Tips for Managing Menopause At Work


Written by

Catherine Smith

Published on


  • Menopause at work affects a significant number of people every day. 
  • Recognising the potential impact of menopause in the workplace is crucial for boosting employees’ wellness and productivity.
  • Menopausal signs often begin between 45 and 55 but might last longer for some.
  • Handling menopause issues with care can stop anxiety and depression.
  • Employers must provide guidance to line managers on offering menopause support.

Coping with the challenges of going through the menopause at work can seem very daunting for women. The symptoms of menopause can affect both our bodies and minds, which can lead to many additional stresses in an already demanding working environment But it is possible to navigate a way through coping with menopause in the workplace by following some key guidance. 

The good news is that progress is being made among employers to recognise peri-menopause and menopause as a key health issue for female employees and progress has been made to provide menopause support to the workforce, but it’s helpful to know what to look for. 

How Can Menopause At Work Affect Us All?

The signs of menopause often start between 45 and 55 years old. They can last a long time and impact life, confidence, and work. It’s key to deal with these issues carefully. This prevents mental health problems like anxiety and depression. It also keeps the workplace safe. Not taking these symptoms seriously or discriminating against them can be against the law.

Understanding The Basics Of Menopause Support 

Menopause is a key life stage for women. It comes when they stop having menstrual cycles because oestrogen levels drop. It usually starts between 45 and 55, with most women in the UK experiencing menopause at around 51. This big change can affect how a person works.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is when periods stop for a full year because less oestrogen is made. Before that, women usually go through perimenopause. This is when hormones change, causing symptoms. After menopause comes postmenopause. This stage can still affect health and work ability.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Menopausal signs are many and can hurt both mental and physical health. These can include feeling low, anxious, or having trouble with sleep. It might also mean hot flushes. All these can really make it hard to work well.

Menopause Myths in the Workplace

People often get menopause wrong, and this can make working tough. Some think it only starts after 50, and that hot flushes are the main issue. But symptoms might start much earlier and last a long time. Clearing these misunderstandings helps make work better. It helps people know that even younger workers can be affected, and mood issues are serious parts of menopause.

By explaining the real facts about menopause, we can make work more supportive. This way, we can deal with menopause’s effects in a kind and understanding way at work.

Recognising the Challenges of Menopause at Work

Menopause can bring big challenges to the workplace, affecting how we feel and our physical health. It’s important to understand these issues, creating a more supportive work setting for those going through it.

Psychological Struggles: Mood Disorders and Memory Loss

Many women face psychological challenges in menopause, like mood swings and forgetfulness. These can make concentrating hard and affect mental wellbeing. Dealing with these issues is key for keeping work performance strong and feeling self-assured.

Physical Symptoms: Hot Flushes, Fatigue, and Night Sweats

Physical symptoms such as hot flushes and tiredness can lower work output. Feeling constantly sweaty or overly warm can disrupt tasks. Meanwhile, tiredness can prevent you from being as productive and depending on your work, it can also affect health and safety at work too.

Night sweats are an added problem, dropping sleep quality. This makes it harder to keep up energy levels during the day.

Societal Stigma and Silence

The silent taboo around menopause adds a complex layer to workplace challenges. This quiet stigma can make you feel alone and stop you from getting the support you need. Opening up discussions is vital to end the taboo and enhance mental health for those in menopause.

Talking about menopause at work is the first step to better understanding. Open and honest talks about symptoms and their effects help to end the silence. This makes a workplace where everyone feels valued and supported.

How to Discuss Symptoms with Your Manager

Discussing your symptoms with your manager should be clear and open. Show that you need support and suggest ways they can help. This could be things like working flexible hours or adjusting the workspace temperature.

Being clear helps your manager understand what you need. This means they can support you better. It’s a win for both you and the team.

Creating a Supportive Workplace Environment

Making the workplace supportive is crucial. Everyone should feel fine talking about their experience. Educating coworkers about menopause, even the men, is a good start.

Having training sessions can help raise awareness and build empathy. Creating company policies that support open talks and inclusivity is also important. This lays the ground for continuous support and mutual understanding.

Coping Strategies to Manage Menopause Symptoms at Work

Dealing with menopause at work needs careful strategies. These strategies can lessen symptoms and make you feel better. It’s all about what you eat, exercise, and handling stress well.

Focus on your diet. Eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D helps keep your bones strong. Have meals often but in small amounts. This keeps your blood sugar level, making you feel more stable. A diet filled with fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains improves your health in general.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Keeping active does wonders during menopause. It keeps your weight in check, lifts your mood, and makes you stronger. Try doing cardio like walking fast or biking, and some strength work. This keeps you fit and helps with menopause troubles.

Stress Management Techniques

Being calm is key for your mind during menopause. Try things like deep breathing or meditation to lower stress and sleep better. Find a quiet spot at work for a quick break. It can help you relax a bit and do your job better.

Accessing Workplace Accommodations and Adjustments

Providing the right workplace adjustments helps employees going through menopause. It makes them feel valued and supported. These changes reduce their stress and help them feel better overall.

Flexible Working Hours

Adapting work hours is key for those dealing with menopausal symptoms. It lets them manage fatigue and changing energy levels better. This way, they can handle work and their symptoms without losing productivity.

Physical Workspace Adjustments

Changes in the workspace, like adjusting the temperature, help a lot. They make it easier for people dealing with hot flashes to work comfortably. Making the workspace fit their needs more closely creates a friendlier and inclusive work environment.

Leveraging Remote Work and Web Conferencing

Remote work and web conferencing are flexible and convenient tools to use. They cut out the stress of commuting. Plus, they allow employees to work where they are most at ease. This flexibility is crucial for supporting those affected by menopause.

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Dr Catherine Smith

Dr Catherine Smith is the founder of The Coil Clinic. A GP and Women's Health Expert with nearly 20 years of experience. She is a BMS Certified Menopause Specialist