Let's Talk Menopause
Here’s the next article in our Let’s Talk Menopause series which looks at how does the menopause affect you?
Those experiencing menopause or about to move into this transition may be thinking about how it is affecting you. This article provides some information about what symptoms are commonly experienced during this phase of life and were to seek support or advice.
The menopause can cause a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms that can last for several years. The majority of those going through menopause experience symptoms but everyone is different. Symptoms are personal and sometimes can be difficult to manage. Some find their symptoms negatively affect their general wellbeing and many lose their confidence. Experiencing any of the typical symptoms can pose a challenge for people as they go about their daily lives, including at work.
Some of the most typical symptoms of the menopause include:
- Psychological issues such as mood disturbances, anxiety and/or depression, memory loss, panic attacks, loss of confidence and reduced concentration
- Hot flushes (brief and sudden surges of heat usually felt in the face, neck and chest)
- Sleep disturbance that can make people feel tired and irritable
- Night sweats (hot flushes that happen during the night)
- Irregular periods and/or periods can become light or heavy
- Muscle and joint stiffness, aches and pains
- Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) including cystitis
- Weight gain
- Palpitations (heartbeats that become more noticeable)
- Skin changes (dryness, acne, general itchiness)
- Reduced sex drive.
Remember, everyone is different. Symptoms can fluctuate and be felt to varying degrees.
So what can you do if symptoms are getting on top of you or becoming difficult to manage?
First and foremost talk to your GP or health professional who can give you help with menopause or perimenopause symptoms.
If you feel your symptoms are affecting you at work please speak to your line manager who will provide you with guidance and support and can talk to you about what support is available in the workplace. They can also signpost you to services such as our Employee Assistant Provider, TimeforTalking or Occupational Health.
Information on support is also available from HR and if you are a member of a Trade Union, your Union Rep can also be a good source of support.
You are encouraged to talk to family, friends and colleagues or you could access support via local support groups such as Menopause Cafes where you get the chance to speak to people going through the same thing.
Here are some useful resources where you can access further information:
- Time for Talking
- Moray Leisure Centre
- NHS guidance on menopause
- British Menopause Society
- Daisy Network (support for premature menopause)
- Talking Menopause
- Menopause Matters
- Menopause Support