Transcript

Supporting employees during menopause and perimenopause

17 October 2023
Transcript

AIA Embrace webinar, supported by Australasian Menopause Society (AMS), provides education about the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause and where to get the right support to age healthily and well.

00:00
We can. Yep.
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Perfect.
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Is it recording now, Lauren?
00:49
Thank you. Those jumpingin nice and early.
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We'll just give another minute ortwo, we'll allow people time to join.
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Before we kick off.
01:27
Just give a few more minutes here, Lauren.
01:49
Thank you to everyone who's joined ontime. We'll just give it another minute.
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Allow people to most likely grab theirlunch at this time and eat in the
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background. So we'll just beanother minute before we kick off.
03:01
For those who weren't aware as you joined,
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you would've noticed that thewebinar said that it was recording.
03:05
So please note that throughoutthis webinar we will berecording and we'll kick
03:09
off in just a moment.
03:29
Thanks, Caz. As we're recording,we'll be able to share it afterwards.
03:33
So I think why don't we kick off andthose who want to filter in when they get
03:36
the time, we will do, andI've still got you on mute.
03:41
Kaz.
03:45
Can you hear me now?
03:46
Can do.
03:46
Perfect. Okay, I've got a bit of ahitch going on here, so help me out. So,
03:50
hello everyone. Um, thank you forjoining today. I'm Karen Passel,
03:53
I'm responsible for the corporate employeebenefit business at a i a and I'll be
03:57
hosting today's webinar.Welcome to our brokers,
03:59
partners and customers who havejoined us. Just before we begin,
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I'd like to first acknowledgethe traditional custodiansof the various lands,
04:07
which you all work on today,
04:08
and the Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander people participating in this
04:11
webinar. Look,
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we're excited today to welcome youto this a i a Embrace webinar and the
04:17
importance of helping employees remainhealthy and well during menopause and
04:21
perimenopause. Menopauseaffects millions of Australians,
04:24
but research suggests there's a notablelack of understanding about its symptoms
04:28
leading to women being undiagnosedand impacting their ability to work
04:33
world.
04:33
Menopause Day is held on the 18th ofOctober every year to help raise awareness
04:38
to support the options available forimproving health and wellbeing in this
04:42
area. Today though, AIAS, uh,
04:45
partnership with theAustralian Menopause Society,
04:48
we will explore the importance ofmenopause awareness in the workplace,
04:52
including creating an inclusive,
04:54
inclusive workplace foremployees experiencing menopause,
04:56
and how to provide effective supportduring menopause. As mentioned,
05:01
a i a has partnered with the AustralasianMenopause Society to provide education
05:05
direct to employees and employersabout the symptoms associated with
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perimenopause and menopause.
05:11
And we are to get the rightsupport to age healthly. And well,
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today we're absolutely delightedto welcome Dr. Marita Long,
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who is the AustralasianMenopause Society Director,
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board Director for Victoria and Tasmania.
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She brings a wealth of knowledge andexperience to help you navigate providing
05:28
menopause support in the workplace.
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You may recognize Dr. Long from herrole in ABC's Catalyst special with Myth
05:34
Warhurst, the Truth about Menopause. Now,
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before we hear from Dr. LongA i's shared value manager,
05:41
Lauren Reynolds will talk briefly toAias claims experience and why at a i a
05:46
we think it's important to supportmenopause as part of the shared value
05:49
approach to corporate healthand wellbeing. Thanks, Lauren.
05:53
Thanks Caz. So, as mentioned,my name's Lauren Reynolds.
05:55
I'm the shared Value manager for a i aand I look after our health and wellbeing
05:59
supports for employers.
06:00
And I just wanted to acknowledge that I'mdialing in today from Gadigal country,
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so ahead of World MenopauseDay, which is in fact tomorrow.
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It's important to recognize the sharedvalue impact we can have in providing
06:11
employers access to education andresources that will support employees to
06:16
remain healthy andengaged in the workplace.
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A i a partnered with AustralianMenopause Society or a MS, um,
06:23
to provide education direct to employeesand employers around the symptoms
06:28
associated with perimenopauseand menopause and esessentially where to get the
06:32
right support.
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There's a lot of noise and momentumthat's starting to happen in this area,
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so it's really important that we're ableto connect and break through that noise
06:39
with that right, uh, clinicallyeducated support. Um,
06:43
a I a noticed some years back with ourincome protection data that women between
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the ages of 45 and 55 were twice aslikely to be on claim with anxiety or
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depression. Now,
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whilst women do have a slightly increasedpropensity for those conditions,
06:55
it's not twice as likely. Soour hypothesis is that women,
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as well as some transgender andnon-binary individuals are not getting the
07:03
correct support forperimenopause and menopause,
07:05
which is why a i a developed thispartnership with with a MSA few years ago.
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There's also a study done in 2021 bya circle in Victorian Women's Trust
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that found that 83% of menopausalwomen face work challenges,
07:21
but only 70% of those actuallyfelt comfortable in theworkplace to speak about
07:25
the challenges that they were having.
07:27
And that same study found that a lot ofthose individuals were looking at taking
07:30
a career break or retiringearly. And in Australia,
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there's just under 30% of womenretire before the age of 55,
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and they do so with 25% lesssuperannuation than the average male.
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So I think there's about half of thoseare reporting that that early retirement
07:48
is due to injury, illness, or disability.
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And this is having a profound impact onsociety from a productivity perspective,
07:55
but as well as the impact thatthat has on our healthcare system.
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We know that women going through menopauseand perimenopause are at the peak of
08:02
their career.
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We think there's a great opportunityto reduce the stigma associated with
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perimenopause and menopause thathave an impact on allowing women and
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those who are transgender and non-binaryto remain healthy and well at work.
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So really honored to partner with a MSto be able to provide this webinar today,
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and I'm excited to hand over to Maritato talk all things menopause. Thanks,
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Marita.
08:26
Thanks. Um, I'm dialingin from Warri land.
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I work in the northern suburbs of, um,Melbourne. I'm in clinic at the moment.
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Um, and it's a great opportunity. I mean,
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you guys have said a lot already aboutwhy it's important, so you'll have to,
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um, excuse me if I repeat some of that.
08:44
I'll move through some ofthat stuff quite quickly. Um,
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if we move on to the next slide,I also just wanna say that, um,
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as Lauren said,
08:54
I do recognize that not everyone who goesthrough Meno Menopause identifies as a
08:58
woman, but really for the guts of thistalk, we are addressing this, um, um,
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to women. Um,
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so these are my disclosures that I Iam a board member of the Australasian
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Menopause Society and theysupport me to present today.
09:11
So if we go onto the nextslide. Thanks, Lauren. Well,
09:15
I've developed the content today.
09:17
A lot of the knowledge comes collectivelyfrom my, um, a MS board member,
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colleagues both past and present whojust have an incredible wealth of
09:24
knowledge. We're a verydiverse group, so, um,
09:28
it's a really interesting collectivethat works incredibly well together.
