New insights to be shared at prestigious European Congress on Menopause and Andropause in Florence
Newson Health is unveiling new research at a prestigious menopause conference in Italy this week.
Six pieces of Newson Health research will be presented at the Annual European Congress on Menopause and Andropause, which takes place in Florence on 3-5 May.
Topics include testosterone, surprising menopause symptoms, menopause conversations between generations, the impact of menopause on nutrition and exercise habits, and menopause education in schools.
Newson Health and balance founder, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson said: ‘From symptoms to treatments and lifestyle measures, the breadth of the topics we will be presenting is a testament to Newson Health’s commitment to transforming women’s health.
‘We are thrilled to be sharing our research with healthcare professional colleagues across Europe and beyond.’
The conference is organised by the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS), an international society promoting health in women and men at midlife and beyond, made up of more than 40 affiliated societies. Newson Health’s presentations will cover the following topics:
Benefits of testosterone beyond libido
An important sex hormone for many women, testosterone can help improves libido and overall sense of wellbeing.
Current guidelines only recommend testosterone if menopausal women have reduced libido, despite taking HRT. But now new research by Newson Health suggests testosterone replacement for women has far-reaching benefits beyond sexual function for women who are already taking HRT.
Analysis of 906 women who added testosterone to their HRT regimen found testosterone significantly improved many other symptoms including concentration, memory, sleep, anxiety and mood related symptoms.
Click here to read the abstract – For women established on HRT, how effective is the addition of transdermal testosterone in improving symptoms beyond those related to sexual function?
Mood and mental health in menopause
This presentation will focus on the mental health-related findings of a perimenopause and menopause experiences survey completed by 5,750 women.
- 96% of women reported a negative change in their mood or emotions since onset of perimenopause
- the most common symptoms were feeling anxious or stressed (84%), more easily overwhelmed (79%), low or tearful (72%), angry or irritable (67%) and flat or blunted (55%)
- two thirds of women had sought help for their symptoms, usually from their GP
- 19% had been formally diagnosed with a mood disorder, and a third (38%) of women had been offered antidepressants rather than HRT.
Click here to read the abstract for – Prevalence and nature of negative mood symptoms in perimenopause and menopause.
Menopause discussions at home and between generations
Conversations with friends and family can be a valuable source of menopause information. However, taboos around menopause may limit discussion resulting in lack of knowledge about symptoms and management options.
This presentation focuses will focus on the menopause conversations between family and friends using the findings of a perimenopause and menopause experiences survey completed by 5,750 women.
- three-quarters (75%) of respondents said the menopause was never discussed in their home while growing up, 5% recalled it being discussed once, 19% discussed it occasionally and 1% said it was discussed on a regular basis
- 34% had never discussed the menopause with their mother, 38% had occasionally, 13% once, and 12% had never discussed it
- women were more likely to have conversations about menopause with their children; 87% had discussed menopause with their daughters, and 69% of women had discussed menopause with their sons.
Click here to read the abstract for – The last great taboo: menopause discussions in the home and between generations.
Diet and exercise habits during the perimenopause and menopause
This presentation will focus on the diet and exercise-related findings of a perimenopause and menopause experiences survey completed by 5,750 women.
The aim was to gain insight into the diet and exercise habits of perimenopausal and menopausal women, and identify barriers to a healthy lifestyle.
- two thirds (68%) reported that they had gained weight since onset of perimenopause
- tiredness (54%) and a lack of motivation (43%) were the most common barriers to a balanced diet
- almost a third exercised less than once a week or not at all. The most common form of exercise was walking (79%), followed by yoga (34%)
- main barriers to exercise were lack of motivation (51%), lack of time (42%) and presence of perimenopausal symptoms (32%).
Click here to read the abstract for – Overcoming barriers to health: diet and exercise habits in perimenopausal and menopausal women
Surprising menopause symptoms
While hot flushes and night sweats are common menopausal symptoms, women may experience several different physical and psychological symptoms during the menopause.
Lack of awareness, and failure to recognise the impact of changing hormones on physical and mental health, delays access to timely care and causes unnecessary suffering.
This presentation will focus on the findings of a perimenopause and menopause experiences survey completed by 5,750 women relating to unexpected and/or surprising symptoms.
