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The menopause is a natural part of the aging process in every woman’s life when her balance of hormones change and ultimately her periods stop.  The average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51 but commonly occurs around 45-55 years of age.  Some women experience symptoms for years before this, during what is known as the perimenopause and for some women it can be much earlier due to either a natural early menopause, surgery or illness.

Some women have minor symptoms during the menopause, but others experience symptoms that can last for several years and can adversely affect a woman’s personal and working life. Symptoms can be physical such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disruption, fatigue, joint pains and headaches, others can be psychological such as difficulty concentrating, poor memory, loss of confidence, anxiety, depression and mood swings.  Not all women experience significant symptoms, but if they do, it can have a negative impact on their lives including performance and attendance at work. 

Some women find menopause symptoms affect their wellbeing and capacity to work.  It is important to remember that menopause is a natural and temporary stage in a women’s life and simple and supportive steps by family, friends and colleagues in the workplace can be hugely helpful to women who find they are struggling to cope with the symptoms.  Medical help may also be required.  

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