Lack of support for postmenopausal women forces many to take time off work or even quit their jobs, research shows.
A survey of 3,800 women in the UK found that the majority felt that menopause or the months and years before it had a huge impact on their careers.
The research was carried out for menopause expert Dr. Louise Newson, who heads the nonprofit Newson Health Research and Education.
She teamed up with people like Davina mccall raise awareness of what women experience when they reach menopause.
In a 12-question survey, 99% of women felt their perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms had a negative impact on their career, with more than a third rating the impact as significant.
About 59% took time off due to symptoms and 18% were absent for more than eight weeks.
Reasons for taking time off included reduced efficiency (45%), poor quality of work (26%), and poor concentration (7%).
Half of those who took at least eight weeks of sick leave quit or took early retirement.
One in five women let the chance to get a promotion she would have otherwise considered pass up, 19% of the hours reduced and 12% quit.
The majority of women surveyed (60%) said their workplace did not offer menopause support.
Of those who received an illness notice, only 5% said menopause was mentioned on their certificate, while more than a third had documented anxiety and stress.
One in four women have discussed their hormones with their GP, with 30% of them prescribing antidepressants.
This is despite guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence stating that a bad mood due to menopause can be treated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Dr Newson said: “For too long, postmenopausal women have been faced with an impossible choice: to struggle with often debilitating symptoms or leave behind careers they have worked so hard for.
“The average age of menopause in the UK is 51, precisely at the point where many women are at the peak of their careers with an abundance of skills and experience to offer.
“The problem is widespread, including at the heart of healthcare. Some 77% of the NHS workforce are women and a significant number of them will be perimenopause and menopause.
“In fact, research shows that only one in 10 female general practitioners has discussed their symptoms with a manager.
“The issues raised in this survey show not only an urgent need to improve menopause support in the workplace, but also access to evidence-based menopause information and treatment to alleviate and improve menopause. symptoms.
“We owe it to all postmenopausal women to help them reach their career potential.”
Earlier this month, the Countess of Wessex, Sophie, spoke about the “tragic” impact of menopause on working women.
She has supported a new campaign from the Wellbeing of Women charity that calls on companies to make sure they support employees during menopause.
Symptoms of menopause can include memory problems, fatigue, and anxiety.