Speaking today in the Seanad Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly called for better understanding of the menopause and for more open discussions on the subject within the Seanad.
O’Reilly stated “I often stand up here and speak about breastfeeding, about periods about different stages of women’s lives …. There’s a conversation ongoing in Irish society at the moment about the menopause, and really I think the fact that we don’t talk about it, even in this Chamber, despite the fact that it has been on Joe Duffy for several days does show that actually people are afraid to speak about some things in relation to women’s health”
O’Reilly went on to say “fifty percent of the country is impacted and it’s time we had a proper conversation about that. It’s time we brought it into all of our healthcare because what people are saying is that they don’t even understand fully what is happening to them for many years. The GPs are not fully educated around HRT or anything else for that matter and that a very high proportion, about 10% of women who are suffering symptoms, actually leave work as a result of the menopause. When they go to their doctors it’s not really recognised. They may need to get a sick cert for a certain period of time, but do their employers actually recognise as well the impacts that’s it having on them?
Speaking about the symptoms of menopause O’Reilly said “It can range across your mental health, physical health and it can be really really debilitating. So I think that I would like for us as a Chamber to speak about it a bit more and I think there are a lot of recommendations that we could put forward to the Minister for Health to really take it on board and to recognise what so many women are going through”.