What are my employment rights related to menopause and what do I need to do if I am an employer to support my employees?
Menopause is finally being talked about much more openly. There is recognition that this phase can happen long before periods stop (perimenopause), and that women can experience different symptoms, and there are lots of them; from the more well known: night sweats and hot flushes to brain fog, anxiety and hair loss.
This rise of awareness around menopause has been helped by an increasing number of high profile women talking openly and honestly about their own experiences, including Davina McCall, who recently presented the programme, “Sex, Myths and Menopause”, which is a ‘must-see’ for everyone, both male and female.
Workplaces are also starting to recognise the importance of providing support for women at this stage in life, and are implementing menopause guidelines, policies and dedicated helplines. Many companies provide desk fans to help with hot flushes, access to quieter working spaces and flexible working, if poor concentration is an issue, as well as employee assistance schemes for guidance with managing anxiety.
One symptom that is rarely talked about, however, is vaginal dryness. But then, who wants to discuss their vagina at work?
Many women first notice vaginal dryness during sex. Often sex can become so uncomfortable, that women stop wanting to have sex with their partners. This can put a huge amount of strain on a relationship, and affect a woman’s self-confidence.
Vaginal dryness doesn’t just affect our sex lives though.
It can affect every aspect of life, including our work life - as much as other symptoms like poor concentration and anxiety do.
For some women, their vagina feels itchy, dry and sore all day long. This can make sitting down, wearing trousers and even moving around for long periods really uncomfortable and painful which can be a huge distraction. Additionally, unlike other symptoms which tend to fade post-menopause, vaginal dryness will get worse if left untreated.
At a time when many of us are forecast to spend ⅓ of our lives post menopausal, it’s important we find solutions to alleviate vaginal dryness so we can continue to enjoy a fulfilling life.
Around 80% of menopausal women will experience vaginal dryness but only a third seek medical help. Many are too embarrassed or feel that they should just “put up with it”. In actual fact, vaginal dryness, in many cases, is relatively straightforward to treat.
HRT and local oestrogen, which can be prescribed by your GP, can help reverse effects very quickly. A good, quality non-hormonal lubricant or moisturiser like Sylk can also make a big difference and can be used on it’s own or in addition to HRT/local oestrogen.
Sylk is a plant-based, silky smooth gel that hydrates and soothes dryness. As it’s pH balanced, it helps keep the vagina moist and healthy. The female-friendly formula is non-drying, odourless and kind and gentle to sensitive tissues. It comes in 2 formats: 40g bottle or handy single use applicators which you can pop in your handbag so you can apply some when you go to the toilet. Sylk is NHS approved and is available with or without prescription. You can buy Sylk at all chemists including larger Boots stores.
We are currently offering all Latte Lounge customers 40% off Sylk - simply visit www.sylk.co.uk and enter code LL40.
Other things that you can do to ease vaginal dryness include:
For more information please visit www.sylk.co.uk.
This article is a paid partnership with Sylk.
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