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What is the menopause?

The menopause is the time of life when someone's periods stop, it's a natural biological process, officially diagnosed when there has been no menstrual period for 12 months. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 and in the UK, the average age for most women to reach the menopause is 51. Some may experience early menopause - when the menstrual cycle stops before the age of 45.

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If you think you might be suffering from the menopause and require support, we advise you speak to a pharmacist or your GP. They will be able to advise where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do.

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Benenden Health members can access mental health support whenever you need it with our 24/7 mental health helpline. You’ll be put straight through to a qualified counsellor who can provide immediate emotional support and signposting for menopausal health concerns.

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Benenden Health members can access round the clock reassurance knowing you can speak to a qualified UK-based GP day or night. Call our helpline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book an appointment for a telephone consultation about any concerns with the menopause.

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Download our 2021 National Health and Wellbeing Report

Our 2021 National Health and Wellbeing Report highlighted the menopause is a health issue that is often overlooked, however 17% of all female employees are currently experiencing issues because of it.

This rises to a third of female employees aged 45-54. And 48% of people in our survey* agreed that the menopause caused poor mental health and low mood.

For advice and support, take a look at some of our articles on how to look after your mental wellbeing during the menopause, the symptoms and what to expect.

What is the menopause?

All you need to know on what causes the menopause, when it happens and what the common symptoms are.

What is the menopause?


Explore how you can manage and treat the symptoms of the menopause. Read our 3 suggested treatment options and 4 ways you can manage mild symptoms.

Key questions on how the menopause effects mental wellbeing answered. Discover why going through the menopause can affect your mood and 7 actionable tips on ways to tackle low mood.


Learn about the 4 key stages of the menopause, the typical symptoms of premenopause, perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

Heard of a female friend or family member going through the menopause but have no idea what it means or how you can support? Become equipped with knowledge on the menopause with this key information.

A recent survey of UK employers indicated that 3 in 10 team members had suffered poor health due to the menopause. Find out what employers can do to help and why it matters that employers are offering support.

Kaye opens up about her experience of juggling work, family, career and the menopause and discusses the importance of self-care.

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* We surveyed 2,007 employees across a wide range of sectors including, but not limited to, finance, manufacturing and retail, catering and leisure. 64% of our employee sample were female and 36% male. Our sample included all ages of the working population, which was crucial given that we wanted a well-rounded picture of employee health issues that can be more prominent at different life stages. Separately, we surveyed 507 employers. Our sample consisted of business owners and senior managers aged 18+, across the same wide range of sectors. There were slightly more males (59%) than females (41%) in the sample.