For many women, menopause is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms triggered by the flux in hormonal levels. Not many men understand menopause, but it is important for them to learn about menopause and its symptoms in order to be able to support their life partners through this transition. So my girlfriends helped me put this list of top 8 facts we want our partners to know about menopause.
1. Menopause does not happen overnight
Women who have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months enter menopause. Perimenopause or menopause transition, happens gradually over time and can last up to several years. During perimenopause hormones are in a state of flux causing symptoms that are frustrating, annoying, confusing and distressing. Perimenopause usually starts in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier and continues until menopause.
2. It is different for every woman
No two women are the same and every woman experiences menopause differently. When men learn about menopausal symptoms and women’s attitudes toward menopause, they should understand that their partner may have a different outlook on menstrual cycle and a different comfort level with their body. Some women may experience no physical or physiological changes, while for others symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with their daily lives. Communicating with your partner is the key to understanding how she is coping with the transition and learning how to help.
3. Women have mood swings because of hormonal changes
When women go through hormonal changes during menopause, they may experience severe mood swings and make hurtful comments to their partner. Understand that these are hormonal fluctuations and not necessarily feelings of anger. Sometimes, women may develop symptoms of anxiety and depression when they go through menopause, so they need emotional support and understanding from their loving partner.
4. Some symptoms of menopause may be difficult to manage
Many physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, depression, forgetfulness, headaches, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms, may be difficult to manage. They can come out of nowhere and last for a while. Some women’s menopause symptoms become so severe that they opt for hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) to cope better.
5. Women’s physical appearance may change during menopause
Menopause brings about some unwanted changes in physical appearance, including weight gain, especially in abdominal area, and changes in hair and skin. Such changes can have a negative effect on woman’s self-esteem and how she views her body. Some women can become self-conscious and feel very unattractive and unlovable. Women who hold a positive body image can withstand the changes to their body and find it easier to cope, than women with low self-esteem.
6. Sex drive is not the same during menopause
Women want their partners to know that lowering of oestrogen levels results in vaginal dryness. When this happens, women can experience pain during sex without having enough natural lubricant. In sexually active couples, this can leave a partner unsatisfied and unwanted, if they are not aware about this menopausal symptom, so communication is the key to keep enjoying a happy and fulfilling sex life.
7. Some women become very stressed in menopause
Stress level of a woman in menopause depends on many factors, such as her health, the amount of stress in everyday activities, emotional support and relationships, body image, and fulfillment of dreams and goals in life. Quality of life for a woman may be compromised during menopause, because apart from usual stresses of her daily activities, she also experiences hormonal instability and resulting menopausal symptoms. When a woman’s physical, physiological, or emotional condition is negatively impacted by menopause, she can develop feelings of anxiety, sadness and fear.
8. Women want their feelings validated
Women do not want their partners to dismiss their symptoms and feelings as something unimportant or even imaginary. They also do not want their partner to tell them that the symptoms depend on their state of mind and will go away once they change their outlook on life. While stress-related symptoms can ease through practicing mind-body techniques like meditation and breathing exercises, all the menopausal symptoms are very real and are not figments of her mind.
♥Women do not need their partners to be experts in menopause, but they should be willing to learn more about the transition, its symptoms and the impact of those symptoms
♥Communicating with your partner and sharing books or articles that explain menopause will be helpful in strengthening relationships
♥Women want to know that their partners care for them and care about them, and this includes discussing all aspects of menopause willingly and sympathetically
So ladies, let’s now talk.
What is the most important information you want your man to know about menopause?
With love and gratitude