Menopause – What is it?

Date 16 October 2023

Sharing my experience of the going through the menopause, raising awareness, and sharing the support we have on offer at UON with the Menopause Support Group.

Corinna Coleman


When I first experienced symptoms of the peri menopause (the start of hormonal changes leading up to menopause) I was not prepared and had no idea what was happening! I went from feeling great at the age of 50 to struggling with physical and psychological symptoms such as lack of sleep, exhaustion, fluctuations in body temperature and changes in mood.

I had countless conversations with friends who were having the same challenges, not helped by being in lockdown at the time. At about the same time Davina McCall’s programme ‘Sex, Myths and the Menopause’ aired, where she talked about her own experiences and spoke to medical experts on HRT and research. Suddenly, women seemed to be talking about menopause, thanks to Davina!

The definition of menopause is officially the day you’ve been for 12 months without a period. The list of common menopause symptoms can include headaches and migraines, muscle aches and joint paints and a change in body shape/weight gain.

When I found out that UON had a Menopause Support Group, I was keen to get involved. I’ve found out so much about the subject from attending the events organised, and it’s been great to meet other people from across the university. I also love listening to other people’s stories and hearing about their experiences. It’s a friendly, supportive group and I would encourage colleagues to join us. All staff are welcome, and you don’t have to be experiencing the menopause yourself.

We meet regularly on Teams, and everyone has an opportunity to share experiences, and to talk about issues related to the subject. Recent conversations have included nutrition, exercise, and collagen supplements.

The group has introduced posters into key areas around the campus, held lunchtime get togethers (Menopause Cafés) for staff to attend, and organised events for World Menopause Day. A survey also went out for colleagues to complete and provide feedback on the subject.

We have also developed Line Manager Training on Menopause so that Line Managers have the tools to help colleagues. This is open to all staff (not just Line Managers), and you can find it on Astute. It only takes 20-30 minutes to complete, and it’s full of useful info. Alongside this HR have produced a Menopause Supportive Guidance document to support staff and you can find this on the Staff Intranet [please note: staff login required].

World Menopause Day

World Menopause Day is on 18 October this year (2023), and the Group have organised a series of events for colleagues to attend to find out more information on issues such as nutrition and exercise. Hormonal changes associated with menopause can have wide-ranging impacts on cardiovascular health and this is the theme for World Menopause Day 2023.


3 years later, I would say that I’m feeling as though I’m coming out of the other side (I hope!) I sleep better, my moods are more balanced and hot flushes are rare. It’s a tricky transition but my advice would be to look after yourself, talk to friends and family and make sure you get the support you need at work and outside. I’m lucky enough to have a very understanding Line Manager, and this has made a massive difference.

I would encourage you to join us and find out more – I’m hoping that those going through the menopause in future will be able to talk about their symptoms openly and feel comfortable to do so.

Find out more about the Menopause group on the Staff Intranet.

Corinna Coleman
Corinna Coleman

Corinna is the Scholarships Administrator and member of the Menopause Working Group