One in two women go through the menopause without consulting a healthcare professional, a new survey by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the British Menopause Society has found.
This is depite women surveyed reporting on average seven different symptoms and 42% saying their symptoms were worse than expected. The impact of these symptoms have affected their home life, social life, work life and sex life.
Dr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that for some women menopausal symptoms can be extremely debilitating and that this survey 'paints a concerning picture' that many women are not speaking about this.
'Every woman’s experience of the menopause is different and we encourage women to talk openly to their healthcare professionals, employers, friends and families about the menopause. There is help and support available and the recently published NICE guideline provides both women and healthcare professionals with clear guidance and information about the menopause and how best to manage symptoms,' he said.
Among those respondents who had not consulted a healthcare professional, 35% believed that the menopuase was something they should have to put up with. The survey found that only 3% of the respondents had heard of the NICE guidelines.
Dr Heather Currie, chairman of the British Menopause Society, said: 'The publication of the NICE guideline represents a much needed first step towards ensuring excellent standards of care for the treatment of women experiencing the menopause.However, the survey demonstrates there is still extremely low awareness
among women of the guideline and misconceptions around the menopause persist.'
More than 200 leading women's health experts gathered at the British Menopause Society's annual conference on 19 May to discuss recent research advances and the impact of the NICE guideline on adressing the needs of women experiencing the menopause.