- almost three quarters (74%) of respondents experienced surprising or unexpected symptoms
- joint pain was the most common unexpected symptom (34%), followed by dry eyes (26%) heart palpitations (25%) and hair issues such dryness, thinning hair and hair loss (20%)
- words used to describe these unexpected/surprising symptoms in free text responses included ‘distressing’, ‘debilitating’ ‘depressing’ and ‘embarrassing’.
Click here to read the abstract for – Distressing, debilitating and embarrassing: surprising symptoms and the need for holistic approach to menopause care.
Impact of menopause education in schools
Menopause was only added to the relationships, sex and health education curriculum in England’s secondary schools in 2020.
This presentation looks at the results of a 1,000-strong survey completed by women and men of all ages about their experiences of and views on menopause education in secondary schools.
- virtually all (99.3%) respondents did not receive any secondary education on the perimenopause and menopause
- the 0.7% who did say it was ‘brief’ and ‘limited’, and these respondents tended to be from the younger end of the spectrum.
Click here to read the abstract for – Invisible women: the absence of adequate menopause education in schools.
Seven abstracts accepted for the European Congress on Menopause and Andropause in Florence
Newson Health has been selected to share insights and research at a prestigious European menopause conference later this year.
Seven abstracts have been accepted for presentation at the Annual European Congress on Menopause and Andropause, which will take place in Florence, Italy, on 3-5 May.
Organised by the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS), Newson Health’s four oral presentations and three poster presentations at the conference will cover the following topics:
- the impact of menopause education in schools
- menopause discussions in the home and between generations
- for women established on HRT, how effective is the addition of transdermal testosterone in improving symptoms beyond those related to sexual function?
- diet and exercise habits in perimenopausal and menopausal women
- surprising menopause symptoms
- prevalence and nature of negative mood symptoms in perimenopause and menopause.
GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson for Newson Health Menopause Society chair, said: ‘I am thrilled Newson Health had all our submitted abstracts accepted for presentation.
‘From symptoms to treatments and lifestyle measures, the breadth of the topics we will be presenting is a testament to Newson Health’s commitment to transforming women’s health. We look forward to sharing our insights and best practice with healthcare professional colleagues across Europe and beyond.’
EMAS is an international society promoting health in women and men at midlife and beyond, made up of more than 40 affiliated societies.
Key topics up for discussion at the congress include why menopause and post-menopausal health is a key issue for all areas of medicine, and why menopausal health also must also extend into the workplace.
Other themes include why menopause treatment needs to be individualised.
Click here to view the programme
The change comes into effect in England on 1 April
Menopausal women in England will save hundreds of pounds on HRT prescriptions when a prepayment certificate is introduced in April.
Women will be able to access HRT for menopausal symptoms at a reduced cost by paying a one-off fee for up to a year’s worth of treatment.
The government confirmed the introduction of the new prescription prepayment certificates after calls to widen access to HRT.
Commenting on the announcement, Newson Health Menopause Society chair Dr Louise Newson said: ‘This is a step in the right direction: other hormones are freely available on the NHS to anyone so HRT should ideally be no different.
‘Research has shown that women living in more deprived areas are less likely to be prescribed HRT. There are many health benefits from taking HRT, including reducing future risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, which many perimenopausal and menopausal women are missing out from.
‘There are too many barriers for women to access menopause treatment and cost of HRT is one so I hope this will really make a difference.
‘However, it is disappointing to see that testosterone will not be covered by the certificate. Testosterone is recommended by NICE for symptoms of low libido where HRT alone is not helping, and in my clinic patients often say it helps with other menopausal symptoms including brain fog and low mood.’
RELATED: Access content on HRT here
What is the HRT prescription prepayment certificate?
The HRT pre-payment certificate is a bespoke certificate that will provide women access to HRT at a reduced cost.
Instead of paying for monthly prescriptions, women will be able to access their HRT by paying a one-off charge the equivalent of two single prescriptions, currently £18.70, for up to a 12-month supply of HRT.
The move could save women hundreds of pounds a year, according to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). There will be no limit to how many times the certificate can be used, or how many HRT items it can be used for, during the 12-months it is valid.
RELATED: Help! I’ve forgotten to take my HRT
Why has it come about?
There have been numerous calls in recent years to widen access to HRT from women, campaigners, health professionals and politicians.
