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Should children be taught about menopause?

The lingering taboo around menopause and menopause symptoms was discussed during a debate in the House of Commons on World Menopause Day last week (Thursday 18th October), with one MP calling for children to be taught about the subject to help end the taboo for the next generation.

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East and shadow minister for women and equalities and home affairs, suggested that lessons on menopause should be added to the UK school curriculum, so that children are familiar with the topic from a young age.

This could help them to better understand what their female relatives may be going through, with Ms Harris also suggesting that it may help to ensure that menopause “ceases to be a taboo subject or joking matter” in the future.

Nigel Adams MP responded by saying there are opportunities for schools to bring up the topic of menopause, but Ms Harris wants to see it talked about more widely, particularly the impact that menopause could one day have on their lives and relationships.

Currently, this is something that is a huge taboo, with many women feeling uncomfortable discussing menopause symptoms with their family and friends, despite it being a natural process that all women go through.

But by educating people about menopause from a young age, this sense of embarrassment could be ended for the next generation, with girls knowing what will happen to their body, in a similar way to how they are taught about menstruation.

At the same time, boys will learn what is going to happen to the women in their lives, so they’ll be better prepared for dealing with these hormonal changes when the time comes.

Knowing what is going to happen to them could also help women to seek out ways to manage their symptoms from an earlier age.

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