09:32
So this is the slide I like to start with,
09:34
and this is a group of friends actuallywho formed the Saturday Morning Dipping
09:37
Club. I'm not part ofthe Dipping Club. Um,
09:40
and they meet every Saturday morningreligiously and dunk themselves under the
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freezing, uh, cold water thatis in this particular locale.
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And I love this because it really showsthat connectedness that women really
09:52
need at this point in time. Not everyone,
09:54
but the majority need to be able to begetting out, socializing, connecting,
09:59
talking and doing something physical asI'm yet to understand the benefits of
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dunking yourself underfreezing cold water.
10:05
But apparently it isvery good for you. Um,
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and the other reasonI really like this is,
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and these women werehorrified when I said this,
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that it reminds us thatit's only women and whales,
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a few whales that actually survivepost their reproductive years.
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And we understand, uh, whatthe, the matriarch whales do.
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They actually steer their pods aroundthe waters and the oceans using their
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knowledge and skill, uh, andresources to keep their pods alive.
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They have a really crucialrole in, in, um, the,
10:38
the whale world.
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And I think it is the same for womenand we're only just really starting to
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understand, um, the skills, knowledge,
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resources and women's role in society.
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There's lots of differenthypotheses as to what humans, um,
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live beyond their reproductive years,
10:57
but we don't have as clear apicture as we do with the whales.
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If we move on to the next slide. Thanks.I always like to start talks with the,
11:05
the end in mind. And this comes from, um,
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a report about women work in menopauseand says menopausal women are a
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resilient experience, reliable andloyal segment of Australia's workforce.
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And the time is right for organizationsto help release the potential of older
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professional working women.As we've heard, um, today,
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and I can't tell you the amount of timesI sit in this room and I have women
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coming in, some who haveunfortunately already left their jobs,
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some who are really struggling,some who have been put on, um,
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workplace kind of programs because theyhaven't been performing as well as what
11:40
they had been. But there, there's ati this time of life can be really,
11:44
really thoughtful for women and we wannatry and be able to educate and talk to
11:49
them before they make that plunge toleave, uh, leave their jobs, retire early.
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Um, next slide. Thanks.
11:57
So these are the three s where we dosee significant gender bias in the
12:00
workplace. Menstruation, maternity,
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a lot of us have experiencedthat throughout our life.
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And then menopause is this final, um,
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area where there's a lot of disadvantageor gender bias in the workplace.
12:11
Next slide. Thanks. And this is a,
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I guess what makes menopause trickyfor, for a whole range of reasons.
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And employment set settings trickybecause everyone experiences
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menopause in such a different way.
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Some women don't have any issueat all and other women have
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significant issue and it really isthat fit for the the individual, um,
12:36
in the, in the particular work setting.
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So we can't apply blanket rules to anyemployment place or any woman because
12:43
we all experience things sodifferently. We find here where I work,
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we're on two different, um,
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air conditioner systems and the poorreceptionist because one of us will go out
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and say, I'm, I'm boiling,
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can you turn the air conditioning offthe other person's freezing and wanting
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the heating turned on?
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And it's doing their head in on a regularbasis because we all are at different
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stages of our reproductive,um, careers, uh, phases.
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So next slide. Thanks.
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So this is a little bitof global statistics thatthere are 657 million women
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aged between 45 and 59 and about half ofthose contribute to the lab labor force
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in their menopausal years.And as we've already said,
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it is a con considerablegender and age equity issue.
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And retaining women is really, reallyimportant. The cost of not doing this to,
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to businesses and women is significant.And if we go onto the next slide,
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I think that talks about thefinancial costs for Australia.
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So this came out in the MacquarieBusiness School researchers saying that it
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costs companies, Australiancompanies, over $10 billion a year,
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the impact of menopause. Andif we go onto the next slide,
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we can see for the actual women it's 17billion each year in terms of that lost
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earning and superannuationthat, um, Lauren referred to.
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So if we go onto the next slide, um,
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I think it's really important to have athink about this as well because there
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is so much going on ina wo woman's midlife.
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So if we ha have a look at this,and this comes from the um,
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Australian Institute ofHealth and Welfare data.
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Women are under increasing demands intheir midlife, often caring perhaps for,
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um, a sick partner, elderly parents,
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adult children who should have well andtruly moved out of home but haven't. Um,
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some are looking after, um, youngerchildren with delayed, um, you know,
14:32
tri childbearing years. Someare looking after grandchildren,
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some are doing huge communityroles in caring as well.
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And I read a, um, statisticjust this week about the,
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the the high instance of womenbetween the ages of 50 and 64 who are
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providing an enormousamount of hours in informal
14:52
unpaid care for a whole range of reasons.
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We also know that women start droppingout of physical activity actually in
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their teen years. There starts to becomethis significant divide between, uh,
15:02
boys staying in sport and girls droppingout and that carries through into
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midlife.
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So women are less likely to be physicallyactive in their mid-year compared to
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men. We also know interms of financial strain,
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that women over the age of 50 arethe fastest growing of homeless, um,
15:19
people in the population. Andfor all those reasons, you know,
15:23
not being able to participate activelyin the workforce like men can,
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it might be the result of, um,family breakdown, family violence.
15:31
It might be because of illness,
15:32
it might be because you are pulled outof your employment to care and this is
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significant.
15:37
So women are at a significant financialdisadvantage in their midlife.
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Women are the women in their midlife arethe only demographic where we're seeing
15:46
an increase in alcohol consumption.
15:49
And when we just look atthose last three things,
15:51
it's probably not surprising thatyou can see stress levels are up.
15:54
And one of the easiest ways of managingstress can be to reach for a glass of
15:59
wine. We all know what that's like aftera hard day. If you get home you think,
16:02
bloody hell, now I've gotta cook dinner.
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I'm at least gonna have a glass of winewhile I cook dinner to at least make
16:06
that a little bit more enjoyable.It's very easy to slip into that.
16:10
And that's something we need to betalking about honestly and openly without
16:14
judgment. Um, weight gain,
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we know everyone sort of gainsweight as they get older.
16:19
We know in menopause that weight shiftis more into our abdominal region.
16:24
Lots of women who have never had problemsdoing up their genes all of a sudden
16:27
going, oh my god, I justcan't get my pants up.
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This is a real issue and it'sreally distressing for women,
16:31
but we are seeing that weightgain in midlife as well,
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which creates a whole nother,um, can create or impact,
16:39
impact on a whole lot ofother chronic disease,
16:40
not always and alarmingly out of a woman's
16:45
lifetime.
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Midlife is the time when she'smost likely to die from suicide.
16:51
And again, if we look at allthese things that are happening,
16:53
it's not a surprise there. So wehave to be really, really, um,
16:59
proactive to support womenthrough their midlife,
17:02
let alone just through menopause becausethere is so much going on for women
17:07
If we go into the next slide. ThanksLauren. Now that I've depressed you all,
17:12
I'm gonna try and perk you allup a bit to say that it actually,
17:15
one of the things that I'm findingin my practice is that it is a
17:20
time to really, um, offer womenthe opportunity to say, okay,
17:25
you have spent all yourlife doing all these things.