In October 2021 the government pledged to cut the cost of repeat HRT prescriptions by introducing the prepayment certificate.
Following delays, the government said in January 2023 that it was ‘committed to reducing the cost of HRT’ and that work was underway to deliver the certificate.
But it was unclear when the certificates would be made available, prompting further pressure on the government for a clear commitment.
RELATED: Government must improve treatment access for women struggling with menopause
When does it come into effect?
The DHSC has confirmed the certificate will be available in England from 1 April.
Women will be able to apply for the certificate in person at a pharmacy registered to sell the certificates, or through the NHS Business Services Authority. A digital or paper copy will be made available.
Once it has been approved it will be available to use immediately on or after 1 April.
What does it cover?
The certificate will be valid against a range of HRT prescription items, including patches, tablets and topical preparations. It can be used for an unlimited amount of these treatments, DHSC confirmed.
A full list of treatments covered by the certificate can be found here.
What about other parts of the UK?
The HRT prescription prepayment certificate will be made available in England only.
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all prescriptions, including HRT, are free.
Dr Newson among speakers at Seminar of the Icelandic Medical Association
Newson Health Menopause Society Chair Dr Louise Newson will be sharing her expertise and insights about the perimenopause and menopause at a medical conference in Iceland.
Dr Newson will be giving two lectures at the Seminar of the Icelandic Medical Association in the capital city of Reykjavik.
The first, Menopause and HRT: unpicking the evidence, is aimed at healthcare professionals, while the second – entitled Perimenopause and menopause: what is all the fuss about? – will also be streamed online to the general public in Iceland.
Also attending the seminar is Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre clinical director Dr Rebecca Lewis, Dr Newson is also set to appear on Icelandic television to discuss the menopause.
Dr Newson said: ‘The perimenopause and menopause are life events that every woman will go through – with 47 million globally this year alone .
‘Menopause is a global issue, and that’s why I am so excited to be presenting to fellow clinicians in Iceland about the menopause.
‘Education for healthcare professionals on the recognition and management of menopause symptoms is crucial, as well as the impact of low hormones can have on future health.
‘I’m also really honoured to be asked to appear on Icelandic TV, which is another great opportunity to spread awareness and open the conversation up around the menopause.’
The balance website has also translated a range of free information posters into Icelandic.
The posters are designed to be downloaded, printed and shared in the workplace with colleagues, or even among friends and family, and cover topics such as unexpected aches and pains, low mood, anxiety and depression, bone, heart and brain health, and genitourinary symptoms.
Download the Icelandic translations here
- Hill, K. (1996), ‘The demography of menopause’, Maturitas, 23(2), pp.113–127, doi.org/10.1016/0378-5122(95)00968-x
Analysis found impact of menopause symptoms on nursing and midwifery staff could be costing health service up to £129 million
The Newson Health Menopause Society has contributed to a new report examining the impact of menopause among NHS staff.
Women make up 76% of the total NHS workforce, with one in five perimenopausal or menopausal. This equates to 260,000 individuals potentially experiencing symptoms while working in often frontline clinical roles.
Now an economic analysis by The Strategy Unit and the Health Economics Unit estimates the cost of menopausal symptoms to the NHS as an employer for nurses health visitors and midwives alone is between £89- £129 million.
RELATED: Healthcare staff struggling with menopause symptoms are considering quitting, Newson Health survey finds
The two units, which are specialist teams within the NHS, set out to investigate what it is like to be menopausal and work in the NHS, and what the menopause costs the health service as an employer.
Menopausal staff reducing hours or quitting NHS altogether
Key findings from their joint report include:
- One in 85 employees may leave the NHS due to their menopause symptoms
- One in 48 may reduce their hours due to the severity of their symptoms
- Those who do carry on working often demote themselves, or decide not to go for promotion
- Menopause-related sickness is likely to be under-reported as many choose not to disclose symptoms to their line manager or employer
Stories underscore human impact of menopause
Newson Health Menopause Society founder Dr Louise Newson provided clinical advice and critical review of the project, while Society director Lucy Chatwin also gave advice and support across the project’s activities.
Lucy said: ‘The findings from this mixed methods analysis reinforce and underpin what we hear on a regular basis, that women are struggling with menopause symptoms in the workplace
‘The economic analysis provides the evidence to start implementing measures of support for perimenopausal and menopause people urgently to keep them and watch them thrive within the health service.
