Most women will experience some symptoms of menopause at some stage. Menopause usually starts a few months or years before a woman’s menstrual cycle ends and can persist for several years.
Common symptoms of Menopause include:
Hot flushes – short, sudden feelings of heat, usually in the face, neck and chest, making your skin red and sweaty.
Night sweats – hot flushes that occur at night.
Difficulty sleeping may make you tired and irritable during the day.
A reduced sex drive (libido)
Problems with memory and concentration
Vaginal dryness and pain, itching or discomfort during sex
Mood changes, such as low mood or anxiety.
Palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.
Joint stiffness, aches and pains and reduced muscle mass
Practical examples of how managers can support menopausal women include an understanding that some individuals become more sensitive to temperature or prone to headaches and, therefore, need ready access to water. Others may find that they get tired and find it difficult to concentrate. In these examples, having an early lunch break or a split lunch (with a half-hour in the late morning and a half-hour in the afternoon) may help. Alternatively, a change or reduction in working hours may facilitate these women a more comfortable time while at work.
Managers must support the health and well-being of their team by being open to discussing with people suffering from Menopause but allowing for sensitivity. It is essential to let your manager know that you are going through Menopause, significantly if you are affected in the workplace. By making your manager aware of your condition, they can support you.
Other initiatives that may help menopausal women include:
· Allowing them to get a drink when they need one.
· Using comfort breaks.
· Recognising and making allowance for the fact that the symptoms of Menopause can adversely affect an individual’s performance.
· Helping women who suffer from hot flushes by ordering a small desk-top USB-powered fan. These fans are now available as a standard stationery item through the line manager’s cost centre for Santander employees who need one.
If you need advice or support with any issues relating to Menopause, don’t hesitate to contact the Advance union helpline team on 01442 891122. You can find helpful information about menopause on the Bank workers charity here.
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