Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell has hosted an event in Westminster about the menopause and how greater awareness and education is needed to support women.
Neighbouring MP and health minister Maria Caulfield also attended the event organised by Katie Day, a menopause expert, and Dr Roger Prentis both from RDP International Ltd.
Caroline spoke and said how a lack of understanding and support had wreaked havoc and caused relationship breakdown and problems at work for women she had been supporting.
“There is now much more openness about this time in a woman's life but we still have some way to go to ensure wider society, employers, and health professionals understand what it means to women and how physical changes and psychological impacts can adversely affect them in many ways when they suffer brain fog or sleeplessness for example.
"However, the powerful message we took from the event was that the menopause doesn’t have to be life limiting.”
The minister told the meeting, which was attended by around 90 people, about the up-coming women's health strategy and the ways in which it would address the menopause and about the inclusion of a new Women's Health Ambassador and how this role would allow issues such as HRT to be raised more effectively.
Other speakers included lead employers from the public and private sectors who shared their work in designing supportive HR policies and training and Professor Isaac Manyonda - lead clinician and consultant gynaecologist at the Menopause Clinic, London and Professor Vikram Talaulikar, also from the Menopause Clinic.
Katie Day gave a powerful talk about her personal story and the critical difference informed menopause support and awareness can make. She highlighted the estimated 14 million working days per year that are lost to menopause issues as just one measure of what is at stake.
Maria Caulfield MP said: “It was great to be at this menopause event lead by Caroline Ansell and to hear about the great work that’s happening to support women.”
Katie Day added: “The menopause seems to be everywhere we look these days and has become a bandwagon on which everyone and everything thing from beauty products to supermarkets have attached themselves.
“However, there is still a lack of good-quality, evidence-based information for organisations and women and we were delighted to work with Caroline Ansell MP to help increase awareness with the right information.”
“I was delighted to host this important event, thank you to everyone who attended,” added Caroline. “There will be further work on this locally to come.”