Gentlemen, although menopause can disrupt your daily life, it affects your spouse's even more. We are debunking the myths about menopause for you.
THE DIFFERENT FACETS OF MENOPAUSE
Menopause is defined as the irreversible cessation of ovarian function, the organs essential to reproduction. Egg production ceases following a decrease in hormones (oestrogen and progesterone). Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, with an average age of 51.
As each woman is unique, menopause can be experienced many different ways. Thus, the impact of these changes on a couple's life or family largely varies from one woman to another. This is especially true if menopause coincides with events such as children leaving home or changes at work. Menopause is not a medical condition, but rather an inevitable stage in a woman's life.
THE IMPACT ON PHYSICAL HEALTH
Menopause can affect various aspects of a woman's health and life, including causing these physical symptoms:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- weight gain
- urinary difficulties
- fatigue, and
- vaginal dryness
Encourage your spouse to see a healthcare professional if she experiences these types of symptoms.
THE IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH
Sleep quality is often compromised during menopause. Insomnia is a common problem and lack of rest can contribute to these other typical symptoms:
- mood swings
- difficulty concentrating, and
- memory loss
Be understanding and considerate of your partner, without systematically blaming menopause. Also, it is often advisable to consult a doctor to make sure that the symptoms are really attributable to menopause and not to a more serious health problem.
THE IMPACT ON SEXUAL HEALTH
Because of the decrease in hormones, one of the aspects most affected by menopause is sexuality. It is well known that many women have to deal with the following effects:
- vaginal dryness
- pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse
- decreased libido, and
- difficulty reaching orgasm
For some women, not having their period and not having to worry about birth control can have a positive impact on their sexual health, while for others, the symptoms associated with menopause create some issues. Remember that even if she is experiencing sexual difficulties, every woman needs to feel beautiful, loved and wanted. Showing tenderness and affection can be beneficial to both you and her.
SUPPORT FROM THE SPOUSE
As a man, it can be normal to feel helpless or confused about the changes your partner is experiencing as a result of menopause. Don't worry, this is normal and common. Encourage her to see her doctor. In many cases, treatment is possible to reduce symptoms.
Here are some tips to help you and your partner through this transition.
- Open up a dialogue. In a partnership, the needs of each person must be expressed and recognized in order to nurture the relationship. Share your worries, concerns, and wishes, and encourage your spouse to do the same.
- Listen. Women like to feel listened to and understood. An attentive and caring ear will be viewed as a gift by your spouse.
- Learn more. Being well-informed about menopause and understanding its complexities will help you to step back and better react to the situations that will arise.
A relationship is richer when there is support, affection, and reciprocity. Humour and kindness sometimes help put things into perspective!
Remember that your pharmacist is always there to help you and to answer your questions when it comes to health and medication issues!