BMA report

Challenging the culture on menopause for working doctors report

We surveyed our members to understand specific challenges for doctors working through the menopause. This report looks at the experiences of doctors and areas of action which could support doctors during this time.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 22 August 2022
Topics: NHS delivery and workforce, Your wellbeing
NHS Structure Article Illustration

The survey this report is based on ran from November 2019 to February 2020 with 2,000 doctors participating.


What you'll get from this report

  • Findings from our menopause survey.
  • Insight into the challenges faced by doctors who are working through the menopause.
  • The changes needed to make it easier for doctors to manage their symptoms at work. 
There are very few older women left at my senior level in my traditional profession. If I mentioned my perimenopausal symptoms, I would be stigmatised and disrespected as someone who was no longer rational or capable.
A survey respondent

BMA menopause survey discussion

Helen Fiddler, deputy chair of the consultants committee, discusses menopause in a presentation chaired by Lucy Kerr from BMA Policy.

Listen to the discussion on soundcloud

The BMA’s network of elected women hosted a panel discussion to explore the issues in the report in more detail, and to support working doctors make changes in their workplaces. 

Watch the video


Ways to better support doctors working through the menopause

  1. Breaking the taboo – employers should take a pro-active approach to normalising the topic of menopause and spread awareness of the impact the symptoms can have on work.
  2. Access to flexible working – enabling doctors to work flexibly will make their symptoms more manageable and improve morale. This should be made available across all specialities, and for those in, or applying for, senior roles.
  3. Adjustments to the workplace – this could include improving room ventilation, easier access to toilet facilities, drinking water and rest breaks.
  4. Support for mental health and wellbeing – menopause can impact your mental health as well as your physical health. Employers should sign up to our mental wellbeing charter to effectively support staff’s mental health.
  5. Developing an inclusive culture – including actions to address sexist and ageist behaviours in the workplace that prevent women speaking about menopause and asking for support. 
  • Areas of action
  • How menopausal symptoms are impacting doctors
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Physical health
  • Fatigue and problems with concentration
  • Raising awareness and enabling workplace conversations
  • Unsupportive cultures
  • Sexist and ageist attitudes
  • Changes made as a result of menopausal symptoms
  • Changes to working hours
  • Changing career path and retiring early
  • Improving workplace support