Menopause Insights For Men (6-Minute Read)

Man sitting beside woman with a laptop on her knee searching to learn more about menopause
Connie Pretula Headshot

Connie Pretula

Connie Pretula is an inspiring health coach and Menopause Navigator to mature women, using a holistic approach to nutrition and life.

February 27, 2024

When I am out at a networking function, I introduce myself as The Menopause Navigator. Women will say “That’s cool!” and men will generally look at me with a blank face and say “What was that?” I repeat, I’m The Menopause Navigator, I help women improve their health so they can feel amazing in menopause. Depending on their age, some men will say, “Oh, my wife went through that and it was hard on both of us”. The odd one will say, I bought a book so I could learn more. Sadly, there are many couples who end up going their separate ways during that time.

Those networking interactions prompted many insightful conversations. When I saw how interested men were in talking about their experiences or asking me questions, I knew I needed to help bridge the gap.

I wanted further proof before I embarked on the project so I surveyed men on LinkedIn. I was very excited when my survey results showed that 89% of men were interested. Some messaged me directly saying thank you and acknowledged the importance of this work.

I asked a group of women whether they felt men wanted to learn about what they were experiencing in menopause. Every one of them said no, men don’t care! When I shared the survey results that 89% of men do want to learn, they were shocked. 

My goal with this series is to provide insight without getting caught up in all of the specific details. I started going through menopause in 2010 while working in my last corporate position. Turning beet red and suddenly dripping with sweat always garnered strange looks or comments such as “Are you okay?”. Working in an office full of men is not the easiest for a woman transitioning through menopause. So this information is for men and women, please share it with others.

Over the last 5 years or so, menopause is being talked about more openly and there is more information available on the internet and some great books that have been written. Some of the information is high level and some is very detailed to a medical level. 

Even with all of those options, women can still feel very lost. Unfortunately, in modern cultures, this information has not been passed down from our mothers and grandmothers or other women that we look up to. Sadly, some women suffer in complete silence, they won’t even talk to their doctors about the symptoms they are experiencing. If they do decide to see their doctor, many are not sure what questions to ask for fear of being embarrassed.

It is very frustrating when a doctor tells you this is a normal part of aging and you can either grin and bear it, or go on antidepressants or hormone therapy. This can leave a woman feeling very alone because she still doesn’t understand what is happening to her and is not sure if she is being given the right solution for her.

For men, it can be very difficult to ask questions to understand what a woman is experiencing. I will be the first to acknowledge, as a woman, I have at times made it extremely difficult for a man to ask the question such as, “Hey honey what’s happening, you seem out of sorts?”. Many men know there is a risk of getting an earful or she will turn around and say “nothing” or “I’m fine” and carry on. Have you been asked “Do I look good in this?” and you answer with complete honesty “Yes”. How many times have you heard in return, “You’re just saying that!”. I believe as women we need to acknowledge we don’t always make it easy to open the door so the men in our lives can understand what we are experiencing, especially when we don’t fully understand it ourselves.

Through this series, I will provide insights into the stages of the menopause transition, mental and emotional impacts, and physiological impacts which will include sexual changes. The importance of nutrition and the right kind of exercise to support her body and hormone changes. The social pressure a woman may face when making changes and how important the support of her closest circle is during this time.

So let’s get started.

I want to start by saying, every woman is unique which I’m sure most of you understand. There are statistical averages of when a woman will start to transition into perimenopause which is around age 40-44. The next stage is menopause which means she will go through a full 12 months without a period, the average is age 51. After 12 months of not having a period, then she is post-menopause for the rest of her life.

There are outliers, some women can start menopause prematurely in their 30s, even as early as their late 20s. Women who have surgical procedures to remove both of their ovaries are in menopause immediately. If the ovaries remain and only the uterus is removed, women can experience early menopause. Chemotherapy treatments can also induce menopause and I recently learned that women who go through fertility treatments such as In vitro fertilization, and have a poor response in the number of oocytes (eggs) retrieved, can start to transition 6-7 years earlier than normal.

Other lifestyle factors such as smoking, and recreational drug use can contribute to an early onset of menopause.

Like puberty, menopause is a natural transition. The challenge is knowing when her transition will start and what symptoms she will experience and the severity. Sometimes the transition through perimenopause is so subtle and then suddenly a woman is hit with major symptoms and she is not quite sure what is happening to her. It can feel like she has lost all control of her health and her body.

There are a few reasons why a woman’s body is experiencing so many drastic changes and symptoms while going through the stages of menopause. I don’t believe that it’s all related directly to menopause; this is my own personal opinion but others share this as well. Most women spend their lives focusing on everyone else. They put aside how they feel because of children, family, and or work. Add on being a single mom, and stress levels can be even higher. They ignore the symptoms: tiredness, aches, pains, anxiety. By the time a woman reaches peri-menopause, her body is exhausted but she keeps pushing through. Constantly pushing ourselves and putting everyone else first can have an impact on our adrenal glands. The health of a woman’s adrenal glands is important as they provide hormone support as the ovaries start to reduce the hormones they are producing.

She’s also had so many years of using products on her body that contain unhealthy ingredients. For many years there was lead in makeup until it was revealed and that is now changing. So many of the products she used to enhance her beauty, smell lovely, and keep her skin supple have actually been congesting her liver. The liver is very important because it produces cholesterol which helps produce hormones. It also breaks down hormones and helps to naturally detoxify our body. So by the time she is in her mid-40s or early 50s, she has adrenal glands that are tired out from looking after everyone and a liver that isn’t working as well as it should be. 

I hope this is giving you some insight as to how a woman may feel very confused, stressed, and demoralized during this transition.

I’m going to stop here for this blog post and will continue to provide more insights in the next which will be in two weeks.

If you have questions after reading this post, I am more than happy to answer them, there are no stupid questions. Please send me a message by clicking here.

Thank you for reading my words.

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2 Comments

  1. Olya

    Thank you, Connie for such a great topic. Well said and great education

    Reply
    • Connie Pretula

      Thank you Olya, I’m so glad you found my post beneficial. I will be writing more over the coming weeks.

      Reply

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