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Alicia's story: I’m a proud 35-year-old woman in the menopause!

uploaded on 5 March 2024

In 2023 Edenred signed the Workplace Menopause Pledge, vowing to create a workplace that promotes support and understanding of colleagues affected by menopause. Here business development executive Alicia Booth tells her story and explains why the pledge was so important to her.

At the age of 33 I had a full hysterectomy due to years of fertility issues which put me into the early menopause, which came with a lot of difficulties for me to face at such a young age.

The night before I went into hospital for the operation, my mum asked me to join her “Meno” club, just the sound of this made me want the ground to swallow me up. I quickly replied “No, I’m not old”. When menopause became the new normal for me, I encountered a lot of judgment despite my NHS background. I would listen to others describe symptoms that I could relate to only to be told, “Your too young for the menopause,” or “You must have flu like symptoms, not flushes.” My favourite was, “Don’t be dramatic, you have no idea about the menopause.” I was even judged by medical staff in my local doctors. When I would call for my HRT and I would get the usual, “I think you are asking for the wrong medication. You’re 33 and not at menopause age.” It started to become apparent that I was in a lonely and isolating place. Reality hit me hard when I found myself crying on the sofa into a box of tissues because Piers Morgan was stepping down from his life stories program (don’t judge this was a tough one to take! and I wondered if I was ever going to find a ‘Menopause sister’.

How naive and uneducated 33-year-old me was. Fast forward almost three years and I now know the ‘Meno Club’ is the reason I have connected with some of the most beautiful, empowering women that are standing tall in the face of the stigma of the menopause. I have met women who, like me, had no choice and I have met women who have naturally joined the club – each one has their own inspiring story that are all as empowering as the next. Women supporting other women is crucial to overcoming the taboo of menopause especially in women under the natural menopause age.

Being menopausal and working full time is a struggle at the best of times but I am super proud to be able to work within a company who invests time in aiding women during this stage of life. Edenred signed the menopause workplace pledge in March 2023 and committed to ensuring women dealing with menopause were heard and understood. This allows all employees to have access to free webinars, fans and a quiet zone to rest if needed. It also means that Edenred ensure managers are educated and aware of the issues around menopause so they can support their staff where and if needed. Edenred employs some of the strongest and empowering independent woman I have met, who are empowering each other to be the best version of themselves. It’s an honour to be a part of this.

If I was to give my 33-year-old self some advice I would say embrace the journey, love the body changes, and go wild with the brain fog. I am now a 35-year-old woman who is no longer existing but rather thriving in the menopause and I am proud of myself and all my ‘Meno sisters’ within Edenred. My mission now is to continue spreading education on menopause within the workplace, continue supporting others, but most importantly be comfortable to share our stories, laugh at the moments we forget and be grateful for the electric bill that keeps the fans going!

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