‘If the money isn’t enough then the stories continue to remind people of the human impact that it can have on individuals’ and their families.
‘It’s been a pleasure to work with the all-female team on this report and how it can help to shape the hearts and minds for the future of the NHS workforce.’
RELATED: Newson Health team to showcase new research and insights at global conference
NHS needs to tackle menopause skills and expertise drain
Findings from this report follow a recent survey from Newson Health that found only one in five menopausal women working in the NHS felt they were able to make changes to improve their menopause experience at work.
Report recommendations include that more data relating to menopause in the workplace be analysed to inform national guidance and organisational policy. The report also recommends using in-house expertise to raise awareness and knowledge of how the menopause can be managed at work, and that the NHS as an employer should address the skills and expertise drain associated with the menopause, examining both employer and personal costs.
Dr Louise Newson among speakers at Longevity Forum summit
Newson Health Menopause Society chair Dr Louise Newson has been sharing insights in how HRT can help women lead longer, healthier lives.
In a talk at the Longevity Forum Science Summit 2022 on 16 November in London, Dr Newson spoke about the role of estrogen throughout our bodies, and the long-term health risks associated with low hormones during and after the menopause.
Inflammaging and hormones
Low estrogen results in the immune cells to work less efficiently which results in low-grade inflammation occurring. This is actually detrimental for the body and is known as “inflammageing” – literally meaning ageing that occurs as a result of inflammation. This process increases risk of inflammatory diseases occurring – including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, clinical depression and even some types of cancer. Parkinson’s disease has also been shown to increase in women who have an early menopause.
RELATED: Find out about upcoming Newson Health Menopause Society events here
HRT and future health
Dr Newson also spoke about the benefits of HRT, not only in relieving menopause symptoms, but in reducing risk of these inflammatory conditions.
She also appeared as a guest on the Longevity Forum podcast this month, where she spoke about Newson Health’s research work, research ambitions for the future, and why is she determined to close the knowledge gap that exists in looking at not only how HRT improves symptoms, but how it can improve future health.
Newson Health’s research aims for the future
‘Part of our ambitious aims are about looking more closely at disease prevention,’ Dr Newson said.
‘About 30% of a woman’s life is lived post-menopause with low hormone levels. So we need to look more seriously at how replacing hormones can be a really important way of improving future health.
‘I want to look more deeply at measurable outcomes – if women take the right dose and type of HRT for them, how it can result in them exercising more, having lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol or improving their bone density.
‘If we can show that something as cheap as HRT can transform future health of women…it will have huge ramifications for women globally.’
The Longevity Forum is a not-for-profit initiative committed to achieving longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives for as many people as possible.
Baylis, D. et al. (2013), ‘Understanding how we age: insights into inflammaging’, Longevity and Healthspan’, 2 (1), doi.org/10.1186/2046-2395-2-8
Monteiro R., Teixeira D., Calhau C. (2014), ‘Estrogen signaling in metabolic inflammation’, Mediators of inflammation, doi:10.1155/2014/615917
Findings set to be presented at global menopause conference
Healthcare staff are considering changing their hours or even quitting as they struggle to cope with menopause symptoms in the workplace, a new survey by Newson Health suggests.
Our poll found women with predominantly cognitive or mood-related symptoms were 63% more likely to report a significant negative impact on their working lives, compared to women whose symptoms were exclusively physical.
Yet almost half (45%) of those surveyed had been unable to reduce their working hours, either due to employer inflexibility or financial constraints. Some 48% had considered quitting their job as a result.
The findings of our survey are being presented this week at the International Menopause Society’s (IMS) World Congress on Menopause. The global conference, which kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal, today is a celebration of women’s health, as well as highlighting clinical, research and social aspects of the menopause.
Other findings of the anonymous online survey, completed by more than 1,000 women working in the NHS and independent healthcare sector, included:
• Only 1 in 5 (18%) of NHS staff had been able to make changes to current work arrangements because of their symptoms, compared to 53% in the private sector
• Overall, a third (34%) felt unable to raise these issues with their managers, while 80% said they had not received any formal education about the menopause
• Conversely, of those who had started HRT, 74% felt it had improved their ability to carry on working
Over 75% of the NHS workforce is female, the majority between the ages of 40-60 years. With the onset of perimenopause in the mid-forties, and the average age of menopause at 51, this puts thousands of healthcare staff in the age group for perimenopause and menopause.
