The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age to reach the menopause is 51.
Most people will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.
Menopause Facts and FAQs
- The most common age range for menopausal symptoms to begin and impact on your wellbeing is 45 – 55.
- 3 in 4 will experience menopause symptoms, with 1 in 4 experiencing serious symptoms.
- Every person’s experience of the menopause is different.
- The majority of people do not feel comfortable talking to their line manager about the menopause.
- Employers can make a big difference to people going through the menopause.
- 45% said they feel menopause symptoms have had a negative impact on their working day.
- 47% have had to take a day off work due to menopausal symptoms said they hadn’t told their employer the real reason.
Source: British Menopause Society
NHSBT is committed to fostering an environment in which colleagues can openly and comfortably start or engage in conversation about the menopause in a respectful and supportive manner. This policy supports our permanent and fixed term employees. We recognise that those experiencing the menopause, regardless of gender and including transgender and non-binary people, whether before, during or after this time of hormonal change and associated symptoms, may need additional consideration, support, and adjustments.
By being an organisation that is menopause friendly, we can:
- Support and promote an inclusive culture.
- Help reduce time off work.
- Improve performance and motivation.
- Raise awareness and provide understanding and education.
- Deliver appropriate training for managers so they can support their staff.
- Identify and support the challenges people may face, such as environment, facilities, uniform and dress code.
- Menopause Policy
- NHSBT Equality Impact Assessment*
- Policy frequently asked questions
- Individual support plan
- How to talk to you line manger about Menopause*
- Andropause Fact Sheet
- Menopause Fact Sheet
- Get a good nights sleep during menopause
- Menopause -10 Questions men should be asking
- Menopause is a journey
- Self Andropause Symptom Checklist
- Self Menopause Symptom Checker
- Support Available Through NHSBT
The Stages of Menopause
Symptoms of the menopause are caused as a result of the significant hormonal changes taking place.
The menopause typically has three stages of transition, usually starting around 45-55 years of age:
- Perimenopause. This first stage can take 3 – 5 years.
The whole transition can take 10 – 15 years.
There is also Early Menopause, which can be caused by several events other than natural ageing:
- Fertility treatments
- Premature ovarian failure (genetic)
- Surgery or cancer treatments
- Trauma or sudden loss
- Hormone treatment
Trans and non-binary individuals undergoing hormone treatment, can also experience menopause symptoms due to the changes in hormones, such as sleeplessness, fatigue, lack of concentration, mood swings and hot sweats. These symptoms can fluctuate as treatments can often stop and start again. For individuals undergoing medical transition, this process can take up to seven years.
How can the menopause affect the workplace?
Individuals going through the stages of the menopause can suffer with any of the symptoms listed above, to a greater or lesser degree. The most common symptoms of hot flushes, sleep disturbance, mood swings, mental health issues, fatigue, forgetfulness and lack of concentration, will most likely have some effect on the workplace.
The effects on a people’s physical and emotional health will significantly impact how they are able to do their work and the relationships they have in the workplace.
It can be difficult for people when they go through the menopause, not just at work. However, the demands of the job, the pressure of deadlines and obligation and the peer pressure from colleagues often make any problems worse in the workplace.
A hot flush struck when they’re right in the middle of an important meeting and they were left sweating, red-faced and struggling. Their inability to sleep last night has left them with brain fog or they haven’t been as bright and cheery as usual.
Relationships can suffer if irritability and lack of sleep mean that a normally very tolerant individual becomes less forgiving of that colleague who talks constantly.
You can also find useful menopause videos on NHSBT's Microsoft Stream page.
*Assessment is only accessible if you are logged in to the NHSBT network (network connection through Citrix/NHSBT Desktop). As a result it may take a moment to load