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Navigating Menopause in the Modern Workplace: Breaking the Silence

Navigating Menopause in the Modern Workplace: Breaking the Silence

 

14 January 2024

 

In today’s world, we find ourselves amidst a growing awareness of mental health, with discussions surrounding it gradually breaking free from the shackles of taboo. While mental health is a universal concern, the nuances between male and female experiences, influenced by hormonal variations, deserve our attention.

Interestingly, research has shed light on the disproportionate focus on mental health issues, with a notable disparity between studies on men and women. The exception is a specific facet of female mental health often overlooked is the transition into menopause, a phase where reproductive capabilities wane and hormonal changes unfold.

Unlike in the past, when menopause was shrouded in mystery, recent studies reveal that women entering this phase are twice as likely to experience burnout. The confluence of empty nests as children leave home and the pursuit of a career can create a challenging scenario for women undergoing hormonal shifts. This not only impacts the woman but also those around her.

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not all women undergo the same experiences during menopause. While some face a crisis, others navigate the transition without significant issues. Approximately one-fifth of women face these challenges, which, if identified, are often treatable.

The primary hurdle lies in timely diagnosis, with many cases being identified a decade after the onset of symptoms. Hormone-influencing medications become a common resort, exacerbated by a work culture that perpetuates the stigma around discussing menopause. Fortunately, strides are being made in the Netherlands, where workplaces actively address menopause, allowing for preventive measures and early intervention.

Progress in research has opened avenues for alternative preventive methods, bringing relief for women and fostering a healthier environment at home and in the workplace. By breaking the silence surrounding menopause, we pave the way for understanding, support, and improved well-being for everyone involved (Rethans, 2023).

 

References

Rethans, S. (2023). Het begint eerder dan je denkt, en kan meer kwaad; Pas op de overgang. Vrij Nederland, 80-89.

 

 

 

Miguel Goede

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