Impact on Productivity and Careers


Miranda Bryant has always been organized and efficient at work. But four years ago when she transitioned to a new role at the global health research institute where she had worked for several years, she suddenly found herself struggling to stay on top of her assignments.

Before weekly meetings with a much-younger female supervisor, the 57-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota, organized her laptop to highlight recent accomplishments and upcoming action items. But during the meetings, Bryant would scramble to find the information. Then, when her institute went virtual during the pandemic, she began to experience anxiety, so she took a monthlong medical leave. When she returned, her boss fired her.

In retrospect, Bryant realizes her mental health symptoms largely resulted from perimenopause. “At the time, I wasn’t connecting the dots to my shifting hormones,” she says. She saw the link clearly only after other perimenopause symptoms appeared, including insomnia, joint pain, and headaches, and once her periods stopped altogether.

Menopause Symptoms Affect Productivity, Absenteeism, and Women’s Careers

Bryant isn’t unique at having menopausal symptoms clash with the work environment. “The physiologic changes associated with menopause occurs at one of the most important times in the careers and work lives of women,” says Makeba Williams, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.


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