A new study by Holland & Barrett finds that, despite progress, many women still face negative reactions if they try to talk about the menopause.
Almost two thirds of women (61 per cent) say they do not talk about the menopause, with 61 per cent citing for fear of being ‘judged’ and treated differently as the reason, according to new research.
The study of 2,000 women who are going through or have been through the menopause, commissioned by Holland & Barrett, is being backed by the provision of spaces in some of the the company’s city stores where women can talk about their experiences of the menopause and through training of 4,000 of its employees to advise on the menopause.
Despite 83 per cent of women saying that the menopause is less of a taboo subject now than it has ever been, one in three (33 per cent) surveyed said they had experienced a negative reaction, such as shutting the conversation down, when they had spoken about what they were going through and how they were feeling. As a result, only half (51 per cent) said they feel comfortable speaking to their family and friends regarding the matter.
Holland & Barrett, which commissioned the survey, has partnered with TV presenter Cherry Healey to launch the menopause Pause & Listen Pledge where people are being asked to promise to unconditionally listen to and support people experiencing the menopause.
A quarter (24 per cent) said they had even experienced ‘menosplaining’ with people trying to explain their menopause back to them rather than listening. Women said they would feel supported (43%), normal (37%), confident (17%) and less anxious (15%) if they simply had someone listen to their experience without interruptions or judgement. People can sign up to the Pledge in store and via the Holland & Barrett website.
The retailer has also opened a number of Menopause Pause & Listen Rooms in city stores across the UK. These dedicated rooms will offer a calming space and cool spots to speak with a trained menopause adviser. An exclusive partnership with the charity Menopause Mandate will also be announced later this month.
Holland & Barrett is currently undergoing the process of becoming an accredited Menopause Friendly Employer through a certified menopause accreditation scheme. It is one of a number of employers who aim to provide support to women going through the menopause at work.