Inquiry to examine wide-ranging impacts of menopause

Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

The economic, physical, mental and financial impacts of menopause will come under the microscope of a new inquiry.

The Senate will next week support a Greens motion to set up an inquiry, reporting in September next year, to examine menopause and perimenopause.

Menopause happens between the ages of 45-60, and perimenopause - which precedes it - can last for up to 10 years and begin in women aged in their 30s.

"People experiencing physically and mentally debilitating menopause and perimenopause symptoms have for too long been forced to suffer in silence," Greens Senate leader Larissa Waters said.

"Women are sick of being invisible and their health needs neglected. We need good policy to address the economic, social and health impacts of peri and menopause."

Health symptoms can range from mild to extremely severe, while the financial impact can be profound.

In May, a study found Australian women could be collectively short-changed in retirement to the tune of $15.2 billion a year.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees' estimate took into account the impact untreated or severe menopause symptoms can have on women, including not seeking promotions, going part-time or taking early retirement.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has been urging employers to include paid menstrual and menopause leave arrangements in the workplace and wants more national research.

Senator Waters said the committee would invite submissions from women, health professionals, employers and experts about what federal funding and policies are needed.