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Menopausal women lack basic support, landmark survey finds

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Eight in 10 respondents in the largest survey of menopausal women in the UK said their workplace had no basic support in place and 41% said menopause symptoms were treated as a joke by colleagues.

The landmark study found menopausal women were being ignored in the workplace and by healthcare providers, with a third saying it took many GP appointments before they were diagnosed with menopause or perimenopause. This rose to 45% for black and minoritised women.

The findings were revealed in a report by the Fawcett Society, based on a survey of more than 4,000 women commissioned by Channel 4 for a documentary by Davina McCall.

“Menopausal women are experiencing unnecessary misery and it’s a national scandal,” said Jemima Olchawski, the chief executive of the Fawcett Society. “For too long, menopause has been shrouded in stigma. We need to break the culture of silence and ensure menopausal women are treated with the dignity and support they deserve instead of being expected to just get on with it.”

Official guidance states hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should be offered to women struggling with menopause symptoms, but there have been acute shortages of some HRT products and demand is expected to rise.

The survey found 39% of women said their GP or nurse offered HRT as soon as they knew they were experiencing menopause, but only 14% of menopausal women said they were currently taking HRT.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 May 2022

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