As wellness and health care initiatives continue to expand for labor members, there’s one essential care component that shouldn’t be left out of the equation: menopause.

Over in the UK, there’s been a major push in the last two years for labor unions to provide specialized menopause care for members. This year, the menopause conversation is in full swing in the U.S., too, with recent coverage on everything from common stigmas and misunderstandings about menopause to the adverse impacts of menopause on work.

The symptoms of menopause manifest differently in every individual and can set in at a wide range of ages. What’s more, these symptoms can last for a decade or longer, often impacting women during critical stages in their careers.

We also know that up to 75% of women are not currently treating their menopause symptoms, which range from hot flashes and poor sleep to mental health issues and increased risk for chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes (some of the biggest cost-drivers in healthcare).

But it’s not for lack of trying.

Quality information on evidence-based menopause care can be hard to come by. Many doctors are not trained to handle menopause treatment, and access to specially trained providers is scarce. Add to these factors the stigma around menopause, and we’ve got a recipe for frustration, misinformation, and a disappointing care experience.

For benefits leaders in labor, this marks a crucial opportunity to champion a better menopause care experience for your members.

It’s as simple as starting a conversation. When you talk wellness with your members, include menopause in the discussion. When you shop new or expanded benefits, include menopause in the list of items you want to address. Menopause care is not “baked” into most coverage and it isn’t something most members are keen to chat about, so it’s something you’ll need to address intentionally.

By infusing menopause education and resources into your wellness conversation and providing access to specialized menopause providers, you can create a more welcoming environment that breaks down stigmas, adds equity to your care efforts, and sets your members on a path to quality care during this essential stage of their lives.

As Progyny’s Chief Medical Officer states in her recent blog post Seeing the Menopause Factor: “It’s time to not just bring ‘the menopause talk’ to the workplace but help a major portion of the workforce understand how they can, with the right team of expert support — understand, manage, and celebrate a key transition of their life.”

Progyny recently announced the expansion of its benefits to include perimenopause and menopause, offering access to quality care in all 50 states for employers and labor groups who utilize Progyny’s fertility benefit. Interested in learning more? Contact us: Stacey Hofert, 847-372-9959 or Ron Abrahall, RN 631-294-2012

Ron Abrahall has held both elected and appointed union positions since 1982. He has served as a representative for the New York State Nurses Association, a former president of USW 9544, past President of BMFNHP AFT/ NYSUT, NYPD officer and a Neuro-Surgical Intensive Care RN.


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