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Menopause Mythbusting with Mary

Our Wellbeing Coach Mary is on a mission to make the menopause less of a taboo subject at work and make sure everyone has the support and knowledge they need to successfully care for themselves, and their careers throughout menopause. And as it’s something almost half of the population will experience, it’s about time that we stop thinking of Menopause as a scary word and realise it’s a natural condition that needs support and treatment like any other. We asked Mary about common myths she’s heard and what the truth about menopause really is.

You can only have menopause in your 50’s and 60’s

“Although most women will experience menopause later in life, that isn’t always the case. In the UK, 1 in 100 women will start before the age of 40, and there have been cases of menopause starting even earlier. And when we consider that before menopause, women go through an earlier stage called peri-menopause, we have to bear in mind that you can’t tell if someone is menopausal just by their age.”

Menopause symptoms don’t last long

“There isn’t a blueprint for menopause. Some people get all their symptoms at once, others have one after another. It can last a few months, or years of experiencing the same issue – it takes real changes to adjust your life around your symptoms and they can affect different parts of your life.”

Having a hysterectomy stops natural menopause

“I understand why people think this, but removing your uterus and ovaries won’t stop you from experiencing menopause later in life as it’s all about your bodies hormones changing as we grow older. In fact, you can actually have an extra menopause known as surgical menopause after the procedure.”

Transgender men don’t get menopause

“Unfortunately even if someone has fully transitioned to male, there’s a lot of factors that could mean they still experience menopause – they could still have the same symptoms as a woman going through it and need the same support and guidance.”

HRT doesn’t help

“A lot of people are scared of HRT – and of course you should speak to your Doctor to get medical advice before starting any treatments, but Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has helped a lot of women to manage their symptoms better and make it easier to get through menopause.”

You can’t get pregnant during menopause

“Until you’re post-menopausal, meaning you’ve completely stopped menstruating, you can get pregnant – it’s not likely but you can technically still get pregnant while you’re going through menopause.”

It’s just hot flushes

“Menopause can bring so many different symptoms, from hot flushes, memory issues, pain, sleep issues and even anxiety and low mood. It’s our body moving onto it’s next phase in it’s reproductive cycle and it can be very disruptive and distressing for some people – that’s why we need to take it seriously.”

Menopause is illness

“Menopause isn’t technically a condition, and it’s definitely not an illness or disease. It’s a natural part of life although many of us wish it wasn’t. You can’t catch it, you can’t make it come quicker and you can’t stop it.”

Menopause is the same for everyone

“No two women are the same, so no two people experience menopause exactly the same way. A lot of us will feel the same things so that’s why it’s important for us to have someone to talk to and share our experiences, but some people are unbothered by menopause while some suffer with it – you can’t tell by looking at someone.”

Consensus have been recognised as a Great Place to Work for Women – and part of our commitment is to making sure that not only do we encourage conversations about Menopause, but make sure there’s real support available including our menopause meetups for colleagues to offer tips and share guidance, dedicated wellbeing support to guide and advise and resources for mental health and occupational health to assist with adjustments needed for people to do their job safely through the menopause.

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