17:29
What are we gonna do for you? How canwe set you up for a healthy future?
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Because the statistics forwomen are terrible. By age 65,
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a woman is four times as likely as a manto have a chronic disease significant
17:43
enough to impact on their ability toperform simple activities of daily living
17:47
like showering. So four timesas likely, we live longer,
17:51
but we live in poorer health. Sothis is the time when we can say,
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we can actually make a difference.Now we can turn things around,
17:58
but you need help. Weneed to do this together.
18:01
So it's about findingwomen's path forward,
18:03
setting them up for a healthy future,
18:06
trying to argue that let's enjoy what canbe the best use of your life if we can
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put some time and effort into it now.
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And this is a time when workplacescan really help women release their
18:17
potential, can really say,
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what can we do to help you take thatpromotion rather than stepping back and
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thinking, oh no, look,
18:24
I couldn't do it and I don't really feelwell enough and I'm so tired and you
18:27
know, someone else can do this betterthan me. So next slide. Thanks.
18:33
So part of how we can help women apartfrom understanding all those sort of
18:37
terrible demographics is, um,
18:40
starting to think about perimenopauseand menopause and what actually is it?
18:44
And let's look at if we can sort of, um,
18:46
straighten out some of thatknowledge for us all today.
18:49
So if we move on to the next slide,
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I want people to startthinking about menopause. Um,
18:56
not so much as just areproductive transition. That'ssomething we know it is,
19:00
it's the end of our ability to havebabies essentially. When I grew up,
19:04
all I thought about menopause was, yay,
19:06
I am not gonna have tohave a period again.
19:08
Now of course we've gotmuch better options now,
19:10
so women never have to have aperiod now if they don't want to,
19:13
but that was the only thing I knew it'sgonna be when I don't have to worry
19:15
about having a period. I didn'tknow anything else about it.
19:18
It's a reproductive transition,but it's more than that.
19:21
It's a neurological transition.
19:24
Our brains are changing through menopauseand we know that because most of our
19:29
symptoms are actually generated from thebrain thermoregulation that comes from
19:33
the brain, our mood changesthat's in the brain,
19:38
the brain fog, the concentrationdifficulty that's goingon the, in the brain.
19:42
So the brain is full of estrogen,progesterone, and testosterone receptors.
19:47
So loads is going on.
19:48
We know that women's graymatter volume actually reduces
19:52
during menopause compared toa man's brain. Most of us,
19:57
most of our brains adapt tothat, um, low estrogen status.
20:01
But it's a significant transition.It's a physical transition.
20:05
I've already talked about the fact thatour risk for chronic disease increases
20:09
radically at this point. Soit is a physical transition,
20:12
it's a cultural transition.So in some cultures, you know,
20:16
women who are post-menopausal areactually held in very high regard.
20:20
Not so much in our culture inwestern cultures. It's sort of like,
20:24
well you've done your job, you'resort of a bit on the scrap heap now.
20:27
And that sounds terrible.But the reality is, you know,
20:31
heart disease isn't pickedup as well as women.
20:33
Stroke isn't picked up as well as women.
20:35
These things really impacton life and quality of life.
20:40
So it's, it's this incredible transitionpoint. It's emotional, it's social.
20:44
For some women it's a celebration thatthey don't have to worry about, um,
20:48
getting pregnant.
20:49
For some women they really grieve itbecause they've recognized well they
20:53
haven't had children and theymay have really wanted to.
20:55
So it can be an emotional andvery social transition as well.
20:59
And there's lots of differentpoints and lots of different times.
21:03
It's not just one day your notmenopausal and the next day you are.
21:07
So here we get onto this slide.What is actual, actual menopause?
21:11
It actually occurs on one day.
21:13
It's really the last day of yourfinal period and that's diagnosed
21:17
retrospectively. Once you've had 12months without a period, as I said before,
21:22
lots of women don't have periods anymore.
21:24
If you have an IUD or if you're onthe pill or you've had an ablation,
21:27
a hysterectomy, you'renot gonna know that.
21:29
So it's really marks theend of our ovarian function.
21:33
Average age in Australia is 51,
21:35
but there's a pretty broadrange there between 45 and 55.
21:38
Early menopause isconsidered between 40 and 44.
21:42
Premature ovarian insufficiencyor premature menopauseis considered for women
21:46
under the age of 40 and perimenopauseis that period leading up to that which
21:50
can be years for many women. Ifwe go onto the next slide, thanks.
21:55
And this is what's happening, um, inthat time. So you can see in the um,
22:00
graph there, you can see the estrogenand progesterone going up and down.
22:04
That's in that normal reproductivephase where you're getting all this
22:07
fluctuation of, uh,
22:08
estrogen and progesterone todrive ovulation and menstruation.
22:13
And you can see over that period you'veprobably got an average level of 400,
22:16
uh, I think it's picograms permil of estrogen in your blood.
22:20
Postmenopausally that drops down to20. So if we go onto that next slide,
22:25
we really can learn to understand thatit's estrogen that's caused loss of
22:28
estrogen that's causing these symptoms.Now if we look at what estrogen,
22:32
progesterone, and testosteroneor the tissues they work on,
22:35
on that right column there,
22:37
it's no wonder we have a huge varietyof symptoms that women present with
22:42
because it's all over our body wherethese, these hormones can work.
22:46
So if we go onto the next slide, thanks
22:52
the symptoms. 20% of women report nosymptoms or don't report or don't attend.
22:58
80% of women have some level ofsymptom and there's probably,
23:03
to the best of our understanding,
23:04
there's probably 20 to 25% of women havereally significant symptoms and impact
23:09
on their quality oflife very significantly.
23:12
And there's the main gist of allthose symptoms that we see there,
23:16
but they are very wide and varied.
23:18
And because I sit and talkto women every day, um,
23:21
it's amazing some of the othersymptoms that do come up,
23:24
but these are kind of the classicones. So next slide. Thanks.
23:29
Um, so these are the consequences.You've got those short term symptoms.
23:33
Now when I think of symptoms and I'mtalking to 'em and I try to kind of
23:36
categorize them into the vasomotor.
23:38
So that's your hot flushes and nightsweats and that's what women commonly
23:41
report the vaginal and urinary symptoms.
23:44
So we call them the genitorurinary symptoms of menopause.
23:48
Women often won't reportthese is what I find.
23:51
So these are often questions I haveto ask quite delicately around these,
23:56
what women have noticed.
23:57
Sleep disruption is huge and that'snot only because of vasomotor symptoms,
24:01
that's often because of or the mood changeand the brain fog and the things that
24:05
women are going over and over andover on the course of a day, uh,
24:08
on a regular basis. You know, menjump, sorry, no offense to the men.
24:11
They often jump into bedand just go off to sleep.
24:13
Women recount what's happened,what they could have done better,
24:16
what they're gonna do tomorrow, what'shappening with the kids, the grandkids,
24:19
the parents, you know,
24:20
what's happening with all thesethings going on in their head.
