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To think this is fine to talk about in a work email

467 replies

SandAndSeals · 30/04/2019 09:38

I’ve NC as this is potentially outing.

An awareness email went out to colleagues about the menopause. Is the email, it lists the symptoms inc. hot flushes, low mood etc and also ‘vaginal dryness and reduced sex drive’.

My colleague has put a complaint email in about it as they don’t think it’s appropriate to mention vaginal dryness is a workplace email. However I disagree. It’s a common symptom and should be listed in an awareness article. You would take out ‘difficulty holding an erection’ when discussing prostate cancer, for example.

The Health team send out other emails about out conditions and illnesses depending on what’s being asked for. I’m in the Women’s Network so I know that menopause info has been asked for.

What do you think? AIBU or is she?

OP posts:
SandAndSeals · 30/04/2019 09:38


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MyRankIsSuperintendent · 30/04/2019 09:40

And minimising 'wimmin's problems' starts here.

I'm fortunately not menopausal yet but being aware of the symptoms will be handy. Hushing up embarrassing ones is ludicrous.

TheGrey1houndSpeaks · 30/04/2019 09:40

Why are you and your colleagues being “made aware” of menopausal symptoms? Are you in some sort of healthcare or other caregiving roles?

RubberTreePlant · 30/04/2019 09:41

What was the purpose of the awareness raising?

Is this linked to that study about menopause in the workplace?

If you want employees to be aware of their colleagues' menopausal struggles in the office, then "vaginal dryness" does seem a bit off-point.

Sexnotgender · 30/04/2019 09:42

Why is it relevant to your place of work?

SandAndSeals · 30/04/2019 09:44

It had been raised in the Women’s network that a Menopause policy was required and many managers (men in particular) are clueless of the symptoms and haven’t been showing any understanding.

There’s a mention in the email of more guidance coming soon, so I presume they are looking into a potential policy or awareness sessions.

Or workplace regularly run awareness sessions on events when they are asked for - I mentioned prostrate cancer as there was awareness emails and sessions arranged w couple of years ago

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GallopingGreen · 30/04/2019 09:44

It does seem like an odd email to send out... not sure why it is relevant to the workplace.

TheOrigRightsofwomen · 30/04/2019 09:45

I've got no problem with all those symptoms being discussed per se, but I am wondering why it's relevant to the workplace.

Sexnotgender · 30/04/2019 09:46

I’m not sure I would require my manager Male or female to make allowances for my vaginal drynessConfused

OldUnit · 30/04/2019 09:46

I'm one of only two women in our whole engineering workplace (150 strong). Not sure I would welcome it tbh. Plus, honestly, it sounds a bit of a wanky 'box ticking' exercise.

Happynow001 · 30/04/2019 09:47

Dies your company have an intranet site which they could have referred staff to, instead of sending a bulk email around? Then people could choose whether or not they wanted to read this (and, I suppose, similar articles)?

Hotterthanahotthing · 30/04/2019 09:47

As a menopausal woman vaginal dryness is an important issue.If you've had it you'll know how uncomfortable it is,it is not just loss of lubrication during sex.

TheOrigRightsofwomen · 30/04/2019 09:47

I really, really don't need my male manager to show any level of understanding of the dryness (or otherwise) of my vagina.

Where would you draw the line? I haven't had sex for years (single and not ready for a partner). I could certainly do with a good shag, but I don't think my manager needs to know that.

feduuup · 30/04/2019 09:47

I know nothing about menopause, only little bits now as my mum is going through it, it's an even more taboo topic than periods. Let's talk about it, we're all human, it affects 50% of us and let's grow up, pearl clutching at vaginal dryness is pathetic. I guess my only concern is if people start making jokes about it making some women uncomfortable.

SamStephens · 30/04/2019 09:47

When you say managers are clueless to symptoms etc do you mean in clients or colleagues? I’m not sure it’s relevant for male colleagues to spot the signs and symptoms of menopause in their female colleagues surely? And if so, surely they’d have zero of awareness of Shirley sitting next to them experiencing vaginal dryness? Odd..

ShirleyPhallus · 30/04/2019 09:47

I think this is an inappropriate email to send

If male managers need to be aware of menopause symptoms they certainly don’t need to know about vaginal dryness. What’s the point? Will they be inspecting their colleague’s knickers each day to check?

GallopingGreen · 30/04/2019 09:48

If it's for mainly male managers to show understanding, then yes I'd agree that those symptoms are not necessary to be listed- as it would never affect your work. You could also have simply attached a link to NHS info page for more details if they wanted to educate themselves more fully.

TixieLix · 30/04/2019 09:48

If the email is written tastefully and is part of an awareness campaign then I'd be fine with all symptoms being listed. It's not as though the symptoms won't happen if they're not talked about. The more these things are talked about and accepted as normal, the sooner they become less taboo and won't be deemed embarrassing.

Hopefully your company is focusing on both male and female health matters so that employees can learn more about not only their own health but things that may affect their family/friends/colleagues too to help them be more understanding and accepting.

RubberTreePlant · 30/04/2019 09:48

I’m not sure I would require my manager Male or female to make allowances for my vaginal dryness

Quite Grin

SandAndSeals · 30/04/2019 09:48

Just to clarify, the emails do go out to all colleagues but they are dedicated ‘health and well-being’ emails. We get newsletters every month (or two) and they also include a selection of health topics. I think you can opt out of receiving.

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S1naidSucks · 30/04/2019 09:49

Awareness of issues are often raised in work. I don’t know why so posters are confused about this. I’m just surprised you haven’t been reported for using the word women. It’s practically a swear word now, when it comes to women’s issues. 😁

WitsEnding · 30/04/2019 09:49

I went through the menopause at work in a mixed office, and later attended external awareness training. IMO if the email is to raise awareness of managers and colleagues of the possible adjustments that need to be made, it's not appropriate to mentions vaginal dryness. It might be appropriate to mention frequent urination and the need for extra loo breaks.

I've heard men in my office speculating about the effect of vaginal delivery on their colleagues, assuming we all have piles and incontinence. Glad I never had to hear their views on menopause.

ShirleyPhallus · 30/04/2019 09:49

surely they’d have zero of awareness of Shirley sitting next to them experiencing vaginal dryness?

I can confirm I currently have no issues with vaginal dryness Grin

ZeroFuchsGiven · 30/04/2019 09:49

What on earth is a Menopause policy? I'm confused why would you need one?

TheOrigRightsofwomen · 30/04/2019 09:49

I'm probably quite fortunate though - my (female) senior manager and I had a brief chat about peri-menopause while waiting for the lift with two of our male colleagues.

No one blushed or looked uncomfortable.

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