Get workplace support during menopause
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Get workplace support during menopause

Nurses going through the menopause are more likely to quit their jobs because employers fail to support them if they experience challenging symptoms.

Nursing Standard. 37, 7, 6-6. doi: 10.7748/ns.37.7.6.s3

Published: 06 July 2022

Some move to less stressful roles or take more time off because their symptoms cause them embarrassment or distress, advanced menopause specialist Debra Holloway said.

‘We’re less likely to go for promotion, we’re less satisfied with our jobs and our roles and we’re more likely to quit,’ she told a seminar at the RCN’s annual congress in Glasgow.

RCN women’s health forum chair Katharine Gale told the seminar how, despite almost three decades working as a nurse in women’s health, she did not recognise her own severe symptoms as the perimenopause.

‘I thought I was going mad,’ said Ms Gale, who is researching the effects of menopause on women working in the NHS. ‘I was working long hours as a senior nurse and to those around me I looked like I was thriving, yet I was barely surviving. I was thrown off course by my own body and the intensity and severity of the symptoms.

‘But I hadn’t thought to ask my GP whether my symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and fatigue were the start of my journey on the menopause.’

Both urged nurses to request reasonable adjustments at work while going through the menopause, including simple changes such as considerations for room temperature and uniform to mediate hot flushes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is reviewing diagnosis and treatment guidance for menopause, due to be published in August 2023.

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