24:23
So sleep can be a real problem.It's often heightened at this stage.
24:26
And we put in their lowered libido. Iwould have to say for the most part,
24:30
the majority of women I talk to reallynotice a lower lowered libido probably in
24:34
their mid reproductive years. It tendsto get a lot worse through menopause. So,
24:39
and why that is, is that often, um,
24:42
the ability that there'sa lack of interest,
24:44
but the ability to respondto arousal also gets harder.
24:48
And this can be something that canreally impact relationships and is worth
24:52
talking about the long term consequences.Now these impact every woman.
24:57
So these are really importantthat we know of, know about these.
25:00
So cardiovascular diseaseor cerebrovascular disease,
25:03
heart attack and heart disease andstroke increase once we've lost our
25:07
protective factors from estrogen.
25:08
And keep in mind it's only been the lasta hundred years that women are living
25:13
post reproductive years.
25:14
So it's really a lot of this stuff iseven though you think a hundred years is a
25:17
long time. Also,
25:19
keeping in mind women have beenleft out of research up until 1990.
25:23
So we were left out of all the researchstudies because of our maybe having a
25:27
period or we might get pregnant.
25:28
So we can't pop women in trials 'causewhat happens if they got pregnant,
25:31
they're on a trial drug. So,so we don't know a lot about,
25:36
we dunno all about this,
25:37
but we do know that women are athigher risk of these diseases,
25:39
osteoporosis and fracture also,
25:42
which can cause significantpain and disability for women.
25:45
We know that women who have prematureovarian insufficiency or premature
25:49
menopause, it used to be called, they areat higher risk of Alzheimer's disease.
25:53
Now women are twice as likely to developAlzheimer's disease as men anyway.
25:57
So it's a big problem for women.
25:59
But if you've had a prematureovarian insufficiency,
26:02
you are at higher risk again as well.
26:04
And then there's lots of other thingsthat we're only starting to learn about
26:07
now that are gonna bethe impact of, uh, um,
26:10
living for probably a third of yourlife in your post-menopausal phase.
26:15
So next slide. Thanks Lauren.Brain fog I wanna talk about,
26:19
because I do think this is one thatdoes impact women a lot at work.
26:23
And I've had women who have just been intears here because they can't remember
26:27
passwords, they can't remember wherethey've gotta find things and they,
26:32
they get incredibly stressed. Andonce you've got that in your head,
26:34
it doesn't take much for yourconfidence to go. And I was talking at,
26:39
we were talking a talkyesterday about, um,
26:41
younger people and how they can help.
26:43
And often young people are brought into help the older person struggling with
26:46
the, it, it happens to me all thetime. My kids, I drive my kids nuts.
26:50
They're so mean to me about how the thingsI can't figure out what to do on the
26:55
computer. Um,
26:57
but yet women get reallyanxious about this.
27:00
And if you bring in someone young tosort of help them and that person isn't
27:04
sensitive to the fact that, you know,
27:05
there's all these other things goingon in the woman's life at the moment,
27:08
it doesn't take much to undermine theirconfidence and feel like they should
27:11
just give up. Um, so the brainfog is that verbal recourse.
27:16
So remembering people's names or itmight be just pulling out, you know,
27:19
the client's name,
27:20
they just can't remember and hear theclient's sitting in front of them.
27:23
And it's incredibly embarrassing. Um,
27:26
some difficulty with concentrating.
27:28
Some women tell me thingslike they were fantastic at,
27:31
at being able to go to a meeting,
27:33
then go and have lunch andcome back and do the minutes.
27:36
And now they can't do that anymore.
27:38
They have to be doing itas they go because they'llforget important that women
27:42
know that this is a temporary change.
27:45
It's while our brain is adjustingto that low estro estrogen status,
27:49
it's not an early sign or arisk factor for, for dementia.
27:52
And women really worry about this,
27:54
particularly if they've seen a parentwith dementia. They think, oh my god,
27:57
maybe I've got this. Dementia isvery rare in the, the, your fifties,
28:02
incredibly rare.
28:03
So reassuring women that it's not dementiaand it's certainly not a risk factor
28:07
can be really good.Um, next slide. Thanks.
28:11
So what can we do? And Ithink it comes down to one,
28:14
having the understanding ofwhat's going on for women,
28:17
how menopause impacts on that.And then there's two things.
28:21
So there's what women can do forthemselves and there's how workplaces can
28:24
support women better. So ifyou go into the next slide,
28:27
I guess for the people who are,uh, in the, on the employer side,
28:31
it's about encouraging women to be ableto, um, care for themselves as well.
28:36
And if we go onto the next slide,
28:38
encouraging women to find aGP if they don't have a GP
28:43
or they don't have aGP who's hearing them.
28:46
And this is really important and you cansee a GP for a whole range of things.
28:51
But when it comes to this midlife,
28:52
you really need to have someone youfeel that you can work with and that you
28:57
feel that you are being heard inyour, and that you're being trusted.
29:00
And I was also sayingyesterday that, you know,
29:02
I don't connect with everywoman I see, you know,
29:05
people have seen me on the televisionthink, oh, this doctor's gonna be amazing.
29:08
She knows everything aboutmenopause and she's so nice.
29:11
And of course on tell you come acrossso nice with the person that you're
29:15
talking to. But you know,
29:16
there are some women who feel I don'thear them and there's some women,
29:20
I feel I just, this isn'tgonna be a good fit.
29:22
So it's about encouraging women to findthe person who's gonna be a good fit.
29:26
Because if they can find someone nowand then they've got them to help them
29:30
through this time and beyond those years,
29:33
it's gonna make an enormous difference.If they don't have a good gp,
29:37
they can't find one in the practicethat they regularly attend or so anyone
29:41
local, jump onto the a MS websiteor show them the a MS website.
29:45
Here's where you canfind a doctor. Now again,
29:48
this doesn't necessarily meanit's gonna be the best doctor,
29:50
but it's gonna be a doctor who at leasthas an interest and who's gonna know how
29:54
to access resources for someone.Um, in, within regards to menopause.
29:58
It's a good starting point. There'salso lots of good telehealth, uh,
30:02
menopause services now, uh, that womencan access the a MS fact sheet's.
30:07
Fantastic, really useful, great for healthprofessionals. I use it all the time,
30:11
but also great for consumers. Goesthrough pretty much every topic,
30:16
well not every topic, but mosttopics you can think of. And we,
30:19
they're continually updated,refined, they're evidence-based,
30:23
and we're always looking to see howwe can improve them. So next, um,
30:28
slide. Thanks Jean Hale's,another very good, um,
30:32
well established, recognized,uh, website that's again,
30:35
great for health professionalsbut also great for um,
30:38
consumers and probably goes a little bitbroader in terms of they do have some
30:43
more, a little bit more focus on somecomplimentary, um, options as well.
30:47
So next fa, next slide, next phase.God, that's gonna be dementia for me.
30:52
Um, also to,
30:54
to explain to people that a menopauseconsult or a midlife consult is not a 15
30:58
minute consult. It maybe several long consults.
