Demand for menopause medication, advice, support and products has risen dramatically in the past few years, research has suggested.
The study, conducted by Superdrug’s ‘Online Doctor’ service, investigated the regional and national increase in menopause prescriptions over the past five years, as well as the rise in search demand for menopause-related terms.
The research analysed NHS prescription data and found there has been a 149% increase in the prescribing of menopause medication since 2015.
Buckhamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire reported the biggest increase of 214%, followed by Somerset and Gloucestershire (both 199%) and Shropshire (197%).
Superdrug also discovered that searches for ‘menopause supplements’ had risen across the UK by 175% since October 2018, while searches for ‘perimenopause’ had risen by 173%.
Looking at the picture regionally, the biggest movements were in Durham, where there was a 1,400% increase in search interest, Wales (142%) and Devon (114%).
Menopause and work
GP and cosmetic doctor Dr Shirin Lakhani said, despite the increased interest, many women remained unclear about the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.
“I wish women were more aware of the huge range of symptoms and that the menopause is not just about hot flushes and irregular periods,” she said.
“I urge women to research the perimenopause and menopause so they are prepared. I wish women knew they didn’t have to suffer in silence and that health practitioners are now receiving mandatory training to better treat female medical conditions.”
In response to the findings, Superdrug has published a menopause wellness guide covering common misconceptions, case studies, and insights into how menopause can affect mental, physical and emotional health.
The move by the chemist chain follows NHS England last month publishing national menopause guidance for the first time.
This recommended that health workers could be offered flexible working and access to occupational health support to help them manage their symptoms.
Separately, the government has announced that 16 organisations across England will receive a share of £1.97m to support women experiencing reproductive health issues in the workplace.
The money will come from the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Fund, a joint initiative run by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency. A new round of the fund is launched every year and typically runs over three financial years.