What is the menopause?

The menopause is a natural part of the female aging process and will be different for every woman.  There are a range of symptoms related to the menopause, some of which may not be obvious to others and others can be particularly challenging to deal with, especially while at work and many women may not feel comfortable talking about these issues with their colleagues and or their manager.

Information about the menopause is not just for women.  As a male manager and a colleague it is important that you understand some of the issues that can affect female members in your team, as well as family and friends, and be able to provide support where required.

Did you know?

·       Menopause normally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 although it can occur at any time up to a woman’s mid-60s

·       The average age for a woman to reach the menopause in the UK is 51

·       Symptoms usually last between 4 and 8 years

·       20-25% of women suffer from hot flushes which adversely affect their quality of life

·       Around 75-80% of women of menopausal age are working

·       Approximately 1 in 3 British workers are over the age of 50

Therefore, there are a lot of potentially menopausal women in the workplace and around 75% of them will experience at least some symptoms while 25% will experience severe symptoms. 

If a woman does not get the help and support they need at work, it is increasingly likely that the effects of the menopause can, for example, lead to them feeling ill; losing confidence in their ability to do their job; suffer from mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression and, in severe cases, consider leaving their job.

Therefore, it is vital that employers acknowledge and understand the impact of the menopause on employees, and provide guidance and support for those affected by it.

You may wish to refer to the Guide to the Menopause for managers and employees which provides useful information on the impact of menopausal symptoms on women at work and ways in which managers and colleagues can provide support, where required, as well as some useful contacts for further information and advice. 

If you are struggling to deal with the menopause there is help and advice available.

Menopause – NHS (

Royal Osteoporosis Society