5 unexpected perimenopause and menopause symptoms that could affect your colleague in the workplace

Menopause symptoms, Watch/Listen, Workplace environment

There are around 40 peri-menopause symptoms, and the most commonly talked about or known symptoms of the peri-menopause and menopause are hot flushes and mood swings.

What about those less common, less well-known and unexpected peri-menopause symptoms that could negatively affect your colleague at work?

Let’s find out more about five unexpected symptoms your workplace colleague could experience and how they may affect them.

#1. Joint Pain

During peri-menopause and menopause woman can struggle with joint pain which is also known as menopausal arthritis.

This affects women at the onset of the peri-menopause and causes moderate to severe pain and swelling.

Where is joint pain most commonly felt for peri-menopausal women?

 Joint pain is mainly in the fingers and the wrists.

Clare Shepherd from Your New Life Plan tell us:

Sometimes these pains occur in very specific parts of the body.

Other times it’s a general body ache.

They’re especially noticeable in the back, hips, knees, fingers and toes and particularly noticeable first thing in the morning, improving as the day progresses.

The pain can be debilitating affecting sleep, work, the ability to exercise and concentrate effectively and this can create anxiety and depression.

#2. Burning Tongue

A burning tongue can be painful for your colleague.

How can peri-menopause trigger the sensation of a burning mouth?

Oestrogen plays a key role in the formation of saliva in the mouth.

And as this hormone declines during peri-menopause this can cause burning mouth syndrome for some women.

What can burning mouth feel like during peri-menopause?

When burning pain in the mouth happens it can be across the whole mouth, which can include the tongue, lips, roof of mouth and cheeks.

How can burning mouth or burning tongue affect my colleague in the workplace?

Burning mouth or burning tongue can make talking at work difficult for your colleague so make it easy for them to access cold drinking water.

#3. Electric Shocks

During peri-menopause some women can experience electric shocks.

Unexpected right?

How might my colleague experience electric shocks during their peri-menopause?

They can happen when they least expect them.

Some examples are:

  • When your colleague is getting out of a car and they get an electric shock from the door handle
  • When they are handing something to a colleague
  • Having something handed to them

What causes my colleague to have electric shocks during peri-menopause?

Gennev tells us:

Your body is chock-full of oestrogen receptors — it’s why menopause has so many symptoms and affects so much of your body.

Oestrogen also works with your central nervous system to send messages along nerves to the brain. It’s thought that when your hormones are fluctuating, signals can get crossed or amplified or otherwise distorted, causing the sensation of a shock or tingle.


#4. Itchy Skin

Your colleague may find their skin itchy during peri-menopause.

What causes itchy skin during peri-menopause for my colleague?

It’s caused by the lowering of oestrogen levels in your colleague’s body.

As their oestrogen levels decline their collagen levels can be lowered too and this can lead to thinner and drier skin.

What can irritate my colleague’s itchy skin during peri-menopause?

For some it can be their uniform especially if like many uniforms in the workplace they’re made from man-made materials.

Uniforms made from natural fibres can bring some relief to your colleague.

#5. Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness can cause sore or itchy skin in and around the vagina.

How can vaginal dryness affect my colleague in the workplace?

It can increase the need to visit the bathroom to pee more than usual, and it can cause an increase in suffering with painful urinary tract infections.

For some women their vagina feels itchy dry and sore all day so this can make sitting or standing really uncomfortable for them.

What can make vaginal dryness worse for my colleague?

Wearing trousers can be uncomfortable and add to their discomfort which means if you have trousers as part of a uniform they wear, consider how uncomfortable they may be feeling and consider alternatives for them.


If you’d like to introduce menopause awareness training for your business or organisation get in touch today, and we can have a chat about my courses and talks and how they can help you talk about menopause without worrying you’ll say or do the wrong thing.

Additional Resources:

Can menopause affect the mental health of your colleagues?

What you need to know about reasonable adjustments

Menopause policy: What is it and do you need one?

IMPORTANTThe Menopause Training Company content is for guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal advice.
The law may change from the date of me publishing this content. Always acquire your own legal advice.
The content I create explains and outlines the laws that apply to England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland employment law varies.

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