World Menopause Month
October marks Menopause Month, with 18th October World Menopause Day. This year’s theme is cardiovascular disease because hormonal changes associated with menopause can have wide-ranging impacts on cardiovascular health. Here are a few ways menopause affects cardiovascular health:
- A decline in oestrogen levels during menopause can increase cardiovascular risk factors, like high blood pressure
- A reduction in oestrogen can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to the accumulation of plaque. This can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
- Changes in hormone levels during menopause can contribute to an increase in blood pressure
- Diabetes Risk: Menopause can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is itself a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
What should employers be doing to raise awareness of the menopause at work?
Speaking up about the menopause often does not come easily for many women; as a result, many will suffer in silence. However, here are some suggestions to raise workplace awareness:
- Download official resources
The International Menopause Society releases official resources for World Menopause Day every year.
- Plan training sessions and events
Several organisations provide menopause training within the workplace and this can create impact and open the conversations to raise awareness. Some employers also consider creating an informal support group, giving employees a safe space where they can discuss their experience and offer peer support.
- Talk openly about the menopause
As businesses introduce awareness sessions and train line managers on how to have the right conversations and offer the best support, they are reaffirming a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination – which includes the menopause.