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Menopause coach Adele Johnston talks about how to bring men into the menopause conversation and why it’s important.
I was 37 years old and ready to leave my husband because of early perimenopause. Three years later our relationsihp was stronger than ever because he learned menopause affects everyone, including men.
Although menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, which marks the end of her reproductive years and often comes with a variety of physical, emotional and psychological changes, it’s perimenopause that shakes everything up and that can happen at any age. The youngest person going through it that I’ve met was just 13 years old when she received the devastating news that she was post menopausal. This is not an age specific time in a woman’s life and it’s important men understand more.
By bringing men into the conversation we can foster understanding, empathy and support, ultimately promoting better health and relationships for everyone. Menopause doesn’t just impact the woman experiencing symptoms, it also impacts her family and relationships too.
Here’s a few suggestions to improve the menopause conversation:
It’s not merely a biological event; it’s a significant life transition that impacts 100% of women (born female) but also their partners, families and careers. Engaging men in conversations about menopause helps grasp the multifaceted nature of this life phase. Knowledge about the physiological changes, emotional challenges and potential health implications empowers men to offer informed support, and at the very least, have an awareness of what’s happening. That’s powerful. You can follow The Menopause Coach podcast, weekly episodes and will help you with this.
Hot flushes, fatigue and mood swings and emotional changes like anxiety and depression may be the most associated with menopause symptoms, but what about the dozens more that aren’t widely known like health anxiety, vaginal soreness, lost confidence…?
When men are aware of these challenges, they can better understand and empathise with their partners, offering the emotional support crucial for navigating this journey without relationship breakdowns. Empathy has the power to strengthen relationships, foster better communication and prevent feelings of isolation. When your partner’s body is going through debilitating changes which mean she doesn’t know who she is anymore, intimacy will be the last
thing on her mind, but with your support this can be easier.
Men need to feel comfortable discussing menopause-related concerns. This allows couples to work together to find effective solutions. This isn’t a disease or illness after all. This open dialogue can lead to shared decision-making on healthcare choices, lifestyle adjustments and emotional well-being. Speak to your partner and let her know you’re there.
By including men in conversations, we dispel myths and provide accurate information. This, in turn, enhances societal attitudes towards menopause and women’s health in general. Men can become advocates for debunking myths, contributing to a more educated and supportive community. Making Menopause Mainstream is the goal. Follow The.Menopause Coach on Instagram for easy-to-follow information.
By including men, we break away from this notion and acknowledge that menopause affects not just women but everyone around them. This inclusivity fosters an environment where all genders can support each other’s health and well-being. When your partner has a sleepless night because of her menopause symptoms, you may also be having a sleepless night.
Menopause can bring about health risks like osteoporosis (one in two post menopausal women will develop it) and cardiovascular disease (there’s a 50% greater risk after menopause) as a result of lowering oestrogen levels. When men understand these risks, they can encourage their partners to seek early interventions and prioritise their health. Talk about health enhancements together.
Menopause can strain relationships if not handled with care. Engaging men in discussions about menopause equips them with the tools to navigate this phase effectively, promoting resilient and understanding partnerships. When both partners are knowledgeable and empathetic, they can face challenges together, emerging stronger on the other side. This is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship through the art of communication.
Menopause doesn’t just impact personal relationships; it also affects the workplace. Including men in the conversation can encourage employers to provide better support for employees going through menopause. This leads to increased productivity, job satisfaction and a more inclusive work environment for all genders. Are you a workplace leader? Could
you benefit from awareness around menopause in the workplace? Ask me how you can bring this impactfully into your organisation.
By involving men in the menopause conversation today, we set the stage for future generations. When young boys grow up in an environment where menopause is openly discussed and normalised, they are more likely to approach women’s health with empathy and understanding. This cycle of open dialogue and support paves the way for healthier relationships and societies, making menopause mainstream.
Menopause is a shared experience that impacts not just women but everyone around them, including men. By breaking the silence, we break down stigma, empower individuals and create a more inclusive and supportive world for all genders.
*Adele Johnston is a menopause coach and works with men’s charity Andy’s Man’s Club, teaching men about how menopause affects women so they can better support and understand their partners during this phase of their lives.