Menopause causes significant challenges for women in the workplace, but employers offer little support, according to a new survey by women’s health company Mira. In support of Menopause Awareness Month, Mira commissioned a study to explore how menopause affects individuals at work. Two out of five respondents claim that menopause symptoms have a significant impact on their careers.
Additionally, 42% reported that they have had to take a day off due to menopause symptoms, and 10% of respondents admitted that they have had to leave their job. Every 1 in 10 women is looking for a job with more flexible hours, and 2 out of 5 are planning to retire earlier than originally planned.
When asked to elaborate on any specific examples of how menopause impacts work, a number of respondents reported that they struggle with brain fog and fatigue, which makes it difficult to focus on their tasks and responsibilities. One respondent said, “it’s slowing me down due to the fact that I’m tired and can’t focus. I sometimes have to redo things because I didn’t do them right the first time.”
Despite menopause having such a profound impact on an individual’s professional life, the majority of respondents (75%) reported that they do not share their (peri)menopause in the workplace. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents claimed that their workplace does not provide any support for menopause and 50% did not know if their health insurance covered menopause. Of those who had to take time off of work for menopause, 63% reported that this time off was unpaid.
“Menopause is not scary; the lack of awareness and education is. People give up their careers because they lack resources and access to available menopause treatments, symptom management, and support from their colleagues and employers. Our goal as a women’s health company is to ensure every person has access to their health data, so they can seek available solutions and treatments and enjoy their life and career plans”, says Sylvia Kang, Mira’s CEO and co-founder.
The survey also shows that 47% of women experience their first perimenopause/menopause symptoms between the ages of 35 and 45, which for many, is a crucial period for professional growth.
The peri/menopausal period marks the start of a significant chapter in women’s lives. It affects their relationship with their bodies and their surroundings. Nevertheless, the stigma around menopause has led to a tremendous gap in knowledge: 55% of the women surveyed don’t know all the symptoms of menopause. Those who are familiar with the symptoms mention hot flashes (59%), fatigue (55%), night sweats (53%), difficulty sleeping (50%), and anxiety (47%) among the most prominent.
It is essential to normalize discussing menopause and perimenopause and educate people about the symptoms and available types of medical support. The survey results show that 58% of women consider getting treatment. Mira has launched a social media campaign #SayMenopause to emphasize the importance of an open discussion and regular hormonal checks.
Studies show that elevated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels may indicate the transition into perimenopause or menopause. Mira has recently launched Mira Ovum Wands to track FSH levels at home. Regular FSH tracking is helpful for individuals who want to be aware of approaching menopause or to monitor any symptoms during their transition to perimenopause.
Methodology: the study was conducted in August 2022 as a cross-sectional survey of 1000 American women older than 35 years. Total responses: 1000, age range: 35-65, gender: female, country: United States.