Almost nine in ten (87%) women feel a natural responsibility to educate children and young people about perimenopause and menopause to help them prepare, according to research from MetLife UK.
The research, which explored the views of 355 women – currently working full or part-time and have gone through or are currently going through either perimenopause or menopause – found more than two in five (43%) say they will educate about it when the time is right, such as when they are old enough, and 13% will talk about it with children, but only when they have no other choice.
With this research, MetLife UK hopes to raise further awareness of the issues experienced by women – both in and out the workplace – and encourage employers/managers to assess the level of health and wellbeing support available. Most organisations will have some form of Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), offering resources to improve sickness absence while increasing employee satisfaction and engagement. For example, at MetLife UK, clients can access our Group Life Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which provides emotional and practical support to tackle concerns about their own or someone else’s emotional and health wellbeing at work. With round the clock access to professional counsellors and registered nurses, customers can access the support from wherever they are.
The potential a high-quality EAP has to help support those experiencing perimenopause and menopause symptoms should not be underestimated – not just for when things reach crisis point, but for everyday challenges to help prevent small worries from escalating.
Our research revealed that the average age at which women say they have gone or are currently going through perimenopause or menopause is 41. However, almost two in five (39%) are under 40.
The main symptoms can include changes in mood/low mood (65%), hot flushes/excessive sweating/night sweats (65%), difficulty sleeping (62%), headaches (50%) and memory and concentration issues (45%).
The most common symptoms can include:
- Mood changes/low mood – 65%
- Hot flushes/excessive sweating/night sweats – 65%
- Difficulty sleeping – 62%
- Headaches – 50%
- Memory and concentration – 45%
- Joint stiffness/aches and pains – 40%
- Anxiety/panic attacks – 38%
- Frequent urination – 35%
- Hair thinning/loss – 33%
- Palpitations – 28%
Despite going through perimenopause or menopause and experiencing symptoms, one in ten (10%) women admit they haven’t talked to anyone about it yet.
Adrian Matthews, Employee Benefits Director at MetLife UK comments: “Despite being a natural part of life, perimenopause and menopause remain a taboo subject. And one that as a society we still feel uncomfortable talking about. Although it’s a difficult and deeply personal subject that people understandably may not wish to discuss, perimenopause and menopause symptoms can take hold much earlier than what people would traditionally expect. And many symptoms can have a significant impact on people’s day to day lives, especially in the world of work.
“Together we must create an environment where people feel comfortable opening up, whilst encouraging people of all ages to talk about it. Whether you know someone experiencing symptoms or want to advocate on someone’s behalf, helping people at what can be a lonely and scary time will go a long way to ensuring they feel supported. And start to break down the barriers on what is an extremely important subject.
“Making sure that you are encouraging an open conversation within your own home or with younger family members is a simple way that we can make this a more open conversation, and one where more of us are conscious of what could be impacting the daily lives of those around us once they start to experience perimenopause and menopause symptoms.”