What Men Should Know about Menopause
Menopause is not only about the end of your periods. Hormones fluctuate during this time, and it can be tough and challenging for women, both in terms of physical and emotional symptoms. Any woman who goes through menopause has symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and vaginal health problems, to a larger or lesser degree. You will seldom see the words men and menopause in the same sentence, but men could take an active role in helping alleviate this transition for women. Men cannot really understand all the challenges of menopause, but they can show their partner support by asking questions and offering patience.
What Men Can Do for Their Partner in Menopause
Many women are as clueless about menopause as men are. Only when they are entering this transition, they understand the symptoms and challenges that come with it. Their shifting hormones are also not helping, affecting their mood and also, often, others around them. Supporting your partner in menopause is important because this way, she will feel loved and find it easier to go through menopause. In fact, even research shows that women are happier in their marriage when their partners are educated about menopause (1). Here are some ways men can show their support.
Women who go through menopause are often very insecure about their body images. This happens because of the changes in their bodies, thanks to lower estrogen levels. Especially if women are negative toward menopause in general, their body image suffers even more (2). She may have gained weight around her belly, and every time she looks at herself in the mirror, she feels less attractive than she was before menopause.
And even if her sex drive is lowered, she still can feel like she is not wanted, simply because she does not look the same way. But this is not true, so tell her. Compliment her, remind her how much you love her, and spend more time together. This will strengthen your relationship and also make your partner more comfortable with her symptoms.
Be Ready for Low Sex Drive
Women who go through menopause might want to have less sex. But that is not because they are not attracted to their partner. Low libido is a typical result of estrogen decline. Apart from that, many women may experience vaginal health issues like frequent infections and vaginal dryness. As a result, sex, in turn, becomes difficult for a woman.
The way to support her through it is by being patient. Maybe she is not in the mood today, but just leave it at that – do not press the issue. Women also feel better emotionally if they feel like you are on their side. Once the menopause symptoms become less severe, the sex drive will return.
Prepare for Mood Swings
Mood swings are tough to handle. As levels of female hormones slowly decline, your partner is very likely to have mood swings. Apart from that, she might also develop insomnia, which only adds to the crabby mood. Waking up in the middle of the night because of night sweats and not being able to fall asleep for hours after is no joke. And when you do not get enough sleep, it is hard to be able to function normally during the day.
The worst part is that mood swings are a very emotional symptom, so it may often seem like it just comes from nowhere. But it is very real. So next time your partner is angry because you have done some little thing wrong, do not take it to heart. There is not much you can do about the mood swings except for giving your partner some space to cool down. She will feel apologetic if you fight over a simple matter, so do not let it get that far.
Root for Your Relationship
If your partner is going through menopause, this does not mean your relationship is in trouble, or even over. Embracing these changes and learning how to adjust to them is a natural step in this process of life. Couples have survived through menopause before you, and they will continue doing so long after. Every relationship has different stages, so maybe this is the perfect time for yours to transform into something stronger and more emotional.
The most important part here is to communicate with each other. Your partner might feel very insecure talking about her symptoms. But you should make her feel comfortable, letting her know that she can always rely on you. It is important to be understanding and show support at this period. Of course, the more men know about menopause, the more they will be able to help their partner go through it. So asking questions and trying to understand her emotions and feelings could also help to show that you care.
Going Beyond What Men Should Know about Menopause
Everything in our bodies is interconnected. And recently, studies have shown that there is a link between our digestive systems and overall health. In menopause, this link seems to be particularly important because manipulating gut microbiome appears to help improve menopause symptoms. As a result, more studies look into the effect of probiotics and prebiotics used for preventing and treating diseases related to menopause (3).
MenoLabs knows about the specific needs of women in menopause. That is why we have created a line of probiotic supplements to help women find relief from their symptoms. Taking a probiotic supplement every day could help improve the bacterial balance in the digestive system and have a positive effect on a woman’s overall health. Treating hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and low sex drive is a big step on the way to feeling better and living healthier in menopause.
(1) Nooshin Yoshany et al. “The Effect of Husbands’ Education Regarding Menopausal Health on Marital Satisfaction of Their Wives.”
(3) Angelica Vieira et al. “Influence of Oral and Gut Microbiota in the Health of Menopausal Women.”