Menopause and menstrual health policy
A recent study explored menstrual health and menopause at work, the results of which are being used to inform new NHS Scotland policy.
The research aimed to ‘create an environment where those experiencing menopause or menstruation are supported through positive cultures, practical support mechanisms and challenging stigma or negative stereotypes’.
‘Advancing Menopause and Menstrual Health in Organisations’ was conducted by University of Glasgow Professor Kathleen Riach in 2022, and surveyed the menopause and menstrual experiences and needs of more than 6000 NHS employees.
Some key findings from the study were that the majority of employees say they are able to continue to work through menstruation or menopausal transition without there being a disruption to their jobs, but that for many people, cultural, structural or institutional conditions can have a negative impact on their experiences at work. Other findings revealed that misdiagnosis, under diagnosis and late diagnosis surrounding healthcare remained an ongoing challenge and had an influence on women's careers and their capacity to work. Organisational culture played a ‘significant role’ in employees' experiences of reproductive health at work, with 40% of respondents having had an ‘embarrassing or stigmatising experience surrounding menstruation or menopause’ in the workplace in the last year.
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