We acknowledge that this does not cover all health conditions that might affect women or those assigned female at birth.
Covered in this toolkit is:
Menopause Awareness Month
October is Menopause Awareness Month and 18 October is World Menopause Day.
What is the menopause?
Menopause is understood as the time during a person’s life when menstruation periods permanently stop. Officially, it is defined as occurring when there have been no periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified. This can cause a chain reaction of physical and psychological side effects to the female (and those assigned female at birth) body, some of which can last for a number of years.
Changing hormone levels can cause issues months or even years before the menopause; this is known as the perimenopause.
Most people go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can happen at any point between 30 and 60 years of age. Symptoms last around four years on average, although 1/10 can experience them for up to 12 years.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Endometriosis is a long-term condition that affects women and those assigned female at birth of any age.
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain)
period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
pain when going to the toilet
feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea or blood in your urine
difficulty getting pregnant
Endometriosis may also cause some women or those assigned female at birth to suffer from mental health issues such as depression.
What is menstruation?
Females and those assigned female at birth experience menstruation from puberty to menopause. For most, it is a monthly occurrence the effects of which can vary dramatically, from barely impacting their day-to-day lives to causing severe pain and discomfort for a number of days each month.
One more thing...
It is important to note that while here we predominantly talk about women in relation to the menopause, menstruation and endometriosis, these conditions could be experienced by anyone who was assigned female at birth, regardless of how they currently present themselves.
All employees, regardless of the gender they present as, including non-binary individuals, require the same support, flexibility and dignity in the workplace as any other employee.
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Last reviewed 20 October 2023