Lauren is an Executive Coach and Menopause at work specialist, who is passionate about raising awareness on a topic that is often avoided and misunderstood in the workplace.
It was only after leaving her job due to suffering with low self-esteem, palpitations, anxiety and memory loss that Lauren discovered from her GP that all of the symptoms she was accrediting to onset dementia was actually due to going through the early menopause. This prompted her to start working on raising awareness and understanding of the menopause - something that is just a natural life stage and stop any other woman going through the same thing she did.
Menopause has a far-reaching impact which many people may not be aware of. Lauren explains that peri-menopausal starts when your monthly cycle become irregular and oestrogen levels begin to fluctuate. Once you have gone 12 months without a cycle, this is the menopause. There are over 30 symptoms of menopause and although no two women experience it in the same way, it is reported that 25% of women suffer with severe symptoms, if not prepared for it and do not know where to get help and support; 55% have mild to moderate symptoms and may need some sort of intervention, even if this is just lifestyle changes and 20% will sail through.
The average age of menopause is 51 and that is also the same average age of woman taking their own lives, leaving work and divorce statistics spike in ages 45-55, which is why Lauren is a strong advocate for being aware of what the symptoms can be and where you can receive help from. She works with fitness and nutritional professionals so she can offer people a one stop shop for everything related to the menopause. The youngest recorded case of menopause was in a 12-year-old, so this has now become part of the education system, working to increase awareness from a young age.
Lauren believes that women often don’t recognise that they have testosterone, a really important hormone and for some when it begins to drop can experience a lack of confidence, or self-esteem. This can be prescribed within hormone replacement therapy. Lauren recommends before visiting the GP that you keep a record of your symptoms and read up on HRT and whether this may be right for you.
It is important for employers to become educated about the menopause and for women to understand what they are going through, so they can put their own processes in place to help them through the journey. Quite often in the workplace others may notice these changes in you, before you notice them in yourself, so it is about being able to open these conversations, how to signpost people to the correct support and help, in a supportive way rather than in a threatening one. Lauren has noticed that many organisations are now adding women and menopause to their agenda, as we see an increase in the number of women in the workplace, holding more senior positions and working later into their lives. 6 years ago, when Lauren went through this, there was a lack of understanding in the workplace and even she did not know what to look for, or that perimenopause was a thing. Due to this lack of awareness she couldn’t manage it, or take control, something she is hoping no other woman has to face.
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Women of a Certain Stage