31:01
So this might be somethingpeople need to commit to,
31:03
might need to have some time offwork to be able to attend for longer,
31:08
um, longer consults, which will taketime setting up the expectation.
31:12
One of the things I find is womenoften come in with the expectation that
31:15
they're gonna go home after seeing me forthe first time and everything is gonna
31:19
be fine.
31:20
Sometimes my first consult is reallyjust getting to know the woman and know
31:24
what else is going on in their life,what other comorbidities they have.
31:27
I might have to do some, um,
31:29
more thorough detailed assessments beforeI'm even gonna get to the question of
31:33
how we're gonna manage menopause.
31:35
So setting up that it's not gonna besee a doctor and everything's gonna be
31:37
fixed, it might take some time ifwe go onto the next slide. Thanks.
31:42
And, and that was just a symptomscore. If women bring these, um,
31:46
and a lot of women are,
31:47
seem to be getting the word outon Facebook groups that come,
31:50
come with this symptomscore or two with your gp,
31:53
that can be really helpful as well.
31:54
These are great fordiagnosis and management.
31:57
And then looking at the responseto, to whatever it is that we, um,
32:02
put in place as as treatment.
32:03
So this is an idea of what we go throughin the consult and that's just to show
32:08
the detail that we have to get and thedetail that we've gotta work out about.
32:12
The symptoms, the risks,the comorbidities, uh,
32:16
what screening they need to, uh,
32:18
do they need to see someone who'smore experienced than the gp?
32:22
Do they need a gynecologist,an endocrinologist?
32:24
So there's lots there to take intoaccount as well as looking at, um,
32:28
do they need any contraception, um,
32:30
and what sort of examination orinvestigations we might need to do.
32:34
So next slide. Slide. ThanksLauren. So how we, how do we manage,
32:39
um, menopause?
32:40
And that's really gonna be based onthe woman's needs and preferences,
32:44
what other comorbidities they haveand what symptoms they're getting.
32:48
Not all symptoms are gonna respondto hormone therapy. So the,
32:53
the vast majority will,but not all of them will.
32:56
And it's about I guess havingthat understanding as well.
32:59
There is a lot of misinformation,there is a lot of fear out there.
33:02
There's a really strong movement nowalso that every symptom a woman has no
33:06
midlife is menopause and it's not,
33:10
there are lots of otherthings that can be going on.
33:12
There are lots of reallysinister causes. For example,
33:14
for night sweats and hot flushes.It's not always menopause.
33:18
So we have to be, um,
33:21
also balancing all the timewhat the woman's symptoms has,
33:25
what else could be going on and howmuch of this is gonna be menopause.
33:29
And it's, that's not alwayseasy. Lifestyle is reallyimportant. Here's a great,
33:34
um, fact sheets on lifestyle.
33:37
And when we talk to people andwomen, particularly about lifestyle,
33:41
I would really encourage you not totalk about lifestyle choices with women
33:45
because for a lot ofwomen it's not a choice.
33:49
We know that there are better lifestylehabits to, to have, like not smoking,
33:54
eating well, exercising,not drinking alcohol,
33:57
but for some women theyare just hanging in there.
34:01
So we don't wanna talk aboutthis as a choice because at some,
34:05
for some women it's not choice. It is, um,
34:09
making the very best of what resources,
34:12
what situation they have.
34:14
So if we can talk about it interms of factors and not choices,
34:17
I think that's a better option.Stress management. Super important.
34:21
There is a lot of, uh,
34:21
mounting evidence now that CBTand hypnotherapy are great, um,
34:25
adjuncts or great alternatives to MHTeven so good fact sheets. There's,
34:30
there's some great factsheets on complimentarytherapies and which ones, um,
34:35
have some evidence and it's safe.
34:36
And which ones that wewouldn't suggest that women,
34:39
because women even from from GPSand from pharmacists get often
34:44
get told that a lot of these treatmentsare great and you're not gonna get
34:49
breast cancer from them. So take theseand that's incorrect information.
34:53
So if we go into the next slide. ThanksLauren. So menopause therapy. Um,
34:58
why do we use hormone therapy? We useit because it is the most effective,
35:02
um, treatment for the commonsymptoms, the vasomotor symptoms,
35:08
um, the insomnia, um,
35:11
the genital urinary symptoms of menopause.
35:14
Some evidence mounting evidence now thatreally helpful for the mood changes as
35:18
well. And it improveswomen's quality of life.
35:21
Not only that it offers bone protection.
35:23
So reduced risk ofosteoporosis and fracture,
35:26
some cardiovascular protection. Haveit started in the right time window?
35:31
Does it do brain protection? Well,
35:33
we know it probably does for those womenwith premature ovarian insufficiency.
35:37
We're not sure. We still needmore research. And as I said,
35:40
individual preference,
35:41
there's no point trying to insist on awoman having hormone therapy because it's
35:45
the most effective. Andit offers all these, um,
35:48
added bonus protective, um,
35:51
influences if they are dead set againsthormones because their friend had it
35:56
and got breast cancer. We've gottawork with the woman's ideas, um,
36:01
concerns, expectations, uh, uh,
36:04
we need to inform of correct,
36:06
but we also need to take theirindividual preference into account.
36:09
And the good thing with that is thereare loads of different options that can
36:12
help. Um, next slide. Thanks.
36:15
Now this is a good take home message thatif you're talking to women ever about
36:19
hormone therapy, estrogentreats the symptoms. Yep.
36:23
So we're replacing estrogen to treat thesymptoms here for women has a uterus.
36:27
We are giving progesteroneto protect the uterus.
36:30
It's not really to treat symptoms,
36:32
although some women do feel that they getbenefits from different progesterones.
36:36
The progesterone is thereto protect the uterus.
36:39
Estrogen is like afertilizer to the uterus.
36:42
It's like chucking blood and boneonto your lawn and you get a nice,
36:45
beautiful thick, lush lawn in theuterus. We don't want a nice, beautiful,
36:49
thick, lush lining of our uterus'cause that can be become mischievous.
36:54
So our progesterone is like thewhip, the snipper or the lawnmower.
36:57
It keeps that uterus nice and trim.
36:59
And I say that because sometimesI've given women, women their, um,
37:03
hormone therapy, they come back, theygo that progesterone is doing nothing.
37:06
I stop taking it. I'm justtaking the estrogen like, oh no,
37:10
I haven't explained that properly.
37:12
The progesterone is a very importantpart of the treatment to protect the
37:16
uterus. Sometimes we addin some testosterone.
37:18
If women are really distressedby that change in libido,
37:21
we don't use it because there's nobenefit if it's the partner's level of
37:25
distress, if the woman is distressed,it seems to work. If it's causing,
37:30
if this lowered libido is causingdistress within the relationship,
37:34
that really requires somedetailed discussion, some, um,
37:38
added resources,
37:40
some understanding around how canwe improve things given that you
37:44
do have this lowered libido. And thereis a huge amount we can do with this,
37:49
uh, what we call a libido mismatch.It is incredibly common. Uh,
37:53
it's taken me years to convince myhusband that it's incredibly common.
