From brain fog to hot flushes, this is how menopause is affecting women at work – and how we can fix it

Businesswoman sitting behind desktop PC in office.

Menopause has a huge impact on decisions about whether women stay with or leave their employer (Picture: Getty Images)

Low mood, brain fog, hot flushes, night sweats and difficulty sleeping: these are just some of the symptoms women can experience as they go through perimenopause and the menopause itself.

In fact, menopause research platform Morpheus has identified a whopping 103 physical and emotional ailments that women can suffer from. These symptoms can start as early as your 30s, peaking in your mid-to-late 40s, with menopause itself typically happening around the age of 50 or 51.

Of course, not everyone experiences the same timelines and symptoms or even the same severity. For menopause activist and champion Davina McCall, the onset of perimenopause in her mid-40s was a frightening time.

‘I lost myself. Broken sleep and brain fog, emotional, a bit all over the place, and I was frightened,’ she has said.

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This led McCall to present two well-received documentaries on the menopause, and write a book on the subject, Menopausing. It won Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2023, signalling the huge swell in interest in women’s health – even as it showcased how little information there has traditionally been for women in mid-life.

Actress Tracee Ellis-Ross can empathise. ‘I’m going through perimenopause at the moment,’ she said last year on the Red Table Talk podcast.

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‘It’s really frying my brain. It is really bizarre, but it is the most glorious invitation into a new season and chapter in my life. There’s no information about it. There’s shame talking about it.’

Cognitive fears

Some of the most worrying symptoms for many women are those that relate to their mental capacity.

According to Morpheus’ research, out of the top 10 menopause symptoms, five are related to cognitive health. From brain fog to fatigue and forgetfulness, these issues are some of the most alarming for women.

Women were found to hold back speaking about their symptoms at work (Picture: Getty Images)

‘Because many symptoms of perimenopause also occur in dementia, some women worry that they are showing signs of young onset dementia, particularly if they have a family history of dementia,’ says Dementia UK.

And while it can be difficult enough to cope with these symptoms in daily life –forgetting to feed the cat or wash the kids’ sports kits – women in the workplace find contending with cognitive issues like brain fog even tougher.

This is part of the reason why a recent report from Encompass Equality has …read more

Source:: Metro


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