Menopause happens in stages. Perimenopause is the precursor to the ‘main show’ which, for most women, happens around 52. But this transitional chapter in a woman’s life brings more than hormonal changes. Emotional changes mirror the physical adjustments, especially for women in emergency services.
One study shows that 76% of police officers who had gone through or were currently in menopause, admitted they have found symptoms moderately or extremely problematic at work. Eight in 10 women stated tiredness and sleep disturbances had a “detrimental effect.”
And it wasn’t just the physical exhaustion. Female emergency workers already struggle as a minority within the force, forever having to challenge the fireman stereotype. There isn’t a place for women to openly talk about their symptoms, without fearing they’ll be treated differently or as seen as a sign of ‘weakness.’
Health worries, post-menopause
The symptoms of menopause differ in severity. About half of post-menopausal women have trouble with urinary incontinence, as lower estrogen levels weaken the urethra. This can make it difficult to respond to call-outs, sit in the car for hours and work in a male-dominated team who just don’t get it.
Lead poisoning is a health problem that occurs after a drop in estrogen. Lead increases the risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (the hardening of the arteries). It affects the kidneys and cause symptoms similar to dementia, that make it hard to think and respond fast.
Osteoporosis is a condition to watch, as is bone health. After age 55, the risk of a stroke doubles and heart disease becomes a threat. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death in women. A lifelong investment in good nutrition, regular exercise and avoiding tobacco, alcohol and drugs are the best way to protect the heart.
Don’t just accept menopause symptoms. Thrive, with them.
Hot flushes an ongoing concern? Learning how to feel more positive can reduce their severity. Bladder issues caused by constant exposure to stressful situations as a first responder, troubling you? Behavioural changes have been proven to help.
Worried about ‘inevitable’ weight gain? An exercise physiologist can create a plan that compliments your busy shift schedule. A dietician can also advise the best vitamins, minerals, fibre and essential nutrients for your menopause journey.
Better still, Emergency Services Health is the gateway to access these menopause services… exercise physiologists, dieticians, acupuncturists, complementary therapies, psychologists, counsellors, and pharmacists.
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We understand the demands of front line work more than any other insurer. After all, we've been looking after the health and wellbeing of the police community for more than 85 years. Whether you're already a member or interested in becoming one, call us to find out how to get the most out of our cover and benefits. We're here to help.
Please note: some articles on this website are compiled from material obtained externally. Although we make every effort to ensure information is correct at the time of publication, we accept no responsibility for its accuracy. Health-related articles are intended for general information only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult your doctor. The views expressed in articles are not necessarily those of Emergency Services Health.