37:57
He doesn't think it is, but I tell him,I hear and talk to women all the time,
38:01
and this, this mismatch is very common.But you can, you can work through that.
38:06
There are heaps of different types ofhormone therapy, tablets, patches, gels,
38:09
capsules, uh,
38:10
all sorts of different ones that becomein variable doses and with variable
38:14
costs. So again,
38:15
being able to speak with someone whoknows about this stuff is important.
38:19
So the workplace, what can we do atthe workplace? Next slide. Lauren.
38:23
You're doing a great job.Can I say, um, a MS does.
38:27
A MS does report that employerswho make their, um, workplaces, um,
38:32
more responsive to begender and and diverse, um,
38:36
will be able to attract amuch better pool of, um,
38:40
staff and retain them.
38:41
And I certainly know when I talk to youngpeople now that they won't even look
38:45
at a workplace unless it has thesebasic concepts of being, um, you know,
38:50
a diverse mix of, um, gender and culture.
38:54
So next slide. Thanks. Thisis really important. I think.
38:58
So when we look at thatmenopause or symptom scorer,
39:01
someone who feels thattheir supervisor, uh,
39:04
is supportive is an independentfactor in the degree of menopause
39:09
symptoms for women. So they will scorelower if they feel like they're in a,
39:13
a workplace that supports themand understands menopause.
39:17
So I think that's pretty critical.If we go onto the next slide,
39:21
um, the a MS has recently developed amenopause in the workplace fact sheet.
39:26
Again, this isn't verynew space, so you know,
39:29
these things will change the moreand more, um, we learn about it.
39:33
But again, we update themall fairly regularly.
39:37
And so if we go onto the next slide,
39:39
some of the things that they talk aboutis doing exactly what we are doing
39:42
today. So improving an understandingof menopause, what is it?
39:46
How does it impact on women?
39:48
Remembering it doesn't impact onevery woman and not every woman,
39:51
even if it does, wants to talk about it.
39:53
But prioritizing health and wellbeingin the workplace for midlife women,
39:57
very important. Ensuring there isn'tany stigmatization or discrimination.
40:02
People aren't getting bullied or harassedif they're needing to have time off,
40:05
if they're needing to, you know,
40:07
step out because things are getting toomuch or they're needing to go to the
40:10
toilet a lot.
40:11
Some women get a hard time becausethey've gotta go to the toilet a lot. Um,
40:14
flexible working arrangements.
40:16
Women really value that option ofbeing able to be flexible in their work
40:20
hours, being able to work from homewhere they can control their environment,
40:24
uh, where they are close toa toilet where they're not,
40:26
haven't got that worry of having a heavymenstrual bleed that's gonna, you know,
40:30
go through their clothescan make a huge difference.
40:34
Having the policy supportive of menopause.
40:36
So not only saying that you're doing it,
40:38
but putting your words into practice andconsidering those leave policies also
40:43
to assess to help people, um, getthe best healthcare. And again,
40:47
what you're doing todayin terms of training, uh,
40:50
managers to know how totalk a bit about menopause.
40:53
If you go onto the nextslide, sort of the same stuff.
40:56
Creating a supportive in culture.And this was a good point that you,
40:59
they raised just briefly before.Not everyone wants to talk about it.
41:02
Some people like to keep allthis stuff very private. Um,
41:06
using the right health professionalsto, to advise on what's the best fit.
41:11
Remembering every workplace and everywoman is gonna be different and the fit is
41:15
gonna be different.Flexibility of dress code,
41:17
that's can be really important wherepeople are in a uniform so that you can
41:21
have more appropriate layering or fabricsfor uniform so people aren't getting
41:26
so hot and sweaty. Um, temperaturecontrol and ventilation. Big problem,
41:30
as I said we have here that wecan't adjust our own temperature.
41:33
So we're driving everyone nuts, tryingto get it right for each room. Um,
41:37
breaks when people need them.And fat healthy lifestyle.
41:41
So thinking about what sort of,um, vending machines you have,
41:44
what do you have in your vending machinesif you have men vending machines?
41:47
What do you have if you have acafeteria? What sort of food is there?
41:50
What sort of ways can youencourage people to be more active?
41:53
Sitting all day at a deskis really bad for women.
41:58
Um, okay, next slide.
42:00
There are workplace policies that havecome about and the Victorian Women's
42:03
Trust have won more and more. We'reseeing more and more organizations, um,
42:09
at least starting to have the debate,
42:10
is this gonna be a goodfor thing for women?
42:12
Is this gonna disadvantagewomen even more?
42:14
We have to be able to havethose discussions or beopen about how we can move
42:19
forward the best way possible, um,
42:21
with having workplace policies aroundmenstrual leave if we go into the next
42:25
slide. Thanks. And this one I reallylove. This comes from, um, Sonya Davidson,
42:30
who was our, one of our pastpresidents. Uh, not from her,
42:33
it comes from Will Tomlin,but she popped it in,
42:35
which is I always wondered why somebodydoesn't do something about that.
42:39
And then I realized I was a somebody.
42:40
And I think that is a really good takehome message that's up to all of us to
42:45
make our workplaces betterplaces and more conducive for
42:49
women to really be ableto get past some of the
42:54
hurdles in this midlife phase so thatthey can reach their absolute potential
42:58
and that's gonna help your workplacereach, reach its potential as well.
43:02
And I think that's what thenext slide goes to as well,
43:06
which is just to end withthe beginning in mind.
43:08
So where we started thatmenopausal women are a resilient,
43:12
experienced, reliable, and loyalsegment of Australia's workforce.
43:17
And I think I've found over the years inthe various workplaces that I've worked
43:21
or where my friends have worked, um,
43:24
the workplaces that offerwomen the most flexibility
43:29
are the places where women willstay and work and they will be so
43:33
productive in that space. So yeah,
43:36
the time is right now for organizationsto help release the potential of older
43:40
professional working womenso that we can really, um,
43:43
I think show that we do exactly whatthose whales doing in terms of keeping
43:48
their pods, um, aliveand safe and thriving.
43:52
So thanks so much for listening.I hope it was helpful.
43:54
If you've got any questions, I can domy best to answer them. I'm not, um,
43:59
the, the, you know,
44:01
person who knows everything and anythingabout menopause I'm learning and I
44:04
learn mostly from the women that Iwork with and from my colleagues.
44:12
Thank you Dr. Long. Thatwas, that was excellent.
44:14
I certainly learned a lot just now, soI would call you the expert Definitely.
44:18
That, that I know now. So <laugh>,thanks for the information shared. Um,
44:23
I just might start with just a coupleof questions I've got here and, and uh,
44:26
feel free audience too if you've got anyquestions to ask Dr. Long while we've
44:29
got her time here. Now you've mentionedflex flexibility a lot in the workplace.
