Menopause in the workplace still a taboo

Women need more support
  • Deborah Condon

Women who are experiencing symptoms of the menopause need more support in the workplace, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said.

According to the organisation, there are currently over 300,000 women working in Ireland who are between the ages of 45 and 64 and some 80% of these will experience menopause-related symptoms.

During menopause, levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone fall and this can results in a range of symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, vaginal dryness, a decrease in or loss of libido, and poor concentration.

The INMO has launched a position paper on this topic, which has been developed to encourage discussions about menopause and tackle some of the taboos related to it in the workplace.

The paper calls for the development of workplace policies that promote the support of women during the menopause, including education and training around this topic.

"We would like to work with employers to create positive employment policies, as we do with other health and wellbeing-related issues. Currently there is an absence of policies on this issue.

"We have issued a position paper to assist our members and other women who might find they require assistance and support during this time in their lives," explained INMO general secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha.

According to Lorette Dignam, founder of the Menopause Hub, Ireland's first and only dedicated menopause clinic, education is key to removing taboos around this subject.

"We are all about helping women lead healthy and satisfying lives through the menopause both in work and at home, and this means having conversations and finding solutions," she commented.

The INMO launched its position paper ahead of World Menopause Day (October 18).


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