Menopausal symptoms are common and for some can have a devastating impact on home and work lives, particularly for people working in high-pressured, demanding work environments like the health and social care sector.
Newson Health founder, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson said:
‘Our findings reveal the stark impact of unaddressed menopausal symptoms within the health sector at a time when retention of staff is crucial.
‘Long hours, short staffing and challenging work can take their toll at the best of times, but our survey shows many menopausal employees are coping with the impact of menopause symptoms on top of existing pressures.
‘Staff are the backbone of our health and social care system, and they deserve to be supported.’
Newson Health medical director Dr Magnus Harrison said:
‘Our survey findings come amid a staffing crisis, with 300,000 vacancies across health and social care, and the fact that one in nine nurses have quit the NHS in the past year alone.
‘Add to that the prospect of the worst-ever winter in the NHS for those working in emergency care and the ever-present issue of the elective care backlog, employers simply cannot afford to ignore the very real impact of menopause symptoms on their workforce any longer.
‘It’s particularly concerning to see that just 1 in 5 of NHS staff were able to change their working arrangements due to their symptoms.
‘If the health service is to retain the valuable skills and experience of menopausal staff, then these employees need help more than ever given the current pressures.’
Menopause in the United Kingdom National Health Service: An online workforce survey will be presented in the IMS Workplace and Attitudes session on 28 October at 16:45-17:45
How we carried out our survey
An online survey to gauge women’s experiences was promoted on social media.
The survey consisted of a combination of multiple-choice questions, Likert-type scales, and free text options. Participation was anonymous and not remunerated.
It was completed by 1,264 women, 88% of whom stated they worked within the NHS, and 12% worked outside of the health service.
Eight abstracts being presented at World Menopause Society World Congress on Menopause
Newson Health will be showcasing research at the world’s most prestigious menopause conference this week.
The International Menopause Society’s (IMS) World Congress on Menopause is a celebration of women’s health, as well as highlighting clinical, research and social aspects of the menopause.
The four-day conference, which kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal, on 26 October, will feature seven oral presentations and one poster presentation from Newson Health (see below for a summary of each abstract).
These include looking at unmet need among menopausal women from minority backgrounds, experiences of menopause care after a breast cancer diagnosis, challenges facing perimenopausal staff working in the NHS, and how online training has boosted healthcare professionals’ confidence in diagnosing and treating the menopause.
Our research includes insights from surveys of patients at Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre, the world’s largest menopause clinic, while the impact of the ORCHA-certified balance menopause support app is also the subject of three presentations.
Newson Health founder, GP and Menopause Specialist Dr Louise Newson, said: ‘IMS congress is one of the most important events of the year for healthcare professionals involved in menopause care, and I am delighted Newson Health had so many abstracts accepted for presentation.
‘We are committed to sharing best practice with international colleagues, as well as highlighting barriers to care affecting women during perimenopause and menopause.
‘The whole team and I are excited to be presenting our research and insights, and networking with peers who share our passion for improving access to evidence-based care.’
Click here to view the full IMS programme
Women’s experiences seeking help for menopause after breast cancer
Providing menopause care for women with a personal history of breast cancer remains a neglected clinical area due to surrounding controversy regarding the role of reproductive hormones in breast cancer.
We constructed an anonymous online survey for relevant patient groups within Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre to explore the experiences and views of women with a history of breast cancer, especially in accessing advice and treatment for menopausal symptoms.
- 73% of respondents stated that they felt unable to raise the issue of menopause care with their Breast Surgical Team (73%), the Oncological team (70%), as well as their GP (52%).
- Only 19% of respondents had been referred to an NHS Menopause Clinic, and the vast majority (94%) had not received any written information about the menopause.
- However, almost half (47%) could not recall being told they could induce menopause or significantly worsen menopausal symptoms.
- Overall, 80% of respondents had felt relatively or completely uninvolved in medical decisions about their menopause-related care
This survey identifies key gaps in the educational and clinical provision for women with a personal history of breast cancer and who are seeking help for menopausal symptoms.
