Relationships across Ireland are under immense strain from menopause, new research shows.
A survey shows more than half (51%) of women in Ireland fear their long-term relationships are suffering as a result of symptoms, while almost two-thirds (64%) say their sex lives have been damaged.
More than 2,800 women responded to the online survey by The Menopause Hub, Ireland’s first-ever clinic solely devoted to treating menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms.
“This research highlights the devastating impact menopause is having on couples and intimate relationships,” said founder and CEO, Loretta Dignam.
“When assessing anyone for treatment, our staff ask how women feel about their relationships, and there’s no doubt many are worried about the effect menopause is having on them and their sex lives.”
The Menopause in the Workplace survey, released ahead of World Menopause Day on October 18, found the majority (68.4%) of women felt they were not adequately prepared for the impact of menopause and perimenopause – while almost all (96.7%) said they were experiencing symptoms.
Ms Dignam said the findings highlight the need for greater awareness on the effects that the ‘change of life’ has on families and relationships.
In an employment context, the survey revealed that the vast majority (93.9%) do not believe the Government is doing enough to help menopausal women remain at work when symptoms arise.
A total of 85.9% of respondents would like to have access to specialist menopause consultations at work and 80% want their employers to introduce a menopause-in-the-workplace policy.
Just over seven-tenths (71.8%) said greater menopause awareness training for staff at their organisation is needed, with 60.3% claiming there is a stigma associated with the topic at their place of employment.
Of the supports that are available, the three most popular identified by women are free health checks for over 40s, free hormone replacement therapy and more menopause training for GPs.
“Employers can make simple adjustments, such as a relaxation of uniform policies and increased comfort breaks, to help menopausal employees progress in their careers,” said Ms Dignam.
The Menopause Hub has three clinics – in Mount Merrion, South Dublin, Santry, North Dublin and Ballincollig, Co Cork, and has treated more than 7,500 women since opening in 2019.
*A total of 2,892 women living in Ireland, aged between 35 and 64, responded to the online survey in September.