18 October 2021
Derbyshire Police Federation secretary Kirsty Bunn has spoken out about the need for greater awareness of the impact the menopause can have on the lives of members.
Today’s World Menopause Day (Monday 18 October) aims to raise awareness on the issues surrounding the menopause and help people feel more comfortable speaking about how this stage of life affects their health and wellbeing.
Kirsty is keen for more conversation around the subject, saying: “Even after a few years of work around greater recognition of the impact of the menopause, people can still feel uncomfortable talking about it.
“You don’t need to share everything, but members should feel supported when they need to bring an issue to their rep or their force, as some of the physical effects of menopause – for example, heart palpitations, headaches, and, of course, hot flashes - can have a huge impact on day to day work.”
In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51, but the menopause commonly happens any time between the ages of 42 and 56 as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline.
The Police Federation of England and Wales’ (PFEW) 2019 Menopause Survey, initiated to help improve working conditions for Federated members, found that 76 per cent of respondents who had either gone through, or were going through, the menopause admitted they had found symptoms either moderately or extremely problematic at work, with more than eight out of ten agreeing tiredness and sleep disturbances were having a detrimental effect.
Another concerning finding revealed nearly half of respondents (44 per cent) who found their symptoms extremely problematic have considered quitting the police service as a result.
Kirsty continues: “These findings show that despite the fantastic achievements made by the Federation’s Menopause Action Group, much more still needs to be done to make policing easier for members going through this stage of life.”
Find out more at the British Menopause Society.