Seeking help for menopausal health after breast cancer will be presented by Dr Sarah Ball during the Menopause after Cancer session, 27 October 14.45-16.15
Remote learning revolution: online menopause training improves confidence and awareness
Helping healthcare professionals to improve menopause care is a formidable challenge.
In response to this, Newson Health devised a CPD-accredited online training course called Confidence in the Menopause, centred around bespoke training videos but also containing articles, downloadable prescribing guides and a peer support portal.
The course has been accessed more than 28,000 times since its launch in 2019.
In 2021, an online survey was devised to gauge the impact of the course. A total of 278 users completed the survey, including GPs or GP Registrars, Primary Care Nurses and Pharmacists.
Findings, which will be presented in a poster presentation at the IMS, conference include:
- 78% of those sampled said the course had improved their knowledge about the benefits of HRT
- 73% stated that the course had changed the way they discuss treatment options with patients
- Only 3% stated that the course had no impact on their practice
- Encouragingly, 97% said they would recommend the course to a clinical colleague.
On a Likert scale from 1-10, confidence in prescribing improved from a median of 5.2 before the course, to a median of 8.6 after completion of the course.
Remote learning revolution: online training of GPs and nurses increases confidence and awareness features in the poster session on 27 October from 18.50-20.15
Click here to download poster
Tool helps to take menopause treatment decisions digital
Newson Health’s Aini Kamal will introduce a patient centred, interactive digital decision tool for prescribing treatments for the perimenopause and menopause that enhances shared decision making between patient and clinician.
Knowing what type of HRT and/or local hormone treatments are suitable can feel complicated to the less experienced healthcare practitioner and treatment options need to be tailored to the individual patient.
Based on national menopause guidelines and regulatory standards, the tool aids this decision-making process in a visually clear and succinct way for the user.
Some 96% of 280 primary care healthcare professionals surveyed about the tool said they would use it with their patients, while 95% would share it with colleagues.
The authors have demonstrated that there is an appetite from frontline workers in menopause care for digital aids that are easy to use – in person and remotely – and help focus decision-making around treatment choices in the limited time available during consultations.
A patient-centred, interactive digital decision tool to individualise menopause care will be presented in the Diagnosis of Menopause session on 28 October at 09:50-11:20
Balance app supports users’ mental health and boosts confidence to seek treatment
The team from balance menopause support app will present findings on the impact of using the app on women’s symptoms, wellbeing and confidence to seek help. Results from 1,062 survey participants showed significant improvements across a range of measures including access to treatment, symptom awareness and empowerment.
Of those surveyed, 73% said they had been able to access the menopause treatment they needed, and after ten months of use there was a marked reduction (of 44%) in menopause related healthcare appointments.
Over a ten-month period, the proportion of users able to recognise symptoms of their menopause increased from 60% to 87% and the number of women reporting an improvement in their mental health symptoms (such as low mood and anxiety) doubled from 33% to 66%.
Another striking finding from the survey relates to how empowered women feel once they have used the app for several months – users’ confidence to seek help increased from 47% to 86% after ten months of use.
Most women who completed the survey were in work and the majority said they had become advocates for workplace change and had become more confident talking about the menopause in their workplaces.
These findings demonstrate the importance of digital health solutions to empower women to take control of their own menopause journey leading to improvements in their health, wellbeing and work lives.
Future in our hands: free balance™ app empowers women to become their own advocates will be presented in the Diagnosis of menopause session on 28 October at 09:50-11:20
Menopause experience improved with use of app survey finds
This presentation will highlight the positive impact of using the balance menopause support app for women’s understanding of their changing bodies and for gaining control over their symptoms and improving quality of life.
More than 8,000 app users reviewed a range of medical and alternative treatments and their effects on symptoms and quality of life.
Within the app users can rate their HRT medication against alternatives such as antidepressants, CBT, acupuncture or black cohosh for example. App data pulled from these treatment reviews revealed that combined HRT (including estrogen and progesterone hormones) was the most effective treatment for symptom relief and led to the most improvements in quality of life.
The balance app is designed to support women before, during and after their menopause with evidence-based information and support at the touch of a button. With over 200 articles, the balance app is thought to be the largest content repository for information on the perimenopause and menopause. It is used by over 120,000 women from 150 different countries to track symptoms and empower users to seek effective treatments through better conversations with their healthcare practitioners.
