balance for Partners

The majority of individuals going through the menopause will experience symptoms, which can affect all aspects of life. In particular, relationships can be put under immense strain during this time, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

We are on a mission to help as many people with their perimenopause and menopause as possible, and we need your support as partners and loved ones.

This page is especially created for you to learn more about the impact of the perimenopause and menopause and find out ways to help those closest to you.

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balance for Partners

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Acknowledging and prioritising the menopause

At balance we are so very passionate about acknowledging and prioritising the menopause and this is something university lecturer, Dr Richard Hull, has eloquently argued for in this article from RTE.

The menopause is not a new life experience but sadly, it is still largely disregarded despite its widespread impact and ongoing research that continues to discover more health problems associated with it – problems that can last for ten years or more.

As a society, we need to pay more attention to the perimenopause and menopause as it affects 51% of the population at some stage of their lives.

Studies overwhelmingly suggest that menopausal symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life if left untreated. For example, severe tiredness accompanied by irritability, loss of confidence, anxiety, joint pain and headaches can heavily compromise work life as well as relationships and family life.

In fact, the hormone deficiencies caused by the menopause can induce symptoms that have the potential to end relationships, halt careers and in some cases, heartbreakingly, so change an individual’s perception of themselves it results in devastating and fatal consequences.

Appropriate treatment for the perimenopause and menopause is essential for alleviating symptoms and improving future health. Click here to learn about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as the most effective treatment for the menopause.

Whilst improving the health of the individual is key, we should also acknowledge how the impact on a woman’s quality of life has a ripple effect on the people around her – not to mention the economy and wider society.

 

Common perimenopause and menopause symptoms

The majority of women will experience symptoms during their menopause with the severity of symptoms varying tremendously from person to person. Some will only experience them for a few months, others can continue to suffer for years – even decades.

Common symptoms can include:

Brain fog: This is a collective term for symptoms such as memory slips, poor concentration and difficultly absorbing information.

Period changes: This is often the first sign. Women can experience a change in flow; periods will become less frequent, before stopping completely.

Loss of sexual desire: It is common to lose interest in and pleasure from sex around the time of the menopause; feeling tired, having a low mood and experiencing night sweats can all be contributing factors. There is also a hormonal reason why a women’s libido may decrease. Women have testosterone (which tends to decline during the menopause) and this hormone can influence their sex-drive.

Night sweats: Many women find they wake up drenched in sweat and have to change their pyjamas or bed clothes.

Fatigue and poor sleep: Poor sleep can be related to night sweats, but women can find they are more tired during the day even if their sleep is not affected.

Hot flushes: Hot flushes can come on suddenly at any time of day, spreading throughout the face, chest and body. For some they may last for moments, for others several minutes.

Mood changes: From feeling suddenly angry to anxious, some women who suffer from mood changes find they are very disruptive to work and home life.

There are many other common symptoms of the menopause including migraines, joint pain, hair & skin changes and vaginal & urinary symptoms.

This balance Menopause Symptom Questionnaire© can give you a wider understanding of menopause symptoms and act as a useful tool for your loved one to monitor and assess how symptoms change with time or treatment.

Alternatively, they can download balance app to take the balance Menopause Symptom Questionnaire© and access a personal Health Report©.

So how can I best help my partner?

Increased awareness of this stage of life is crucial and, more often than not, awareness stems from education.

Many partners know very little about the range of possible ways someone can be affected by the menopause, let alone the long term risks to health that living with a lack of hormones can bring. This is especially the case if your partner themselves hasn’t yet realised that what they’re feeling and experiencing is linked to hormones.

It is easy to look for other reasons for things like mood swings, lack of self-esteem and loss of libido, both in ourselves and in our partners, if we are unaware that they could in fact be due to hormones changing and reducing.

 

We can think it’s our relationship that’s at fault, while the cause of issues can often be resolved by appropriate supports and medical treatments.

This lack of awareness of the menopause is a cause for issues in a relationship which can plant seeds of doubt in even the healthiest of partnerships.

The resources and tips below have been created to help you understand the perimenopause and menopause, how to approach the topic with your partner and what you can do together to navigate this new chapter.

 

Free menopause support

balance app helps users understand more about their menopause, track symptoms, access personalised expert content, download a Health Report©, share stories in the community and lots more.

Suggesting your partner downloads the app could act as a valuable source of support.

Looking for Menopause Doctor? You’re in the right place!

We’ve moved to a bigger home at balance for Dr Louise Newson to host all her content.

You can browse all our evidence-based and unbiased information in the Menopause Library.