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A Husband's Guide to Menopause

A Husband's Guide to Menopause

As women begin to deal with menopause symptoms, it can be difficult to know how you can help or to fully understand what is happening. With Menopause being a taboo subject, your partner may have difficulty to describe what is happening or how she is feeling. It can be frustrating and confusing (for both of you), and you may feel helpless to know how you can help.

In this article, you will find a guide of what your partner is experiencing, and how you can help during the transition.

1. Educate Yourself

The first thing you can do is try and better understand what menopause is, what the different symptoms are and how they can affect her, both mentally and physically. While you won't be able to fully understand how it feels, having an understanding of what is happening will help you be supportive as you need to be. Many women feel lost, lonely and helpless. Some feel like a shell of themselves and are trying to figure out what is happening.

2. Ask her what she needs

Every woman experiences menopause differently. While a majority deal with hot flashes on a regular basis, others will feel more of the mental effects. Provide her with open communication. Asking her how you can help, or what can help lets her know that you care about her and that you support her. She may feel scared or uncomfortable to talk about the experience and changes that are happening, so asking her allows her the change to talk it out with you, the person she trusts more than anyone. Offer support, run a bath, help clean around the house, hug her (unless she is having a hot flash, then get her something to help cool her down)

3. No pressure!

Whatever you do, don’t ask when her symptoms will end, or how long it will last. Like you, she doesn’t know the answer to that, and it’s not helpful. If she had the power, she wouldn’t have any of the symptoms, to begin with. On average, menopause symptoms last anywhere from 4-8 years, but everyone is different.

4. Be patient

Know that Menopause is not forever, even though it could feel like it for both of you. Resist the urge to snapback. I know, easier said than done. Remember that estrogen and hormone levels play their part that can cause emotional frustration and temperament. Try to stop, breath and walkaway.

5. Accept the silence

Some woman may need the space to be quiet to self reflect. Don’t take the silence as something you have done, it may not be anything to do with you. The changes are physically and mentally, so sometimes quiet spaces are great for meditation and practise breathing.

6. Encourage to seek help

Anxiety can be crippling. With menopause, some women find they lose their self-confidence and need professional support and help to get through the transition. Offer to go with her. It will mean a lot to have you there.

 

Everybody goes through menopause differently. Open communication to understand what she is experiencing is key. She’ll notice your support and efforts and really appreciate it.

Who Says Hot Flashes are Only Hormonal?

Who Says Hot Flashes are Only Hormonal?

Sure, hot flashes are the most common symptom of menopausal changes, but it’s truly not the only cause. There are many different reasons you may be looking like sweating out your water intake and as red as a tomato.

Hot flashes occur within perimenopausal, menopausal and postmenopausal women as their hormonal levels change.  This is your body’s way of trying to cool you down. It’s inconsistent when these hot flashes will occur. You could be one of those lucky few where it’s once a day for 30 seconds, or, like the rest of us, multiple times a day for several minutes. Sounds like fun, right? Well, Menopause might not be the only contributing factor to this unwelcome symptom.

Diet

Can’t start your day without your coffee or tea? Do you prefer spicy Thai food for lunch instead of that leafy garden salad? Feeling like a glass of wine (or two) after a hard day of work? Watch out for those internal heat waves! Spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol are huge contributors to a hot flash. It has been said that eating lighter foods, or cutting your caffeine and alcohol intake, will help alleviate hot flashes.

Exercise

Not only eating healthier will help, but also becoming more active will also reduce the number of hot flashes. There have been numerous studies showing that losing excess weight will also alleviate this uncomfortable symptom. If you aren’t active now, just start off slow, and go for a walk after dinner every night, and build up from there.

Stress

If you find yourself stressed, or trying to cope with anxiety, there’s an increased chance that you will deal with hot flashes. “Just Relax, then.” Sure, it sounds easier than what is it is. Activities like yoga or meditation can help you focus on calming your mind and remembering to breathe. Being in a cool, calm environment will allow you to relax more and reduce the chance of hot flashes.

Medication

It has also been found that some medications can cause hot flashes. There have been cases of anti-depressants, opioids, and some osteoporosis prescriptions aiding in the trigger of a hot flash. If this is your case, talk with your doctor to find out what is best for you, if you can find an alternative remedy, or no longer take it to alleviate the hot flush.

Whether it’s lifestyle, hormonal, or a mixture of both, hot flashes are never fun to endure. The best treatment is self-care. Remember to take time for yourself, eat a little better, and to keep cool, and most importantly remember to breathe.