Getting comfortable around the topic of menopause

04 May 2021

With women representing 51% of the population and 47% of the UK workforce, companies are realising the gains to be made in understanding and recognising the specific health and wellbeing needs of their female employees.

Continuing WPA's series of resilience boosters, Lauren Chiren, Director and Executive Coach of Women of a Certain Stage, offers her expertise in improving menopause symptoms by focusing on wellbeing and morale.

Getting comfortable around the topic of menopause

Lauren Chiren, Director and Executive Coach of Women of a Certain Stage, offers expert advice on what menopause is and how to look after yourself during this phase in your life.

Video transcript

Hi, my name is Lauren Chiren, and I would love to help you get really comfortable around the topic of menopause.

I'm going to share some facts and figures, dispel some myths and help you understand how you can help yourself and others and generally just feel more confident with this topic.

But why are we even talking about menopause? Going back 150 to 200 years ago women went through menopause at 57 and died at 59. Nowadays we're going through menopause age 45 to 55 and we're living and working well into our 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.

We're playing our menopause transition in the workplace and it's really important for us and everyone around us that we know what this is how to get the right help and support and what we can do about it.

So, what is menopause?

Menopause is a time in a woman's life when she stops being fertile. It's classed as being 12 months after her last monthly cycle. That's when she hits menopause and becomes immediately post-menopausal.

The phase leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, often overlooked. This is a time when a woman's monthly cycle might become longer or shorter, periods might become heavier or lighter and she may start to experience symptoms.

Symptoms include things like increased anxiety and stress, sleeplessness and fatigue, itchy skin and sore joints, night sweats and hot flushes. There's over 34 symptoms. Typically they fall into the category of psychological, physical and emotional.

So hopefully that helps understand why it's so important that we know how to prepare and get the right help and support.

The whole phase from peri to post menopause can take anywhere between 3 and 15 years and every woman is affected differently. No two women are going to have the same journey through menopause and clearly when someone's going through this it's going to affect all those people around them, therefore menopause is everybody's issue. It's something we all need to understand and know how to support those going through it.

So, what can you do for yourself? How can you support yourself during this time of life?

Look after yourself

It's imperative that you're looking after yourself as best as you possibly can. Too often as women we lose sight of our self-care, we're so busy looking after everyone and everything else that we become bottom of our priority list and that has to change.

We have to find ways to switch off, relax, wind down, whether it's through a massage or acupuncture, whether it's meditation or journaling, something that allows us to tap back into our sense of calm, our sense of rest and digest our creativity and our great decision-making ability.


If we're having lots of flushes, night sweats, it's really important that we keep topping up our hydration making sure that our water levels are really positive.

It really is important for our cognition, our focus, our memory, our concentration to make sure that we're well hydrated as well.

Stay active

Moving our bodies is super important. We've got to keep our muscle strength, we've got to make sure that we keep our mobility going, make sure that we're getting our heart rate up every day for 30 minutes or so.

Finding activities that you love doing, that you're going to want to look forward to doing every day is really important to get that heart rate going.

Eat well

Making sure that you're eating really good quality foods, protein in every meal, lots of great fruit and vegetables, as much as you can every single day.


Another thing that can be quite apparent for a woman is that if her self-esteem and self-confidence is beginning to dip, she might find she's starting to withdraw socially. So, it's really important to make sure that we make social appointments in our diary every day, every week, every month. Keeping in touch with people around us is so crucial and talking is so important during menopause.

Getting a group of women together and letting them loose, talking about all things menopause, what's working well for them is an absolute treat. It's the best way is making sure that that connectivity making sure that people realise that what they're going through is entirely normal. Sadly, people still don't talk about menopause enough.

Note symptoms

Too many women actually hit menopause, think there's something wrong with them, go to the doctor who may or may not be able to help support and will go through a series of tests before ultimately realising that they're just going through menopause.

So, it's really important to keep a note of any symptoms you're having. Mark down how they're impacting you, perhaps score them one to ten, one being they're not affecting you too much and ten quite a lot. 25% of women will have severe symptoms that will impact their day-to-day living.

It's really important to make sure that you get help and support. 55% of women will have mild to moderate symptoms. So, we can all look after ourselves better, we can all increase our self-care and improve our lifestyle choices.

Speak to your doctor

Going to the doctor is really important if your symptoms are affecting you in a way that is impacting you being able to function a day-to-day basis. It can also be important to speak to your doctor just from a health prevention point of view as well. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone all play vital roles in our bodies.

We weren't intended to live as long as we do post-menopausally, so it's important to understand the roles that they're playing. Estrogen is great for your heart health, your bone health, all your cognitive functions is really crucial from an estrogen point of view. Progesterone from feeling calm getting a good night's sleep and testosterone from your drive and your confidence as well.

So, if any of those areas are impacted definitely go and speak to your doctor and make sure that you have a conversation about how they might be able to help and support.

Whatever you do after listening to this today, I'm going to invite you to say the word menopause out loud three times every single day. Become familiar with it. Know that it's entirely natural life stage and trust me you will thank yourself and those around you just for knowing a bit more and be able to be open and talk about this topic. Thank you very much.