NHS trust to give men a year off if they’re experiencing menopause symptoms

An NHS trust has been told to ‘make allowances’ for staff experiencing andropause (Picture: Getty)

An NHS trust has told chiefs to take ‘male menopause’ into consideration as it considers giving men up to a year off for their symptoms.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) has been told to make allowances for staff experiencing symptoms associated with a drop in testosterone levels – which takes place over time as a man gets older.

Experts told Metro that the female menopause and the male menopause, also known as ‘andropause’, cannot be compared – and EMAS says it also provides ‘menopause guidance’.

Managers at the trust have been told to provide additional uniforms, portable fans and change shift patterns to assist male staff members experiencing this, MailOnline reports.

In written guidance, the health service’s employment body says male staff should not be made to feel embarrassed about suffering menopause-like symptoms.

Tina Richardson, deputy director of human resources at EMAS, said: ‘As well as having menopause guidance we also support anyone within the organisation who is affected directly or indirectly by the andropause.

‘We provide occupational sick pay for up to 12 months based on service length.

‘That will support absences which may result from symptoms of the andropause or where time off for medical appointments is required.’

Extra equipment like fans and more uniforms should be considered (Picture: PA)

However, male menopause or andropause is not ‘clinically recognised’, a senior source said, and there is no national guidance on how NHS trusts should support those facing andropause.

Menopause and its symptoms have been brought into the spotlight in recent years, thanks to campaigns by Davina McCall, Carol Vorderman and Louise Minchin.

Professor Joyce Harper, head of the reproductive science and society group at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, describes the female menopause as ‘a well-defined life event where women’s sex hormones (mainly oestrogen, and progesterone) dramatically decrease, they no longer have menstrual cycles, and they can no longer get pregnant naturally’.

She added: ‘These hormones oscillate throughout a woman’s fertile years and changes in their levels can cause physical and psychological issues, such as premenstrual syndrome and during the perimenopause, can result in many symptoms that can severely affect a woman’s life.

‘But we know that men have a gradual decrease in testosterone with age.

‘This may give some men symptoms such as weight gain and depression, but whether these are the effects of ageing or the change in hormone levels has not been evaluated.

‘These symptoms in women are often blamed on the perimenopause, but also could be due to other factors.

‘I do not think we can compare the male menopause with the female menopause.

‘It is very well documented that the symptoms of the perimenopause can severely affect wellbeing, but I have not seen any comparable data for men.

‘My view is that anyone experiencing symptoms needs to find out if it is due to a change in their hormone levels or other factors.’

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