All in the balance™: using a digital app to track menopause symptoms, educate and empower women to take charge will be presented at the Diagnosis of menopause session on 28 October 09:50-11:20
Underserved and in pain: Characteristics of women on the waiting list for UK’s largest menopause clinic
In this survey study, we wanted to understand the characteristics of women waiting to attend Newson Health Menopause and Wellbeing Centre, in order to prioritise and better serve their needs.
Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out sampling the views of women who had self-referred to the clinic.
There were 14,478 completed surveys during the study period. Self-referrals were received from 104 out of all of UK’s 108 counties. The majority were aged between 50-60 years, and most women (79%) were happy to have a remote consultation. A more in-depth follow-up survey was conducted with a smaller sample of 2,533 women.
- Only a minority of women (16%) stated that they had been refused HRT by their GP
- Most women sought help with either starting HRT, discussing or changing their treatment regimen or discussing or starting testosterone treatment.
- A significant portion were already taking HRT (38%), and almost a third of women (32%) had been offered antidepressants to deal with symptoms of the menopause.
- Regarding symptoms, of those waiting for a clinic appointment and not currently receiving HRT, 84% reported that they had been in moderate to severe pain in the last four weeks. This compared to only 25% in women who have attended the clinic for 6-12 months.
These data suggest many women receive suboptimal care for their menopausal symptoms, and this is impacting on their quality of life and their ability to work.
Underserved and in pain: Characteristics of women on the waiting list for UK’s largest menopause clinic will be presented at the COVID/work-related problems session on 28 October 11.50-12.50
Stark differences in access to menopause care for women from minority backgrounds, analysis suggests
The aim of this analysis was to examine if significant differences in UK menopause care existed between women from white and non-white/ethnic minority backgrounds.
Newson Health, and writer and menopause activist Kate Muir, analysed the results of a large-scale panel survey carried out in 2022 on behalf of the Fawcett Society.
The online survey was open to women aged 45-55 with current menopausal symptoms and had 4,014 respondents. Data was weighted to be representative of UK women aged 45-55 by age and region. Women from Black British and Asian backgrounds made up 8% of the respondents, largely consistent of the ethnic background of women in this age group in the UK.
Strikingly, we found a several significant differences between the menopause care for white women and women from non-white/ethnic minority backgrounds.
Whilst there were no ethnic differences in terms of symptoms, White British women were twice as likely to be receiving HRT for their symptoms compared to Black British and British Asian women (15% for white women compared to 8% for women with a non-white/ethnic minority background).
Additionally, we found that non-white women were 38% more likely to be hesitant about taking HRT due to perceived risks, and non-white women were 50% more likely to indicate that they had experienced barriers to menopause care.
These results indicate significant gaps in care based on ethnic background, and suggest that further work is required, both in terms of targeted education and improving equal access, to enable women of all backgrounds to have access to the menopause care they need.
Ethnic disparities in UK menopause care: large-scale survey highlights barriers to change will be presented in the Workplace and attitudes session on 28 October, 16:45-17:45
Healthcare staff struggling to cope with menopause symptoms in the workplace, survey suggests
With 1.5 million people, the National Health Service (NHS) is one of the top five largest workforces globally. Over 75% of the NHS workforce are female, the majority between the ages of 40-60 years. Menopausal symptoms are common, persistent, and often devastating, especially for people who work in high-pressured, demanding work environments.
An online survey to gauge women’s experiences was completed by 1,264 women, 88% of whom stated they worked within the NHS, and 12% worked outside of the health service.
- Women with predominantly cognitive/mood-related symptoms were 63% more likely to have a significant negative impact on their working lives, compared to women whose symptoms were exclusively physical
- Only 18% of NHS staff had been able to make changes to current work arrangements because of their symptoms, compared to 53% in the private sector
- 45% of the women surveyed had not been able to reduce their working hours, either due to employer inflexibility or financial constraints. Some 48% had considered quitting their job as a result.
- 34% felt unable to raise these issues with their managers, and 80% said they had not received any formal education about the menopause.
- Conversely, of those who had started HRT, 74% felt it had improved their ability to carry on working.
Acknowledging its limitations (small sample size, bias due to self-selection), this study reveals the stark impact of unaddressed menopausal symptoms within the health sector at a time when retention of staff is crucial.
