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Menopause and Men: A Heartfelt Letter To My Male Partner


Dear You,

I need to talk to you about something I’m going through. It’s called menopause. And it’s making me experience all sorts of symptoms like hot flushes, night sweats and a lack of sexual desire.

It’s also making me feel irritable at best and rage at worst as well as depressed and anxious. I’ve been researching and learning all about it and there are 34 recognised symptoms.

You might have also noticed I’ve put on weight especially around my belly and it’s making me feel awful. Far from sexy. In fact, I feel miles away from my usual confident, happy self. It’s confusing and quite scary.

Can I ask you to bear with me while I struggle with this? I know you might feel uncomfortable talking about menopause but I’d appreciate it if you’d communicate with me about it. Perhaps even learn with me.

Maybe we could start walking together or going on date nights? I still welcome all the hugs you can give me. Do you know I need your love and support more than ever right now? And if you want to give me a nudge and point out if I’m behaving a bit out of character that would be OK too.

So far, I’ve learned this could last for several years and a lot of what I’m experiencing is common. I’ve also found some wonderful tools to help me including lots of reading material like this.

Thanks for listening. I felt it was better to give you a short explanation rather than have you wondering what was going on with me.

Love Always, Me. xxx

Men & Menopause

Menopause can be a rough time for many women. We know this. It’s a fact. But what about menopause and men? It can also be a challenging period of time for male partners.

In researching this story, I came across many comments from hurting men. Indeed, a lot of them said they’d loved their wife for 20 or 30 years but she’d disappeared due to menopause. They reported smart remarks, flying tempers and even abandonment. Yep, their wives packed up and moved out and they felt lost. What’s more, the majority of them sounded bewildered.

While there have been various studies about women and how they deal with menopause, few look into the male side of things. According to The Journal of The North American Menopause Society a couple of small Turkish studies showed men knew little about menopause but had a positive attitude towards it.

The Men’s Perception and Attitudes Toward Menopause (MATE) survey conducted in 2019 was a larger undertaking. Most of the men were aged 50-69, married and living with their female partner. As a result, researchers learned they were aware of their SO’s sleeping difficulties (54%) and a lack of energy (49%) which they attributed to menopause (26%) or ageing (22%).

They also felt that their partner’s symptoms negatively impacted them (77%), their partners (70%) and their relationships (56%). And 72 percent of them engaged in discussions about menopause with their partners.

5 Ways To Deal With Your Partner’s Menopause

Experts agree:
  1. Speak with her not to her
  2. Validate her feelings
  3. Get educated
  4. Be understanding – it’s not you, it’s her hormones
  5. Don’t make fun of the situation
These are just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling. Because if your female partner is experiencing a plethora of symptoms she will appreciate your love and care.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.