The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Menopause is calling for a campaign and guidance to encourage employers to provide more support for women going through the menopause.
MPs have called for an employer-led campaign and improved guidance to boost support for menopause in the workplace.
Ahead of World Menopause Day, the All Party Parliamentary Group [APPG] on Menopause’s report, which follows a year-long inquiry, says that the support for the 13 million women currently going through peri-menopause or menopause is “completely inadequate”.
The APPG also calls, among other things, for the scrapping of prescription costs for HRT in England, health checks for all women at 45, new research into the benefits of HRT and the links between menopause and serious health conditions and updated menopause training for GPs and health workers.
It says it is particularly concerned about the socio-economic divide emerging between women who are able to access the right treatment and those who lose out in the postcode lottery and do not have the financial means to seek treatment elsewhere.
Carolyn Harris, Chair of the APPG on Menopause, said: “We are beginning to feel the tide of change but the taboo around the menopause still prevails in all corners of society – in workplaces, within families and among friends, in education, and in the medical profession. Access to HRT remains a postcode lottery for women in the UK and there is a stark divide between those who can afford to seek treatment elsewhere, and those who cannot.
The consequences for those suffering with menopause symptoms who can’t get the right treatment can be severe – leading to the break down of personal relationships and jeopardising careers, with women being forced to take additional days off or leave work all together, putting their financial situations at risk.
Whilst the development of a Women’s Health Strategy was an opportunity to revolutionise access to menopause support and treatment for all, in its current form it has failed to address the multiple issues that women in the UK are facing. Change is vital and we urge the new Minister and Government to give the menopause the attention it is due and take forward the recommendations in our report for the sake of women across the country.”