Mayo Clinic published a study that estimates menopause symptoms cost the United States $1.8 billion alone in lost time at work, and an additional $28 billion in medical expenses.
The study concluded that menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can negatively impact on work outcomes, including absenteeism and productivity. It also impacts direct and indirect costs of medical care and career advancement opportunities.
13 percent of women who responded to the survey said that menopause symptoms had adversely affected their work, and 11% of them reported missed days of work.
Menopause usually occurs around the age of 52. Women aged 45 to 54 years old make up 20% the female workforce.
The main author, Dr. Stephanie Faubion of Mayo Clinic Women's Health and director at Mayo Clinic Women's Health said: "The takeaway is that employers need to be aware of the importance of addressing this issue in the workplace for women."
Ekta Kapoor, the senior author of the research and assistant director at Mayo Clinic Women's Health said that feeling like discussing menopause is taboo in the workplace can increase the psychological burden.
She said that women often fear stigmatization and discrimination, and may not want to discuss their menopause symptoms with their managers or others at work. Recognizing and addressing these concerns, as well as creating a safe environment in the workplace for women to talk about their health needs can help.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic invited 32 469 women between 45 and 60 years old who receive primary care from Mayo Clinic, to take part in a survey. Over 5,200 women participated (16%), and 4,440 of them were employed.