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What Every Man Needs to Know About Menopause

Men, it's time to understand perimenopause and menopause. Learn about the key symptoms, physical, emotional, and mental impacts, and how these can affect your relationship with your wife. With data...

Gentleman, welcome. We are thrilled that you want to better understand the Menopause transition and how this is (or will) impact your wife's well being. Perhaps you have noticed some changes in your wife's behavior or she flat-out sent you this article as homework to read. Either way, good on you for doing this and don’t worry, in about 3- 5 min you will have a good basic understanding of what is happening.  


What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman's reproductive years. When a woman no longer has a period for 12 consecutive months she has reached Menopause, and she can no longer have children. Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 44 and 52, but it can occur earlier or later depending on a variety of factors. It's important to understand that menopause is not a disease or a condition that needs to be treated, but rather a natural transition that every woman goes through. As a man, it's important to be aware of what menopause is and how it may impact the women in your life, whether it's your wife, sister, mother, or friend so that you can support them through this challenging time. We can almost hear you think “wait, why would this be challenging?” - allow us to explain:


  • Its starts with perimenopause
  • The phase leading up to Menopause is called “perimenopause” - it is a time of transition that can last anywhere from a few months to several years. During this time, a woman's estrogen levels start to fluctuate and steeply decline (from 100% to <1% by menopause to be exact), which can cause 40 (!) different physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. And you guessed it - none of these symptoms are pleasant and many require some type of treatment to make it more manageable. We’ll give you an overview of the most common symptoms in the next section.


    Quick recap:

    • Perimenopause is the transitional period before menopause where a woman's body starts to produce less estrogen and she starts experiencing symptoms 
    • Menopause is the point in time where a woman hasn't had a period for 12 months.
    • Post-menopause is the period after menopause.


  • Stigma and taboo 
  • In India, there is a cultural stigma attached to menopause, which can make it difficult for women to openly discuss their symptoms and seek medical help. Menopause is often seen as a taboo topic, and many women may feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it with family members, friends, or healthcare providers. This stigma can be particularly challenging for women who are experiencing significant physical or emotional symptoms of menopause and need support and medical care. 


    It's important to break down these cultural stigmas and create a more open and supportive environment for women going through menopause. This can include increasing awareness and education about menopause, encouraging women to speak openly about their symptoms and experiences, and providing access to medical care and support services. By breaking down these stigmas, women can feel more empowered to take control of their health and well-being during this transitional phase of life.



    Key Symptoms

    Now that we know the different stages of Menopause - let's talk about the key symptoms. The most common symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, brain fog, trouble sleeping, dry skin, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido. These symptoms can have a big impact on a woman's physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It’s pretty much an uncomfortable affair all around, and it can significantly impact a woman’s happiness. 


    Physical Impact - Hot flashes and night sweats can be very uncomfortable and disruptive to sleep. They can also cause fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate during the day. Vaginal dryness can make sex painful (use lubricant!) and increase the risk of infections. Loss of libido can also be a concern for both partners. Women may also experience changes in their menstrual cycles, such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding, or spotting. Additionally, menopause can cause changes in skin and hair, and it will lead to weight gain (particularly in her abdominal area). 


    Emotional Impact - Mood swings, anxiety, depressive thoughts and irritability are very common during perimenopause and menopause. For her and your sake it's important to be understanding and supportive during these emotional ups and downs.


    Mental Impact -  The hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause and menopause can also have an impact on cognitive function. Women may experience forgetfulness (brain fog) or difficulty with concentration and focus.


    How common are these symptoms and how long do they last?

    It's important to note that every woman's experience with perimenopause and menopause is different. Some women may have mild symptoms while others may experience more severe symptoms. In India, studies have shown that approximately 80% of women experience hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause and menopause. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Other symptoms such as vaginal dryness, dry skin, and joint & muscle may last for the remainder of her life. Overall a staggering 80% of women have symptoms that significantly impact her life for several years.


    Impact on Relationships

    Lastly, let's talk about how these symptoms may impact your relationship with your wife. It's important to remember that your wife is going through a lot of physical and emotional changes during this time. She may need extra support and understanding from you. It's important to communicate openly and honestly with each other about how you're feeling and what you need. If you want to know how you can support your partner during this time - click here. 



    Key takeaway

    In conclusion, the menopause transition is a challenging time for women. It's important to be aware of the key symptoms, their impact on physical, emotional, and mental well-being, and how they may impact your relationship. With a little understanding and support, you can help your wife and other women in your life navigate through this transitional period.

    FAQ

    Frequently asked question by Women Like You

    Should I let my wife know if she is gaining weight?

    If you've read the preceding article, you now know that weight-gain is a known part of this phase and not necessarily something that is easy for her to control. And, if you have noticed it, know for sure that your wife has as well. So, if you do bring this up with her, talk to her about it from a space of providing support - asking her what you could to help her in this challenging time, beyond weight concerns and reassure her that she is as attractive as when you first met.

    Are these symptoms really that serious, I mean I never heard my mom or other women talk about this?

    Unfortunately there is a strong cultural stigma attached to menopause, which can make it difficult for women to openly discuss their symptoms and seek medical help. Menopause is often seen as a taboo topic, and many women may feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it with family members, friends, or healthcare providers. This stigma can be particularly challenging for women who are experiencing significant physical or emotional symptoms of menopause and need support and medical care. If you take away one thing from this article let it be this: just because a woman (or really anyone) isn’t talking to you about their hardships does not mean that they’re not facing them.

    Does every woman experience menopause?

    Yes 100% of women will go through the natural hormonal transition that is Menopause. At least 80% of women will experience symptoms that significantly impact her life in a negative way.

    Is Menopause a disease and should it be treated?

    No, Menopause itself is not a disease and it should not be treated or cured. However, the symptoms that it causes can and should be treated for a woman to keep quality of life and help achieve healthy longevity in the long-term. Look at it this way: Menopause is in essence reproductive aging, so asking if it is a disease is the equivalent of wondering if the natural aging you are experiencing over the course of your life is a disease. The answer to that is also no, but the symptoms that you may experience because of it can certainly be treated if you want to.

    Sources used

    Sources we have used to base the content of this article on.

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