Father, husband, boyfriend, son, brother — no matter what role you play, we know that dealing with the menopausal women in your life (nonetheless, during your own midlife crisis) is no easy feat.
So we’re celebrating Father's Day by sharing our own Men’s Guide to Menopause. Ladies, feel free to share this guide with the men closest to you to give them a few tips about menopause support. Men, we hope this makes you feel more confident, supported, and prepared as you navigate this phase of your life.
Offering Menopause Support
When it comes to menopause, the journey is, of course, unpredictable. While we can’t offer personalized advice that’s specific to the menopausal woman in your life, here are five tips to help you support (and survive) her menopause journey.
- Know what to expect. Trust us, you don’t want to go into this phase of life blind! Knowing the common menopause symptoms (and that not all women have the same experience) is a great place to start. Common symptoms include mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, sleepless nights, weight gain, dry/itchy skin, decreased bone density. Sounds tough, right? To continue this menopause crash course, browse through a few other articles on our blog and take a look at the resources at the bottom of this article.
- Communicate. Okay, this one goes without saying. But if we didn’t say it, that would be a poor example of communication. Having an open dialogue with your spouse during her menopause journey will not only allow you to come up with plans to ease the journey and help her feel less isolated, but it can also allow you to better advocate for yourself. While it’s great to offer menopause support, we don’t want menopause to be an excuse for mistreatment.
- Don’t take things personally. At least, try not to! We know, it’s easy to feel like her mood swings and low libido are somehow linked to you. While menopause can cause women to say some angsty things, sometimes the best way to cope with that is to remember that it’s the hormones talking. Of course, if things get out of hand, consider revisiting tip #2.
- Seek help if you need to. And don’t feel the least bit ashamed when you do so. You’re probably one of the people who knows your spouse the best. If you notice she’s acting withdrawn, and her mood swings are more of a round-the-clock thing, this could be a warning sign for depression — and a signal to ask for help! Also, there’s absolutely no harm in seeking professional help before a dire situation.
- Stay positive. A little bit of optimism can go a long way for you and your spouse during her menopause journey. The good news is, this is just a phase. Sure, it’s a long one, but it’ll end eventually. On the other side, you’ll have a stronger, wiser woman who just conquered a really tough phase. Think about how happy and appreciative you’ll both be when you reach that point.
Somehow, it seems like even our men’s guide to menopause feels like it’s centered around the menopausal woman. Trust us, we are trying to make this about you this time, hence the next section.
Did you know that men actually go through their own version of "men"opuase (sometimes called male menopause or andropause)? Okay, it’s not quite the same as actual menopause, but it can still throw you for a loop if you’ve never heard of it.
Hormone fluctuations are a given when it comes to aging. While women go through a dramatic decrease in estrogen during menopause, men go through a slower, more gradual “men”opause. On average, around the age of 40, men’s testosterone levels decrease about 1% each year. With that being said, most older men still have a normal range of testosterone, and only 10-25% of men over 40 have what’s considered “low” testosterone levels.
While this change in testosterone typically goes unnoticed by most men, some can experience menopause-like symptoms, including:
- Lower libido
- Breast discomfort or swelling
- Loss in bone mineral density (often manifests as “shrinking”)
- Hot flashes
- Decreased energy and motivation
- Lower confidence, mood, and concentration
- Loss of strength
- Weight gain
Most men who experience these symptoms can manage them through simple lifestyle changes. For example, focus on revamping your holistic health through stress management, daily movement, laughing, quality time, and a nutritious diet. That being said, if you notice these symptoms persist after giving these things a chance, consider asking your doctor to measure your testosterone levels with a blood test and requesting advice on next steps.
Identifying Helpful Resources
Here are a few resources to offer you some support as you offer your spouse support during her menopause journey — and yourself some support during your midlife years.
- Men… Let’s Talk Menopause: What’s going on and what you can do about it by Ruth Devlin
- Where Is My Wife and What Have You Done with Her?: A Spouse's Guide to Her Menopause by Jeanne D. Andrus
- How to Survive Her Menopause - A Practical Guide to Women's Health for Men by Pat Duckworth
- Midlife Male by Greg Scheinman
- The Mindful Midlife Crisis by Billy and Brian
- PEAK40 by Dr. Marc Bubbs
Personal Care Products
Our MSM Skincare Set is hydrating, soothing, and replenishing for your skin, too!
- Our Menopause Relief Products are the perfect way to show your spouse that you support her. Keep her feeling calm, happy, and cool, and you’ll feel the same way.
Also, keep in mind the power of a support system. If you’re dealing with a menopausal spouse or male menopause, it’s possible (even likely) you have a friend or two going through the same thing. Think about reaching out to those friends for support and commiseration. You never know, they might need it too.
Happy Father’s Day!
Remember, this day is about you for once. We hope you can spend the day doing the things you enjoy and focusing on your own needs. Your role as menopause support leader can resume the day after Father’s Day.