Beds SU supports World Menopause Awareness Day

18th October is World Menopause Awareness Day and Beds SU is proud to support students and staff going through the menopause and its various associated symptoms and health conditions.

Beds SU

By Beds SU

Monday, 18 October 2021

Let's talk about Menopause

Menopause is a natural part of the aging process and affects women as their levels of oestrogen (a natural hormone) decline. Whilst this tends to happen between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age, the lead up to it – known as perimenopause – can take up to 10 years.

As well as the most well-known menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and low mood, are less commonly talked about symptoms such as problems with memory and concentration and weak bones. Some of these symptoms can be quite severe and have a significant impact on everyday activities.

We're here to support you

Here at Beds SU, we know that our diverse membership of over 16,000 students includes over 3,000 students aged 40+. With 60% of students at the University of Bedfordshire listed as female, we can deduce that nearly 2,000 of our members could be in the expected age range for the menopause and/or perimenopause. Our message to students experiencing the menopause is that you are not alone.

Students whose symptoms affect their everyday lives, and therefore their ability to study and perform on their courses, should consider applying for mitigating circumstances so that your health is taken into consideration when the University is making decisions about your academic progress (for example, should you fail, you may be eligible for an uncapped second attempt). The Beds SU Advice Service operates independently of the University and can offer confidential support for students seeking to navigate University processes, supporting students struggling with the menopause every year.

You can contact Beds SU’s Advice Service by emailing help@bedssu.co.uk or request an appointment online.

Beds SU also introduced a Menopause Policy in 2021 to encourage our staff team to discuss the menopause more openly, to consider support options available to ensure good health and well-being alongside their work with us. In 2020 the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) reported “increasing evidence that women with severe menopause symptoms have a higher chance of becoming unemployed or reducing their working hours”; this is a statistic that Beds SU is determined to mitigate against to the very best of our ability and we are hopeful that our new approach will support this aim.

Where to find more help and support

If you or someone in your life would like to find out more about the menopause and support available, see the links below:

NHS Health A-Z

The Menopause Charity

Women’s Health Concern (the patient-facing side of the British Menopause Society)

British Menopause Society (education and information for qualified and aspiring healthcare professionals)