44:34
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Um,and obviously women, you know,
44:36
tend to gravitate towards that. I wasjust wondering whether for your patients,
44:39
whether you've, you noticed any experiencethat sort of post, um, covid, um,
44:43
we've been able to work from homeand the flexibility arrangements,
44:46
whether that you've, you've noticed that'sactually been able to help 'em a lot?
44:49
Oh, amazingly so. And you know,women have really struggled with,
44:53
particularly where there'sbeen this, you know,
44:56
strong push to get everyone back inand you can understand why it's really
44:59
important to have everyone back inthe office. But to be able to do that,
45:04
you know, part at home part inthe office is amazing. I mean,
45:07
I have one non clinical daymyself where I work, uh,
45:11
from home and I am so god damnproductive on that day, you know,
45:15
not only with my work but also gettinga whole lot of other stuff done.
45:20
Yeah. So in some waysyou worry that, you know,
45:25
is it gonna mean that women are gonnabe doing even more of the domestic stuff
45:29
that we already do? But look,
45:31
it seems to take an enormous amount ofpressure off the women that I work with.
45:35
They just really, really love it. I'dhave to say there are some women who,
45:39
um, you know,
45:40
have done a lot of those years wherethey've been the main person at home now
45:45
they love getting back to the office andgetting back into a job and getting out
45:49
to kind of reestablish themselves.
45:51
But I think the women whohave maintained a, um, uh,
45:56
working life throughout all of thathave just found the flexible, uh,
46:01
working arrangements. Just amazing.
46:03
Yeah, it's good. It'suh, it's interesting. Soobviously the audience today,
46:07
you know, being, you know, brokersand corporates, um, you know,
46:10
which which you're looking for, youknow, ways to do things differently,
46:13
different benefits they can putforward to attract, you know,
46:16
talent and retain it.
46:17
So it's something different to sortof think about in terms of their,
46:20
the mainstreams sort of programsthat, you know, we've got,
46:22
we've got in place today.
46:24
Yeah, well the hours lostwith, you know, commuting,
46:29
you know, and I, one of the things,um, was I found really interesting uh,
46:33
in my early years and when you've gotyounger kids and that can be, you know,
46:37
again a really tricky time. I meanso many tricky times for women,
46:40
let's face it. Um, and that's not tosay men don't do their bit either,
46:44
but um,
46:46
women who were able to havethat flexibility around school
46:51
also were worth their weight. Gold.
46:54
They would work so hard to beable to maintain that flexibility
46:58
of, um, of hours. You know, 'causeit just made life so much easier.
47:04
Yep, definitely. So I dunnoif anyone had any, uh,
47:09
questions in the audience.
47:12
Karen, it's David. I've got a, oh heyDave. Question if it's okay for, um,
47:16
for Marita. Marita, can youhear your experience, um,
47:20
in terms of what you think are thekey drivers for women having extended
47:25
absences of work, uh,related to menopause?
47:28
And is it a combin, like is it allfactors or is it a combination of,
47:33
I'll call it like corporate policies, um,
47:36
level of support providedby uh, an immediate manager?
47:40
Or do you think it's, um, you know,
47:42
just with things like thesociety's um, symptom scoring,
47:47
do you think a key driver ofextended absence from work might be,
47:51
um, women not understandingnecessarily, uh,
47:55
sort of the symptoms that they're goingthrough and how to best manage those
47:57
symptoms?
47:57
Like is there any like one particularfactor that you think absence from work or
48:02
do you think it's acombination of all of it?
48:04
It's a really good question. I dothink it is a combination of all of it,
48:08
but I think the thing that I findmost women really struggle with is
48:12
this brain fog and this fearthat they're gonna make a big
48:17
mistake and that they'regoing to embarrass or
48:21
humiliate themself. Um,
48:24
or that people are sort of snickering
48:28
about the, you know, absences,
48:32
the inability to findthe right word. Even uh,
48:35
women who don't work get terriblyhumiliated by their kids or their partners
48:40
just saying stuff like, oh, whatis wrong with you? You know,
48:43
because they'll be saying, they'llwanna say Put your lunchbox in your bag,
48:46
but they'll say,
48:47
put your tennis racket in your bag thatthat's what happens because you cannot
48:51
get the right word out. And, and soI think, uh, and I had one woman,
48:56
uh, ring up in,
48:57
she actually rang from Tassie becauseshe was getting nowhere with her,
49:02
um, GP and she was just beside herself.
49:05
And this came down tothe fact that she was,
49:08
she was really having problems with theit and they would always get the young
49:13
girl in to help her to tryand show her what to do.
49:15
And she just felt so humiliated and
49:20
um, you know, she was a,
49:21
she was about to leave her job 'causeshe thought she couldn't do it.
49:25
And so once we got her treated,sorted out what the issues were.
49:28
And to be honest, it's neverone simple thing. It's always,
49:32
it is always multifactorial. So yes,menopause will be having an impact,
49:36
but there'll be somethingelse bubbling along, you know,
49:38
there'll be prior experience, theremight be some other stressors.
49:42
So once you sort of can unpickwhat's going on for the woman,
49:45
get her on a right, get her on theright track and then, you know,
49:48
you see them probably,
49:49
you have to see them probably every twoto three weeks for maybe a couple of
49:53
months and then it willbe every six months.
49:55
And it makes such a big difference to beable to just to be able to explain that
49:59
you are not going nuts, youare not going mad. You know,
50:03
this is part of what happens becauseof all the things that are going on at
50:07
midlife for women with that thenoverlay of perimenopausal men menopause.
50:12
'cause it's kind of like you hangon, you hang on, you hang on.
50:15
And then something just tipsyou over the edge. Yeah, yeah.
50:19
Yeah. I can Does.
50:20
That answer your question?
50:21
No, it does actually.
50:22
I can sort of relate to exactly what youjust said with a personal experience.
50:25
So, um, yeah, yeah. In thatbrain fog period, like mm-Hmm.
50:29
What is the typical length of,uh, those sorts of symptoms?
50:34
I wish I could talk.
50:35
There's no typical or.
50:36
There's no real typical. Yeah. Whatwe know is that I suppose, you know,
50:40
we have that perimenopausal sortof can be sort of three to four,
50:43
five years is in that sort of lead up. Um,
50:47
what we do know is thatfor, yeah, for most women,
50:51
their brains are gonna adjust.
50:52
There will be a percentageof women who may not,
50:57
who may have, you know,
50:58
some genetic vulnerability todeveloping a cognitive impairment.
51:02
Um, there may be comorbid, you know,
51:06
depression or anxiety also that comesout that can impact or cause it to,
51:10
to perhaps last a little bitlonger. There can be, yeah.
51:12
Lots of other things going on. Yeah.But no, we don't, we don't really know.
51:16
But what we do know, if we can justtell women it is a symptom Hmm.
51:20
Is a well acknowledgedsymptom. It's not dementia,
51:23
it's not putting you at riskof dementia. Um, you know,
51:27
you will move through it. One of the,
51:30
there's a really terrific womancalled j Jen Gunter who, um,
51:34
has an Instagram site.
