Menopause is not just hot flushes and periods stopping,and it begins earlier than you might think.
- There are approximately 13 million peri or post menopausal women in the U.K
- There are more than 30 recognised symptoms of menopause
- Perimenopause is when hormone levels begin to fluctuate and symptoms may appear, often in the early to mid forties
- Menopause is 12 consecutive months without a period, the average age is 51-52
- Postmenopause is the years following menopause
- Symptoms last, on average, 4-8 years
- 1 in 4 will experience very few symptoms
- 3 in 4 will experience symptoms
- 1 in 4 will experience debilitating symptoms
Menopause can be
- Surgical, this occurs when both of the ovaries are removed
- Induced, this is caused by some forms of medical treatment
- Early, occurs under the age of 45
- Premature, occurs under the age of 40
- 1 in 100 will experience menopause under the age of 40
- 1 in 1000 will experience menopause under the age of 30
- 1 in 10,000 will experience menopause under the age of 20
- Transgender and non-binary people may also experience menopause
Survey report reveals a shocking lack of support
A survey report from the Fawcett society published in May 2022, based on data from the largest ever survey of menopausal and peri-menopausal women in the UK, reveals a shocking lack of support for menopause by healthcare providers and in the workplace.
- 77% find at least one menopause symptom ‘very difficult’
- 84% experience trouble sleeping
- 73% experience brain fog
- 69% of women experience difficulties with anxiety and depression due to menopause
- 44% of women experienced three or more severe symptoms
Almost half (45%) of women haven’t spoken to their GP surgery about their symptoms.
67% who did said their GP or nurse seemed knowledgeable about the menopause, but 31% said that it had taken many appointments for their GP to realise they were experiencing the menopause – 42% among those with five or more severe symptoms.
Official guidance says that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be offered to women who are struggling with menopause symptoms, but just 39% of women say their GP or nurse offered HRT as soon as they knew they were experiencing menopause, and only 14% of menopausal women said that they are currently taking HRT.
The survey found just 14% of menopausal women are currently taking HRT
More white women (15%) than black and minoritised women (8%) were taking HRT
54% of women said they found loss of interest in sex to be difficult during the menopause. Testosterone has been shown to help with this in research studies, but just 33% of women had heard of its use in HRT.
41% say they have seen menopause or menopause symptoms treated as a joke by people at work.
Among women who had taken time off due to menopause, 39% had cited anxiety or depression as the main reason on their sick note, rather than share their menopause status.