05/21/2014 02:46 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2014

Hot Flash! New Survey Reveals Menopausal Women Are More Open About Symptoms at Work

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Hot flash! Women suffer from menopause at work!

You'd think something experienced by nearly 20 percent of the American workforce (or nearly 27 million people) wouldn't be such be such a taboo topic for us and yet for decades, most women opted to suffer from in silence.

No more. In a new report by the Working Mother Research Institute (WMRI) and Pfizer, we found that more than half (59%) of the 1,500 menopausal women surveyed now say it's acceptable to be open with co-workers about health issues. These women, ages 45-65, had experienced symptoms of menopause in the past year, so we also asked them about the support they receive now at work. All told, 54% say that their colleagues are supportive of them in this stage of life.

So no, the hot flashes, night sweats and fatigue haven't gone away, but feeling that we need to grin and (silently) bear menopause symptoms at work is fading fast. It's a tremendously encouraging sign considering how tough menopause can be. (In the WMRI survey, nearly half the women surveyed report that managing menopausal symptoms is difficult and citing hot flashes, changes in memory and concentration and fatigue due to sleep disturbances as their most common issues.)

So how do we manage? Many menopausal women say they wear layers they can take off and put on at work and keep a fan on their desk, while others say they have made adjustments to their work schedule to help manage their symptoms. (For more tips on how to manage menopausal symptoms, read the full report here.