Further work might gainfully look at the secondary effects of staff menopausal symptoms on clinical decision-making and patient care.
Menopause in the United Kingdom National Health Service: An online workforce survey will be presented in the Workplace and Attitudes session on 28 October at 16:45-17:45
7 in 10 UK women blame menopause for their divorce, survey suggests
New research released to coincide with World Menopause Day cements what has been long assumed, but never proven, that the menopause has a clear and negative impact on divorce, separation and relationships.
A survey conducted by The Family Law Menopause Project and Newson Health Research and Education, shows that 7 in 10 women (73%) who responded blame the menopause for the breakdown of their marriage. A further 67% of the 1,000 women taking part worryingly claimed it increased domestic abuse and arguments.
Sadly, only a fifth of those women had sought support to talk about the perimenopause/menopause because they didn’t, at the time, think it was a contributing factor to the breakdown of the relationship.
With an estimated 13 million women of menopausal age in this country alone, and one in four of them having severe symptoms, these figures paint a bleak future for the legally recognised union of two people, as 9.5million marriages and relationships in the UK are arguably under threat because of a women’s hormone deficiency, and the correlation between the two not being fully understood or acknowledged.
The study also reveals that despite almost 80% of respondents admitting that their perimenopause/menopause symptoms put a strain on their children and/or family life, only a third of all women had been offered treatment or HRT to relieve their symptoms despite it being the optimum treatment. These findings echo recent reports of the lack of specialised menopause care available to women within the NHS.
In contrast 65% of those who were offered HRT said it had made a positive impact on their menopause-related symptoms. Some 70% of those who had not received support or treatment had said that if they had, it would have had a positive impact on their relationship and potentially avoided the breakdown of their marriage.
With the onset of perimenopause in the mid-40s, the average age of menopause at 51 and the peak time of divorce being between ages 45 and 55, these results highlight the need for awareness and have been released, to open the conversation, offer advice, and encourage women to seek help and support.
The study also reveals enormous gaps in the awareness and understanding of family lawyers who are supporting couples throughout their divorce.
The majority (86%) of respondents reported that they did not feel comfortable raising the issue of perimenopause/menopause in discussions with their lawyer and nearly all (97%) stated that their family lawyer did not raise it with them nor explore how menopause may affect the case when it comes to relationship dynamics; splitting the assets or related children matters.
Nearly 8 in 10 (76%) thought that family lawyers and judges need training in respect of menopause symptoms, so they know how to sensitively deal with it and factor it into their cases. One of the aims of The Family Law Menopause Project is to raise awareness amongst the family law community of the impact of menopause both in general terms to ensure they deliver the best possible client service and so that family lawyers can ensure that their advice leads to a fair financial outcome for female clients as they approach retirement.
Farhana Shahzady, founder of the Family Law Menopause Project and director at London and South East family law firm, said: “This ground-breaking survey of women confirms the link between menopause and divorce and further highlights the lack of understanding within the family law profession of the impact of perimenopause and menopause.
“Of deep concern to me is that more than half of the respondents said that perimenopause or menopause had (or will) make it harder for them to save for retirement and/or reduce their ability to save into pensions. This means that women may face real financial hardship as they approach retirement, post-divorce/separation.
“It is clear that the family law profession, as in wider society, needs to appreciate the reality of menopause and that we must be better equipped to support the many clients who are profoundly affected by menopause.”
Louise Newson, GP, Menopause Specialist, Chair of the Newson Health Menopause Society and Newson Health Research and Education, said: “Working with The Family Law Menopause Project to create this report is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the correlation between the menopause and relationships.
“Whilst the physical symptoms of the menopause are well-known and often discussed, the mental health impact is often ignored and can be catastrophic for many women, having a deeply negative effect on their work, relationships, and finances as a result.
“Our mission is to improve the health outcomes for perimenopausal and menopausal women through further education and research, and this research does just that.’
Balance resources for partners
Dr Louise Newson Podcast: Divorce, perimenopause and menopause with Farhana Shahzady
For more information about the Family Law Menopause Project on Twitter and Instagram
The survey was launched in June 2022 to uncover trends and insight as to the impact menopause (including perimenopause) has during a divorce or separation. More than 1000 women took part in the survey. Participants were all women who have either gone through or are currently going through a divorce, and who have gone through or going through the menopause.