How to Have Good Conversations around Menopause – at Work and with Your GP

Our friends at Henpicked, offer advice for seeking menopause support at work

Talking about menopause was once something of a taboo and was very rarely even mentioned in the workplace. Thankfully, times have moved on and menopause has come to the fore much more.

And if you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, it’s important that you feel able to talk about it, both to your GP and to your manager. This means that you can get the right advice from your medical practitioner, and the right support at work.

How to Talk to Your Line Manager

It might feel awkward discussing menopause symptoms with your manager. But they are there to support you in the workplace. Here are some top tips to get the best from your conversation:

Check what your organisation is doing. You might find there are already processes in place for menopause support, or policies and guidance which your manager should be aware of. You could always speak to HR to find out what your organisation offers

Be prepared. Book some time with your manager and find a private room for your meeting. Keep a list of your symptoms and note how they affect you at work. This way, you can both come up with an action plan of reasonable solutions to help.

Agree a follow-up meeting. Your manager might need some time to seek advice and get back to you. Also, symptoms can vary over time, so you might need to make some tweaks to your requested adjustments.

Talking to Your Doctor

Your GP is your first port of call to discuss how to manage your menopause symptoms. They can offer advice on medical approaches such as hormone replacement therapy, but can also talk to you about possible lifestyle adjustments.

An appointment can be quite short, though, so it’s a good idea to do some prep beforehand.

Keep a list. Include details of your menstrual cycle, any changes you’ve noticed, and any symptoms which are bothering you.

Read the NICE guidelines. Your doctor uses the NICE guidelines to understand what treatments they can offer and the most helpful conversations to have.

Talk to the receptionist. Your usual doctor might not be the best person to talk to about menopause, and they can advise you who would be the most appropriate. You could also ask them if they can offer a longer appointment.

Ask if there is a menopause clinic in your area. If there is and you think this would be helpful, ask for a referral.

Take someone with you. Having your partner or a friend with you can be an extra source of support. They’ll know how menopausal symptoms are affecting you and also find out how to continue supporting you.

Essentially, when you’re talking to your manager or your GP, you need an outcome that you’re happy with. Always feel that you’ve come away with answers, and if you haven’t ask for a second opinion or to speak with a different manager.

This article was provided by Sally Leech – Director Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace