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News Every Day |

I save marriages as a menopause coach – men thank me, and I even convinced two kids their mother didn’t hate them

AFTER mistaking her perimenopause for dementia, one woman is challenging workplaces to be more inclusive about “the change.”

Lauren Chiren came out of the other side of an emotional to become a menopause coach, telling The U.S. Sun that men now credit her for saving their marriages.

Courtesy of Lauren Chiren
Menopause coach Lauren Chiren is out here saving marriages and starting a dialogue[/caption]
Courtesy of Lauren Chiren
She shared how she navigated the change of life with The U.S. Sun[/caption]

Hailed as the United Kingdom’s leading menopause trainer and educator, Chiren, 55, is a motivational speaker and founder of Women of a Certain Stage.

But she wasn’t always an expert on the subject.

She previously told The U.S. Sun how, at age 42, she was so sure she had early-onset dementia that she quit her job as a senior leader in financial services.

By the time a doctor told her it was just menopause, she was more relieved than anything else.

“I was the happiest menopausal woman in the whole of the UK,” she joked.

The experience led her to educate others, and her work now focuses on teaching employers to be menopause-supportive.

She encourages them to aid high performers in managing their hormonal changes, including menopause and menstruation.

“I don’t think people even thought about menopause. I don’t think anyone has ever given any consideration to women in the workplace, especially my generation,” she explained.

According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 1.3 million women become menopausal each year in the United States. 

RELATIONSHIP REPAIR

Chiren discussed the transformative power of coaching on personal growth and relationships and shared testimonials from clients who have benefited from their coaching.

“When I’m doing sessions with men, they will normally turn around and just say, ‘I think you saved my marriage,'” she said.

A chance encounter with a male attendee at a “lunch and learn” event still sticks with her to this day.

He admitted that he was planning on divorcing his second wife because she no longer wanted to be intimate with him.

After listening to Chiren speak, that man understood that his wife’s feelings had nothing to do with him.

He learned that she was going through symptoms of menopause — in this case, loss of sex drive.

“Every year on the anniversary of that talk, he sends me an email to tell me how amazing his relationship is,” Chiren said.

During another educational talk about menopause, she noticed two young people stand up and walk out after it looked like they burst into tears.

“They were 22-year-old twins. It turns out that they’ve run out on their mom. They left home at 15 thinking their mother hated them,” she explained.

They revealed that she turned from being the most loving, adoring mother to being really what they felt was someone who didn’t want them in the house.

The pair reconnected with her when they realized that what she was going through was menopause.

Thanks to Chiren’s presentation, the whole family was brought back together after seven years.

SLUGGISH SIGNS

Chiren shared how menopause became the focus of her professional career and personal life.

It all started around 2013 when she stepped into a senior role at work but started to experience strange symptoms.

My throat was so tight with anxiety that I couldn’t get a word out.

Lauren Chiren

“I would be in a meeting where it’s predominately men and I am the only female and I would have to sip hot water to relax my throat enough to speak,” she said.

“My throat was so tight with anxiety that I couldn’t get a word out.”

Another time, she couldn’t remember important details about a woman she hired and worked with for years.

She had a major lightbulb switch moment when she came home from work — and almost immediately went back.

“I got home from work, put my briefcase and my backpack down for a training kit, and said hi to everyone,” she said.

“[Then I] apparently picked my stuff up and then said bye.

“That was a moment I kind of went, ‘Oh, something’s definitely not right.'”

She works as an educator and speaks about starting a dialogue about feminine concerns
Instagram/themenopausecoach

FINAL STRAW

Not long after that experience, she had a meeting with her boss that made her “seriously think about making some changes.”

He told her, “You’re walking around this place as if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

Chiren realized she’d lost her confidence and felt isolated.

I realized how little research there really is on menopause. And what we do have is for upper-socioeconomic, Caucasian women.

Lauren Chiren

“I didn’t want to be seen as weak and vulnerable. I didn’t know it was menopause, but regardless, I had no one to talk to,” she admitted.

“If the company had been talking about menopause, maybe I wouldn’t have left. Maybe I would have felt safe and supported.”

Chiren ultimately quit her job thinking she had early-onset dementia, so she scheduled three doctor’s appointments to confirm the suspicion.

The third one told her the truth: it was premature menopause.

Courtesy of Lauren Chiren
She originally thought her premature menopause symptoms were signs of dementia[/caption]

“I remember looking at my daughter’s eyes and just saying, ‘I have to stop any other employer from losing valuable team members because they’re not talking about menopause,'” Chiren said.

MENSES-MINDSET

Chiren made it a priority to educate herself and others about the hormonal change, and the importance of workplace support.

“I realized how little research there really is on menopause. And what we do have is for upper-socioeconomic, Caucasian women,” she said.

“If you’re not wealthy and white, you’re pretty much not going to know anything about menopause. And that, for me was a real shocker.”

Her career shift started with learning, reaching out to experts, sharing that knowledge, and bringing people together in what she called medical socials.

Feeling seen and heard is solving half the problem.

Lauren Chiren

“We talked about everything from you know loss of libido and the impact on relationships,” she added.

“Then I had a sexual health and pleasure expert get in touch with me and talk to him about what we can do in that department.”

She didn’t want to be a spokesperson but rather wanted to look at the science behind it all.

“That was when we started bigger conversations and more lobbying,” she explained.

“It’s about making a cultural change in businesses. It’s not about doing a lunch and learn or ticking the menopause box.”

COMPANY CHANGES

Chiren said the most important thing any company can do is once a month or every few weeks, allow people who are curious about menopause to come together and just talk.

“Feeling seen and heard is solving half the problem,” she said.

She highlighted a need for employers to address menstrual health and menopause.

“It wasn’t until menopause stole the rug from under my feet that I went, ‘Oh my god. What about people who have problematic pregnancies or miscarriages or endometriosis or PMDD?'” she said.

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

She credited her experiences to what “opened her eyes” to all of the things that are not accommodating to women in the workplace.

For example, if a woman is using a menstrual cup, she has to walk out of a cubicle and then walk into a communal area and rinse it out in front of everybody.

Whether we like it or not, Chiren said the majority of women still do their traditional female jobs around the house on top of working.

To make workplaces more accessible for feminine needs, Chiren offered several suggestions, like uniforms made of breathable materials that aren’t tight-fitting.

“Maybe having a flag on your HR system so that if someone is off with menstrual leave problems or menopause leave issues are recorded,” she explained.

“Companies actually get metrics that they can then use those metrics to address the issues that are causing people to be off and actually make continual improvements.”

Instagram/themenopausecoach
Chiren thinks HR companies should keep a log of menstrual or menopause-related sick days[/caption]
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