Do you know the symptoms of menopause? Have you ever thought about how it affects the people around you? Today is World Menopause Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness and offering support to those impacted.
Menopause is typically defined as the loss of a regular menstrual cycle, but there’s a lack of awareness regarding the various physical and emotional symptoms that are part of the menopausal experience.
When discussing this topic with the public for our September Vox Pops Pool, it became evident that menopause is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Women, and people with uteruses, go through distinct journeys during menopause, and the way it’s perceived also varies widely.
Some members of the public highlighted the physical aspect of symptoms of menopause, namely hot flushes, which is the most widely recognised aspect of menopause. Others spoke about the mood aspect of menopause, such as how depression and anxiety become evident. Currently, there are over 30 recognised symptoms which vary from physical, to mental and emotional health.
From our recordings, the women who spoke about their personal story of having menopause stood out. The emotional side of menopause had a ripple effect in their life, as one woman spoke on how being more irritable and having mood changes changed their relationship with those around them, both at home and at work.
Menopause is often a long-lasting phase, as one individual’s story described that it impacted them for 15 years. Healthcare professionals highlight this, as it’s not widely acknowledged that the change in hormones can have a knock on effect on other health issues too, such as weaker bones or cardiac disease.
It’s important to know who around you is being impacted by menopause. Research by Age UK show that 1 in 4 will have severe symptoms that impact their day-to-day lives. If it’s a family member, consider how to offer emotional support, if it’s in work, consider best-practice menopause policies.
Vox Pops wants to share a special thanks to Maryon Stewart for helping us collect impactful stories on menopause for our September Pool. If interested in hearing more, check out our last project with her on opening up about menopause.