaw is that modern HRT is absolutely safe and effective. So it is entirely possible to be menopausal and free of consequences. Now … you have menopause awareness.
Want to learn more? Join Nick at CHS Leeds on Tuesday 24 May!