TENA and Menopause Support: How We're Ending the Taboo


The menopause is a natural stage of life that women go through as they age. Despite this, there remains a stigma around the menopause and a reluctance to talk about it that can lead to many women feeling ostracised. 

TENA has been leading the conversation for years, confronting the menopause stigma   by encouraging women to talk about the challenges they face. Through our products , campaigns and educational content, we intend to inform the public and support women through this new phase of life. 

The menopause stigma

Much of society today still views the menopause as a negative event. Attitudes towards female fertility mean many frame the menopause as the end of a woman’s biological “usefulness”. The menopause is often considered as a sign of “getting old”, necessitating the end of youthfulness and sexuality. Many women internalise these negative attitudes, which can lead to feelings of shame and redundancy. 
 
Aside from cultural stereotypes, physical changes resulting from menopause symptoms  can contribute to these feelings. Sensations such as hot flushes or urge incontinence can be distressing or embarrassing. Mood changes are associated with hysteria, and women may experience their feelings being ridiculed or not taken seriously.
 
The menopause is rarely treated as a positive time of new beginnings, with many women emerging from the menopause with a more confident sense of self. At TENA, we want to help them do that, and change the narrative to a more affirming transition.

TENA and breaking menopause taboos

For years TENA has been a leader in smashing the stereotypes associated with aging and bodily change. Our #Ageless campaign aimed to challenge preconceptions of how women over 50 live their lives, bringing thousands of women’s stories from across the UK to the forefront. The #Ageless campaign discovered that these women enjoy rich, fulfilling experiences that only become more freeing as they age.
 
Our two year partnership with the Guardian “The Last Taboo” continues to confront stigmas and assumptions, discussing topics previously considered unmentionable in an open, frank and honest way. We have continued to do this with our Menopause Monologues  series: a collection of women’s stories and experiences as they go through the menopause.
 
Outside of our campaigns, TENA has consistently supported women through product ranges created for those who experience bladder weakness , which is something that affects 50% of women going through menopause. Through our on-site content and articles , we aim to provide information and assurance to women suffering from incontinence during the menopause  while continuing to showcase them as confident, independent and living life to the full, as in our Silhouette campaigns. 
 
To see what we’ve been doing recently to support women going through menopause, take a look at our recent video created with ITN productions. 

Our menopause workplace policy

Many women going through the menopause struggle at work  because they feel they can’t talk about their experiences. Lack of knowledge around the subject has resulted in many women feeling pressured to perform, despite experiencing symptoms which make that difficult. These can include:
 
• feeling exhausted during the day, due to night sweats and other sleeping problems, e.g. Nocturia 
• concentration issues and memory loss
• mood disorders, such as anxiety  and depression
• physical discomfort e.g. from hot flushes or urinary incontinence  
 
To open up the conversation, we’ve set out a menopause policy  which aims to educate managers on the symptoms and difficulties menopausal women face at work, so that staff going through menopause feel supported in the workplace  and comfortable voicing their experiences.  
“It’s all about opening up the conversation to help people recognise some of the changes and talk about them, whether that’s to your friends, your family or your GP.”
 
While our policies attempt to fulfil a short-term aim of ensuring a menopause-friendly workplace, ultimately our goal is to open up the conversation about this stage of life, and to end the menopause taboo . 
 
To find out more information on the menopause, along with tips and products to manage symptoms, visit our hub page. Or discover how the menopause impacts the lives and experiences of everyday women with our Menopause Monologues series.