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Things women want men to know about menopause

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Men know surprisingly little about menopause. Wouldn’t it be great for women if they were a bit more informed? The whole process isn’t very easy, so a little empathy would help a great deal.

If you have a man in your life who needs a bit of education, feel free to share this post with them! We want more help to realise that the woman in their life isn’t going crazy, she’s just undergoing changes she has little control over.

Here are some things women (and men) can expect:

1. Be prepared for a long process

 Menopause doesn’t just happen overnight. In fact, it begins with perimenopause, which can take years.

For many years of perimenopause, you can get menstruation at any time – 10 days after the previous one, or 120 days. This is a game of guessing, patience and surprises. Sometimes, the menstruation is barely noticeable, and other times it is too heavy. This makes women endlessly nervous.

2. This isn’t something you just “go through”

You’ll go through years of irregular menstruation, poor sleep, anxiety and not very fun mood swings.

3. Every woman experiences menopause differently

Different women and their menstrual cycles are never the same, so they have different feelings about their menstrual cycle and different levels of comfort. All these factors affect their experience during menopause.

4. It isn’t always better than the monthly period

From a man’s point of view, it may seem like a woman would be just happy to get rid of her menstrual cycle. But in fact, this is not the case. Menopause can be many times more annoying than your monthly cycle. Moreover, there is no schedule for menopause, which puts additional strain on the situation.

5. There will be physical changes that may be difficult to accept

Menopause can cause many symptoms, including headaches, vaginal dryness and changes in your hair. Also expect hot flushes, brain fog, inexplicable crying, and weight gain (especially in the abdomen).

6. PMS does not always disappear

If you think menopause means telling the story of PMS, think again. Many women say that during and after menopause, PMS is a problem without a solution, but also a long-term one.

7. Gravity is ruthless

Menopause and the period after it (post-menopause) are associated with a significant change for women. Gravity is starting to make huge changes to your body. You may notice not only that your abdomen is large and sagging, but also your cheeks, thighs, and even your private parts.

8. Fitness is essential

If you haven’t been much into working out before, it’s time to move. One of the side effects of menopause is that some women tend to have a slow metabolism. And even if you don’t eat more food than you’ve ever eaten, now it sticks right where you shouldn’t.

9. We might be grumpier than usual but we still need your love and support

All these changes we’re going through are tough. It may seem that we are lashing at you out of nowhere, but the likely explanation is that we’re extremely underslept, tired, stressed and physically uncomfortable. We still love you and need you just as much as before, if not even more!

How can men help women get through menopause?

The issue with menopause is that often we aren’t aware of what’s going on until it’s too late and we’ve gone through years of bitter behaviour which has likely pissed off our partners. Not every woman understands her menopause too well and blames herself for the sudden changes in her mood, energy levels and physical appearance.

However, men can do a great deal to help us feel better, especially when we don’t have the courage to open ourselves up.

• About the mood swings

Help us move through these changes with understanding and patience. And without constant comments about our emotional problems.

• About sex

Men need to understand that our bodies are changing. Confidence, sexual desire and sexual pleasure also change. Be prepared to talk about these things with respect and find ways to approach them with us as a couple.

• About our bodies

Age affects us all and it is valuable to know that we are not the only ones experiencing change. We get a little chubbier and a little saggier and we need to get used to these changes and age with grace.

• About our choice of food and exercise

We expect support in our choice to work out if and when we want to, but if we want to enjoy a delicious meal, we don’t want to be mocked or reminded we’re on a diet. Instead, we’d like to sit together to eat and hear that we’re beautiful.

Let’s end on a high note, by quoting rock star Sir Rod Stewart who is very supportive of women in menopause. He has said that education about menopause for men needs to be improved: “Men have got to get on with it, understand and come out the other end”.

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Meg's Quote

If you are depressed,
you are living in the past.
If you are anxious,
you are living in the future.
If you are at peace,
you are living in the present.
– Lao Tzu –

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