Menopause and its Effect in the Workplace image of a computer, coffee, phone; depicting woman working.


Dr. Couri delves into the financial consequences of menopause for women in the workplace, uncovering a shocking $1.8 billion in lost working time annually.  The reluctance to discuss menopause openly in the workplace compounds the challenges faced by women. Dr. Couri firmly believes that no woman should experience lost income due to menopause, and she is dedicated to providing personalized services at the Couri Center to help women thrive during this significant life transition. 

As many of you are aware, I am passionate about helping women navigate the physical and psychological changes that accompany them throughout the perimenopause and menopausal transitions.  I feel that menopausal management is a specialty itself within the broader context of Gynecology.  I was recently on my morning walk (a time when I get the most deep thinking done during my day), and it hit me. Although not rocket science, I realized that every single woman on this planet who is fortunate to live long enough will go through menopause.  It spares no one. Fortunately, we cannot say that about heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s, but we can correctly say that if you live long enough, you will face menopause.   And menopause, for many, is a topic that is either shrouded in a lack of understanding or, worse yet, misinformation obtained by either online sources, family or friends, or occasionally the medical establishment.  I recently read a fantastic article in the New York Times entitled, “Women Have Been Misled about Menopause” by Susan Dominus, and it candidly and scientifically untangles the web of confusion and misinformation surrounding this completely natural yet often volatile time in women’s lives. I strongly encourage you to take the time to read this article.


Yet, today, I am going to approach the topic of menopause from a completely different angle – that of its financial consequences to women.  Another NY Times article struck my interest as soon as I saw its headline – “Study Shows the Staggering Cost of Menopause for Women in the Work Force.”  In this article, it is reported, based on a Mayo Clinic study, that menopause costs American women an estimated $1.8 billion in lost working time per year.  Let that figure sink in.  $1.8 billion in lost working time annually due to menopause.  If this was happening to men, there would be an outrage.  I am going to break down the study in more detail so we can fully grasp the significant impact menopause has on women’s lives.


This study examined how the myriad of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, mood swings, difficulty with memory and concentration (brain fog), and more can affect women in the workplace.  This study included over 4,000 women, and what I also found staggering is that the $1.8 billion in lost working time does not include the costs related to reduced work hours, or to the loss of employment or loss of a promotion, early retirement, or changing to a lower paying job. This monetary figure only included paid employment and did not take into consideration the unpaid work that women do such as caregiving, babysitting, or volunteering.


Menopause symptoms do create workplace challenges that may equate to higher levels of lost work productivity, lost days of work, and greater numbers of outpatient medical visits.  There are several studies that show that a higher number of menopause symptoms is directly linked to lower work performance.  Of interest, the study also showed that Black and Hispanic women had higher menopausal symptom scores and reported higher rates of adverse work outcomes related to menopausal symptoms compared to White women.  Adding to the menopausal challenges that women face, the very topic of menopause is not something that is freely talked about socially, let alone in the workplace.  The Mayo Clinic study describes how women often fear bias, discrimination, and stigmatization and are fearful of discussing their menopausal challenges with their employer or supervisor. 


Women play a critical role in the global workforce.  And women often do so while balancing raising children, caring for aging parents, providing childcare for grandchildren, and assisting In volunteerism.  In my opinion, no woman should have to face lost income due to menopause and its challenges.  I have dedicated my life to helping women and am incredibly proud of the services that we offer at the Couri Center, that through a personalized approach, can give women the chance to thrive during menopause.  Nothing makes me happier and more fulfilled than when a patient tells me, “Thanks for giving me my life back.”  


To Your Health, 

Dr. Couri 


DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is current as of the date of publication or last review, but medical knowledge is constantly evolving, and the information may become outdated over time.


Sources Used:

Faubion, S., et al.  Impact of Menopause Symptoms on Women in the Workplace.  Mayo Clinic Proceedings.  2023 Jun;98(6):833-845.

Haridasani Gupta, A.  Study Shows the Staggering Cost of Menopause for Women in the Work Force.  New York Times.  April 28, 2023.

Dominus, S.  Women Have Been Misled about Menopause.  New York Times. February 1, 2023.