Moms and Dads

Understanding Menopause: How Can Women and Men Work Together

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A lot of us moms are approaching the age when menopause will soon hit us which is why we brought in health coach and women’s health advocate Beth Wright to shed some light.

Menopause, unfortunately, is a topic we don’t often talk about. It’s often left in the dark, leaving a lot of women and their partners scrambling for answers. We are aware of what it does, however, common symptoms include irritability, depression, loss of bone density, insomnia, brain fog, weight gain and other health issues. When asked about why menopause is not always a topic of discussion, Lawyer and Female Health Coach and Advocate Beth Wright explains, “There appears to be a certain shame about discussing it, especially in Asia. But it’s because of this shame that women and even men are left in the dark about it.”

Normalizing Menopause

Despite it being a normal occurrence in all middle-aged women, Beth points out that the shame accompanying it comes from the loss of a big part of the female identity. “Menopause may be normal but it’s a mark of the end of a woman’s child-bearing years,” she explains. “Which is society has made a big part of their identity.”

Because of the shame, there’s a lack of awareness, education, and presence of support groups. “What a lot of women and men don’t understand is how menopause is completely natural. There’s a decline in hormones that can affect the body in all sorts of ways, including making women more susceptible to more diseases in later life such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.”

How Women and Men Can Help One Another

Ever wonder why older women seem to have more broken ankles and hips than they should? Menopause makes women more susceptible to osteopenia and osteoporosis. “Osteopenia usually occurs in women who start going through menopause. Their bones don’t absorb calcium as much as they used to,” Beth explains. “It’s here we need to support and talk to each other about how to make lifestyle changes to prevent this from happening and to educate women (and their partners) on how they can do this.”

1. Leaving out a list that explains everything that happens

“Sometimes, I think it’s better to just leave a list out there for everyone to see,” laughs Beth. “But kidding aside, it’s a really trying time for both women and their partners. It can be isolating as well. But shutting out your partner and your family members just makes it worse.”

In order to further understand Menopause, it needs to be talked about. “Communication is key,” Beth explains. “If you have a list, so much the better. Maybe even print it out to make it easier to see and understand!”

Besides, it’s always weird at first. But once that’s done and over with, it’ll just be like an everyday conversation.

2. “Menopause is NOT an illness, it’s a completely normal thing!”

Many think that menopause is an illness. But for women, it’s inevitable and normal. “Perhaps a better way to describe this transitional period is a long-term hormone deficiency, menopause sounds just too final. But consider joining your partner in doctor’s appointments,” Beth advises. “This is to show support and also better understand what’s going on. Don’t be left in the dark. Read up when you can about your partner’s menopause and show interest.”

Doing this helps change the premise of it being an illness to something completely normal. It also removes that squeamish feeling that knots up in the gut every time people bring it up.

3. Be patient

Parents cannot be perfect because humans themselves are not perfect. As Age starts to show, it’ll take time to accept that things are not like they used to be. “Be patient. She might be a little more forgetful or be a little more spaced out because of interrupted sleep,” Beth explains, “hot flashes or fluctuating hormone levels. Resist the urge to fight because hormonal changes do trigger mood swings which is just one of many menopause’s symptoms.”

4. Take an interest in it

“Menopause is not just women’s business. It’s men’s too!” Beth advocates. “Living in the same space and even having a family with your partner does make menopause men’s business especially when there’s a clash of moods, beliefs, and even ways of doing things. Remember that sex might be the last thing on her mind because of changing hormones. But she still needs to know that she’s loved.”

Beth advises that things one used to do during courting or dating years ago definitely help. “Rekindle those feelings from the early days.”

5. Some treats may not be the same as they used to be.

“Alcohol, caffeine, spicy food — these things can trigger hot flashes,” Beth explains. “These might not feel like the treats they once were. So, sometimes, you’ll have to look for treats that don’t trigger things too much.”

Sadly, it looks like our coffee intake will have to slow down.

6. Take time off for yourself.

“It can be difficult watching your partner going through a tough time. So, as a partner, it’s good to reach out to friends and family,” Beth adds. “You might find someone who’s going through a similar experience.”

Parenting support groups aren’t just about knowing what to do if the kids decide to rollerblade on the ceiling. They’re also there to help figure out if what’s happening to your body is supposed to be normal.

“This too shall pass,”

Beth reminds her clients that this phase is only temporary and that with the right knowledge and support it can even be empowering as women learn to see their bodies in a new light and take ownership of their health and lifestyles. Although it’ll feel weird at first, opening up about menopause will help other women open up about it too. It’ll slowly reduce the isolation women feel, all the more when their partners and men are more informed about it.

Sometimes, women and men need a bit of a mantra to get them through these trying times. “This too shall pass,” Beth advises. “Reminding yourself every so often helps.”

Beth Wright, to continue making women and men more aware of menopause, has created an online program about Menopause and middle-aged health, soon to launch in September. For more details, you can contact Beth through: [email protected]. Or, you can follow her IG at bfit_thewrightway or through B-FIT The Wright Way on Facebook.

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