Follow us

Holland & Barrett develops first official BSL guide for the menopause

Sophie Smith
14 May 2024

Holland & Barrett has created the first agreed British Sign Language resource for women experiencing the menopause.

The resources have been developed with My Menopause Centre and BID Services, a UK-based charity specialising in enabling and empowering people with sensory impairments.

It has been designed by the D/deaf community, for the Deaf community, helping them to "better understand the menopause, symptoms and treatment options, as well as communicate even more effectively with their healthcare providers".

Hosted on the H&B Menopause Hub, the resources include Frequently Asked Questions and videos explaining the different terms people will come across when they start their menopause journey, as well as common symptoms, healthcare and lifestyle advice, all using an aligned set of signs to explain the terms.

There are around 188,000 people who use BSL as their first language in the UK, with the majority being under 55, and 49% female.

However, 60% of D/deaf women do not have sufficient access to menopause health information in BSL, according to a study by the University of Wolverhampton.

More than half of D/deaf women (55%) are also not aware that the symptoms they are experiencing could be attributed to the menopause, and 90% of D/deaf women have revealed they have no awareness of treatment options, the research found.

Lina Chan, Director of Women’s Health, Holland & Barrett, said: "One of our key missions at Holland & Barrett is to support women and their individual health journeys. Through our recently launched Women’s Wellness Commitment we are committed to increasing equity of access to information and services to all women.

"After focus groups with D/deaf women it was clear that it wasn’t enough to have interpreted content and there needed to be a deeper and tailored glossary of BSL signs around menopause that explain the signs and meaning. We are delighted to be working with My Menopause Centre and BID Services to be able to provide this guidance and to continue our work to increase accessibility for all women to support their unique menopause needs."

It comes after Holland & Barrett strengthened its commitment to women’s health, having recently launched a new wellness campaign to raise awareness around issues such as menopause and endometriosis.

As part of this, the high street retailer has trained over 600 employees to become women’s health coaches, who will offer personalised support on the menstrual cycle, menopause and hormonal health.

Free NewsletterVISIT