Menopause is a natural stage of life experienced by the majority of women.

At Maxwell Hodge, we are committed to supporting our employees who are going through menopause and creating a stigma-free environment.

We encourage our employees to be open and honest about the issues they are experiencing, so that we can make practical adjustments.

For this World Menopause Day, 18 October 2023, we are providing this summary on menopause to share useful information and inspire people to seek help and advice.

What is menopause?

The NHS (2022) define menopause as:

  • Typically affecting women between the ages of 45 and 55.
  • Occurring when periods stop due to lower hormone levels.
  • Affecting anyone who has periods.
  • Happening naturally or after treatment, such as following surgery to remove the ovaries or uterus, or after cancer treatment such as chemo.

At any given time, we will have employees at various stages of their menopause journey, as some will be perimenopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal. ‘Perimenopause’ refers to the phase leading up to the menopause, when a woman’s hormone balance starts to change. This phase ends when you have not had a period for 12 months, and have therefore reached ‘menopause’ (NHS, 2022).


Menopause and perimenopause can cause symptoms, which can have a huge impact personally, professionally and socially. The symptoms experienced and the extent of them differs person-to-person as menopause will feel different for everyone. However, there are common symptoms including anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and irregular periods (NHS, 2022). Research by the CIPD in 2019 found that three out of five women experiencing symptoms of menopause said it negatively impacted them at work.

Usually, the first sign of perimenopause is a change in the normal pattern of your periods, such as them becoming irregular (NHS, 2022).

Perimenopause and menopause can cause both mental health and physical changes and symptoms. They are summarised by the NHS as follows:

Mental health

  • Changes in mood (low mood, anxiety, mood swings and low self-esteem
  • Problems with your memory or concentration


  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Changes in weight and body shape (e.g. weight gain)
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Discomfort during sex
  • Skin changes
  • Reoccurring UTIs

Tips from our Employees

“One of the things I find helpful is attending exercises classes, with other women, because we support one another and, as I am being challenged, I find I have only thought of what I am doing, at the time – helping with any stress I may be feeling. An older lady who attends told me that she exercised throughout the menopause and it helped her enormously with any symptoms”.

“One symptom I have found particularly difficult to deal with is ‘Brain fog’ – while it is a very common symptom, initially when it starts happening to you, you don’t realise it is Menopause related. I’ve been in mid-conversation and have just gone completely blank. Apart from it feeling awkward and embarrassing, it is important to remember that it can also be awkward for the person(s) in that conversation with you, as they don’t, or may not, know the reason why all of a sudden you’ve stopped mid-sentence! I’ve found the best way to deal with this is to laugh it off and just be open about what you are going through, whether you are in that conversation with men or women. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject any more. People who know me know I wear my heart on my sleeve and I’ve found because I’ve been open about what I’m going through, it can help to open up conversations for others to share their experiences, thereby supporting each other – As they say it’s good to talk!”

“I enjoy getting out walking in an environment different to the areas I see on a daily basis. For example, walking in the grounds of a stately home”.

Brace yourself for a lot of visible changes too. Hot flushes can make you go red in the face. Don’t be embarrassed by this as nowadays most people are aware of the symptoms of menopause and are sympathetic. Personally, my hair has gone very thin at the front. I felt very self-conscious about balding, however most health food shops sell gummies etc. to encourage hair growth. Being tired is a major symptom. I literally went through 4 months of leaving for work for the day in the morning, coming home, having tea then going to bed at 7.30 for a 12-hour sleep. My body needed it, so listen to your body and make time to rest. I try to get as much information as I can from friends and family going through the same so that I know what has worked for them. Some choose a more homeopathic route and others HRT patches. However, only you know your body the best so if something isn’t working, try other things.”

Getting Support

There are different sources of information that accessible for anyone going through menopause personally, but also for those supporting somebody (such as a partner):

You can also speak with your GP or pharmacist to discuss suitable treatment and medication.