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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Women leaving veterinary due to lack of understanding and support around menopause’

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) across the waters in the UK has established a menopause hub to provide a range of resources and tailored support to everyone working in practice including colleagues, managers and partners of people experiencing menopause.

With the veterinary profession increasingly female in composition, it is hoped that the hub will support more women to stay in the profession and, therefore, retain their skills in the workforce.

The new hub, which is a Good Veterinary Workplaces initiative, provides veterinary-specific menopause content to support everyone working in practice including colleagues, managers and partners of people experiencing menopause.

Evidence given to the Women and Equalities parliamentary committee by BUPA last year suggested that 900,000 women may have left the UK workforce in recent years as a result of menopausal symptoms.

New statistics from the Voice of the Veterinary Profession Spring 2023 survey show that only 14% of vets are aware of a menopause policy at their workplace, while 46% say there is no policy and 39% are unsure.

Moreover, the survey also revealed that only 59% of vets would feel confident supporting a colleague experiencing menopause.

BVA recently signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge – committing to take positive action to ensure everyone experiencing menopause is supported – and is now urging other veterinary employers to do the same.

Menopause hub

According to Anna Judson, BVA Junior Vice President, the body is “breaking the taboo about a topic that will be or is impacting a huge number of veterinary colleagues”.

She said that “It is worrying to hear that women leave our veterinary profession due to the lack of understanding and support around menopause”.

“We know that menopause is of growing importance to our profession, with female vets now making up more than half the workforce.”

“We know that issues with managing menopause symptoms prompt a significant number of women to move away from clinical work.”

“As part of our Good Veterinary Workplaces campaign, we are committed to supporting all veterinary staff affected by menopause, allowing them to remain in post, and to providing relevant resources to improve employer engagement in this area.”

“We urge all veterinary workplaces to sign the pledge and consider what more they could be doing to support their staff in managing menopause symptoms in the workplace.”

Stella app

BVA members experiencing menopause can also now benefit from additional support as they are eligible for 3 months free access to the Stella app.

This includes a personalised plan to manage your specific symptoms, real-life coach support, menopause resources, progress tracking, and a supportive community.

Content on the Stella app is created in collaboration with a range of clinicians and healthcare professionals and goes through a rigorous fact-checking and review process.

The BVA menopause hub is now available, offering regularly updated veterinary specific content, training, and information around menopause, plus signposting to existing material.

In a previous article on www.thatsfarming.com, Dr Deirdre Forde, founder of Céile Medical, the first dedicated menopause clinic in the midlands of Ireland, explains how menopause does cause emotions to see-saw, thus throwing up all sorts of possibilities for trouble and strife – read via this link.

The Irish GP is on a drive to inform partners of women going through menopause as to the often-devastating emotional effects it can cause – read more.

She also told us about a farmer’s experience of andropause, ‘the male menopause’.

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