Quattro commits to new 'Managing Menopause' Policy



In the second of our two-part series on the Menopause, in support of IWD, we focus on how to bring discussion of the menopause into a male dominated environment; sensitively, with support and understanding.

To begin with, we asked a random group of our male employees, ‘What is the menopause?’ and these are their answers.

‘I don’t know what it is, I just know the signs and symptoms.’ [Quattro Group Associate, male, 50]

‘I do my best to understand it, but in the end I find it’s better to shut up.’ [Quattro Group employee, male, 48]

‘It’s hot flushes, insomnia and quick temper, but beyond that, I don’t know.’ [Quattro Group employee, male, 53]

‘It’s the opposite of puberty.’ [Quattro Group employee, male, 64]

‘I’d rather not comment, I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing.’ [Quattro employee, male, 60]

Menopause is a hormone deficiency

During the menopause the ovaries stop producing the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.  These hormones are needed for puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, bone strength, hair growth, skin development, concentration, regulation of moods, body temperature control and a multitude of other functions.  When a woman reaches menopause, she becomes deficient in these hormones, resulting in a type of ‘crash’ of the body as it struggles to regulate itself.  The menopause has up to thirty-four different symptoms and can last up to fourteen years.  Some women get it early, some women get it late, and some women get it as a result of surgery, known as ‘surgical menopause’, usually after a partial or total hysterectomy.  Perimenopause is when a woman has symptoms before periods have stopped. The clinical definition of being ‘in menopause’ is when there has been no period for 12 months.

The symptoms

No two days are the same for any sufferer.  Symptoms can include unpredictable and random fluctuation of body temperature (during the day and all through the night), insomnia, uncontrollable mood changes, pain and tenderness in different parts of the body, extreme exhaustion, a loss of self-worth, headaches, hair loss, bloating, joint pain, digestive changes, dryness of skin, trouble concentrating, lapse in memory and dizziness.  This can lead to more serious issues such as osteoporosis, dementia, anxiety, depression, panic disorder and suicidal thoughts.  

Treatment options: What is HRT?

Hormone Replacement Therapy is typically found as pills, patches or cream that replace the lost hormones oestrogen and progesterone back into the body via a body-identical imitation hormone.  Everybody needs different doses, with different deliveries and varied amounts.

As well as HRT - which is not always an option - many sufferers use exercise, health supplements or alternative treatments to ease symptoms.

Bringing men into the discussion: ‘How can I best support a colleague or partner?’

  • Get educated.  While you may never be able to truly understand how it feels, the effort to try will be appreciated.
  • Don’t push them to talk about it, unless they want to.  In which case, listen.
  • Try not to put undue pressure on your partner or colleague, it can be a confusing time.  Avoid big decisions.
  • Encourage your friend to consult a health professional to  investigate HRT, alternative therapy and change in lifestyle.
  • Accept the silence or lack of communication.  Many sufferers will need a time of quiet reflection.  Recognise and acknowledge it’s not personal.
  • Ask what they need physically and emotionally.  It can feel impossible to know, so ask, and try to understand.

At Quattro, we commit to support those in menopause with as much or as little as they need.  The Quattro Group Menopause Policy is now in place.  

For support and guidance within Quattro:  Contact HR, a mental health first aider or your line manager.

For external support contact Able Futures

Feature sources/more information/helpful websites:

Individual and group discussion with Quattro Group employees

Sign the menopause pledge

Quattro is the first plant hire company to sign the menopause pledge, the first to tailor a specialist company policy, and the first to offer training.

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