Nottinghamshire Police have become the first force in the country to introduce a menopause policy, which will include lighter uniforms and flexible working hours.

Keeley Mansell, 42, a detective constable based at Oxclose Lane Police Station in Arnold, took a blood test four years ago, which revealed that she was going through menopause early and it soon started to affect her work.

Nottinghamshire Police adopted recommendations set out by Mrs Mansell last year as part of their guidance for managers.

They decided to implement the policy because so many women were leaving the Force early because of the severity of their symptoms.

She has now helped introduce more support for her female colleagues as a result of this.

The mum-of-two, of Carlton said: “I felt like I lost who I was. I was a very chatty person but I felt like I could not go out anywhere because I lost my confidence.

“I had problems finding the right words, fatigue and a lack of concentration. It can really impact on you, especially if you are in a stressful environment.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks.”

The policy was implemented earlier this month after a ‘Menopause Manager’s Guide’ was written by Detective Constable Mansell.

The news comes after the menopause policy was first introduced in January 2017.

Now, a year on, the guidance is set to be reviewed but she is proud of what has been accomplished and believes that it has been a success.

She added: “Four years ago I had nobody to talk to and renowned female supporting companies like Boots and Virgin Media didn’t help.

“I’m so happy it’s finally implemented, and the aim is to educate more people about the effects of menopause because it can take years to recover from.”

The measures also include easier access to showers for women who are having hot flushes and a breakout room where officers can take five or ten minutes out to relax.

Menopause has been described by those who go through it as puberty in reverse and “like going through dementia”.

The policy had been introduced after former Chief Constable Sue Fish, who retired last year, discovered women were leaving the force after suffering menopausal symptoms.

She said: “It was just a waste of talent. Bringing in a policy was absolutely the right thing to do.”