A MENOPAUSE “revolution” will stop it being a taboo subject and ensure women get the support they deserve, MPs have heard.

Labour’s Carolyn Harris called for improved training, including for GPs, and a review of the school curriculum to help educate the next generation about the menopause.

The Swansea East MP’s Menopause (Support and Services) Bill, due to be considered in the Commons on October 29, would exempt hormone replacement therapy (HRT) from NHS prescription charges in England – bringing it into line with Wales and Scotland.

Speaking during a debate on World Menopause Month, Ms Harris said: “It does feel like we’re starting to turn a corner here and if we can just bring all the pieces of the jigsaw together we can change the future for ourselves, our daughters, for our daughters’ daughters and for women who follow on behind us forever more.

READ MORE: How pandemic has led to finding help for the menopause

“We can stop menopause being something people are afraid to talk about. We can help to ensure that everyone understands the symptoms so women know what is happening to them and family and friends are able to support them.

“We can make sure we get the right diagnosis and the right treatment plan to help alleviate the symptoms, and we can ensure every workplace is a menopause-friendly workplace so women can continue succeeding in their careers.

“It’s time for change. It’s time for the menopause revolution. Women want it, women need it and women deserve it.”


Conservative MP Julie Marson (Hertford and Stortford) added: “I have a suspicion that if this was a male issue it may have been discussed and medicated out of existence by now.”

She also described how a few years ago a “prominent female parliamentarian” used social media to encourage women to recognise the symptoms and seek treatment and advice.

Ms Marson said: “The first response on that was from someone saying that she shouldn’t use the term menopause because it wasn’t inclusive enough.

“Now, if you have a problem you have to name it. You have to understand it. You have to understand who it affects.

“And I think we should be very clear that biological sex is a reality, and this affects women, along with lots of other things. And I think to recognise it, to treat it, to talk about it, we have to be very, very clear about that biological fact as well.”

Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones (Pontypridd) said: “When it comes to medical conditions, inclusive language matters. And although the menopause does impact women, it does also impact trans men and non-binary people as well, and it’s important that that’s reflected so that they get accurate healthcare.”

Health minister Maria Caulfield said: “As a fellow member of the menopausal club, what frightens me is that most women are unaware that they are going through the menopause.”

She added: “With around 400,000 women entering the menopause each year, access to high-quality healthcare support is essential. All women going through the menopause should be able to have conversations with healthcare practitioners, whether that is their practice nurse, GP, counsellor, a pharmacist.”

The minister said official guidelines meant that HRT could be prescribed for a year after three months of treatment, but often was not.

She said: “Unfortunately what we find is prescribing is relatively low, only a minority of women currently get access to HRT, mainly based on flawed research from about a decade ago which raised concerns for both women and healthcare practitioners who are not confident necessarily in prescribing HRT.

“It is so important that work is undertaken with stakeholders to develop and implement optimal care pathways for women.”

Health is a devolved issue but employmnet rights are determined in Westminster.

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