51:35
It's terrible to think you get yourknowledge from Instagram, but you know, I,
51:38
that kind of gal now. Um, but shehas a very credible site and she,
51:42
she did a really great article on Brainfog and she likened it to people's
51:47
iPhones and she said, you know, whenyour iPhone's starting to give up,
51:50
you know you're gonna have to buya new one soon. You think, oh God,
51:52
how much longer can I let this last?
51:54
So it's starting to close all the timeor the apps aren't working so well
51:58
anymore or you know,
51:59
you can't send an email withoutit getting that mm happening.
52:03
Things are starting to sortof slow down and, and glitch.
52:07
And then you do an update. You know,
52:09
you get the new phone and you update andeverything looks really new and then it
52:12
takes your ages to figure out how touse your phone again. And you're like,
52:15
oh god damn it, I just want my oldphone back. But then once you master it,
52:19
it's great. You know, and shesort of likened brain fog to that,
52:23
which I thought was quite a nice analogybecause it kind of does represent that
52:27
if you can. She also talked about itsort of the brain pruning back. So,
52:32
you know how we talk about puberty,the blues, pregnancy brain,
52:37
you know, what's happeningin all those stages is our,
52:40
our brains are adjustingto a new, a new, um,
52:44
hormonal regime if you like. So,and in that time we prune back,
52:49
we get rid of information we don't needanymore and we're getting ready for new
52:53
information. So pregnancy, we'reoffloading getting ready to become a,
52:57
a primary carer, a veryvulnerable little, you know, baby.
53:02
So we've gotta learn new skills.So, so something like that, again,
53:04
in menopause is happening.We're kind of pruning back,
53:06
getting rid of all the stuff. We don't,
53:07
we don't need to worry so much aboutnappies or school reports or parent
53:11
teacher, yay. You don'thave to go to them anymore.
53:14
We're moving into a new phase of adultchildren, potentially grandchildren.
53:18
So we're pruning back, we're developingnew connections, new understandings,
53:22
and we're gonna be better. It's gonnacome out better. So just reassuring women,
53:27
it's okay. So if you're noticing someonestruggling in a meeting, you know,
53:30
fumbling through their notes thinking,oh God, rather than making it awkward,
53:35
you know, sort of normalizing it. OhGod, this stuff happens at this stage.
53:38
It's not gonna last. Don'tworry about it. Can we help?
53:41
Is there any way we can help?
53:42
And we talk a lot about trying toreduce cognitive loads for women.
53:46
So trying to say, look,while this is going on,
53:49
you are gonna have to have a diary.
53:51
It might be that you havea colleague buddy you know,
53:54
who can help you jogyour memory that they're,
53:57
remember we've got that meeting on Friday,these are the people who are coming.
54:00
If someone's struggling for a name,jump in. Oh, you know, blah blah.
54:03
This is so and so and andreassuring that it won't last.
54:08
You're gonna come out better and strongerafter this if you're supported in the
54:12
right way. Yeah, I give very long answers.
54:16
I'm so sorry.
54:18
That that's all right. 'cause you justcovered off my, uh, my next question,
54:20
which was, you know, what,what could you sort of, uh,
54:22
colleagues do to supportwomen going through this?
54:25
Which you've obviously just givensome great examples just now. Yeah.
54:28
Around how we can support our colleagues.
54:30
Yeah. So you remembering justto use all those things that um,
54:35
can help us with ourmemory, you know? Yeah.
54:40
Great.
54:42
So it sounds terrible, doesn'tit? But actually, you know,
54:45
for most people we doget through menopause.
54:47
I'm a living survivor gettingthrough menopause. Um,
54:51
and um, you know, theother side can be fantastic
54:58
and I do feel for the men'cause it can be really hard
55:03
living through thatperiod for women as well.
55:05
'cause you don't understand what thehell's going on. And all of a sudden,
55:09
you know, you can be the person thatthere's a lot of dumping on. Uh,
55:12
my husband the other daydidn't answer my phone.
55:14
This about a couple of weeksago. He always answers my phone.
55:17
If he was in a meeting with the PrimeMinister, he would answer. He'd say, oh,
55:19
my wife called, I'vegotta answer. You know,
55:21
he didn't answer my whole phonefor a whole day. And I thought,
55:25
oh the poor thing. He's just sick of me.
55:26
I'm so glad he's having a break and notanswering. And then I thought, oh God,
55:31
I think I've killed him.
55:32
'cause I left the hair straighteneron so he might be dead.
55:35
That's why he hasn't answered my phonebecause the house is caught on fire and
55:38
now he's dead. Anyway, he, he's just,his phone clicked on to do not disturb.
55:42
But, you know, I thought ifhe wanted a break from me,
55:45
I could understand it because sometimesyou can be really high maintenance when
55:49
you're going through these phases.
55:51
I think there's a different dynamic asto whether you have a relationship with
55:54
someone already before they're goingthrough that, through that period. Yeah.
55:58
Um, so yeah,
56:00
I think where I've found it moredifficult is where you are getting to know
56:03
someone who might begoing through that Yeah.
56:06
With some of those symptoms and it's,
56:07
you don't have anything tosort of reference back to.
56:10
That's.
56:10
Right. So, yeah. So you think.
56:12
What's going on here?Yeah. Yeah. That's it.
56:14
Always having that consciousness inthe back of your mind and you know,
56:17
it's not always the 55-year-old woman,
56:19
it can be the 35 or the 40-year-oldwoman. Yep. And it's early, you know,
56:23
so it is hard and it is so different.
56:26
It'd be so nice if we all readthe rule book, wouldn't it?
56:28
And followed it like babies, you know,
56:31
none of them read the bloody Rule bookeither. They all come out different.
56:34
So number one, child's totallydifferent to number two.
56:36
So we're all so different.It's, and so, you know,
56:39
it's really hard to try and get thatimage in your head of what it is for
56:44
people. 'cause it is just so differentfor everyone. Keeps us on our toes.
56:51
Perfect. Well I might, um,
56:53
jump in firstly to say thank youso much Marita for your time.
56:57
It's always amazing listening to youand having that real kind of source of
57:01
truth from that clinical lens. It'samazing. And the more we understand,
57:04
obviously the greater impact we can havefor the people around us in our lives
57:07
personally, but also at work.
57:09
I think that's really important for therole that we play as a colleague and as
57:12
an employer. Yeah. Reallyimportant. For those who did attend,
57:15
I did pop a link in the chat.Um, if you have a minute or two,
57:18
if you wouldn't mind just giving alittle bit of feedback for the session,
57:21
but also for Marita as well. Yeah.Um, and if you have any questions,
57:26
if there's any further supports orresources that a i a can provide and
57:30
certainly direct you towards a MS,please to reach out to either your, uh,
57:33
relationship manager or feel freeto come through to myself as well.
57:36
But thank you so much for everyone whowas able to jump on the call today.
57:39
Great.
57:40
Thank you everyone. Thanks Marita.
57:42
Okay. See ya. Great dayeveryone. Thank you.
57:44
Bye.