Together Through Menopause: Partner’s Role in Empowering Women’s Wellness


Are you wondering why your partner is feeling extremely hot or uncomfortable out of the blue even when the fan or air conditioner is on, or why she’s experiencing nights of disrupted sleep or heightened forgetfulness? One reason could be that she is going through menopause. Indian women typically experience this around 46 years of age, and this time comes with transitions, including changes to their body. Women going through menopause don’t exist in isolation, so this can mean changes for their relationships, too. Couples can feel like they’re entering a new phase, navigating confusion, misunderstanding, and frustration. Understanding this natural phase of a woman’s life can prepare partners to extend the right support.

Menopause affects various parts of a woman’s life, like her health, well-being, and social life. In fact, an India-based survey by Abbott and Ipsos revealed that 82% of people believe that menopause can affect a woman’s personal well-being. While menopause signs differ for everyone, women may experience common symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, or joint pain. When it comes to their emotions, some may face mood swings, mild anxiety, or depression. If unmanaged, menopause symptoms like brain fog, irritability, and a loss of confidence can also affect women’s relationships. This can be overwhelming for anyone, but fortunately, there are ways to cope so women can minimize the disruption menopause can bring and embrace this chapter fully.

Dr Anita Kant, H.O.D OBG & Gynaecologist, Asian Hospital, Faridabad says, “In my years of practise, I’ve noticed more women reporting how the various symptoms are affecting their relationships in their personal as well as professional lives. The problem is that many of them go through these changes in silence, not wanting to make their loved ones uncomfortable or trouble them with health problems. Partners in particular, when sensitized to menopause, can play an important role in supporting women in their lives and encouraging them to seek relief for troubling physical and emotional manifestations.”

Partners can help ease their loved one’s menopausal journey

Navigating menopause can be done as a couple. This can start with partners trying to better understand the physical, emotional and psychological challenges that the menopausal women in their lives experience during this journey. As a partner, by researching and informing yourself, you can start to recognize menopausal symptoms and understand what this life stage entails so you can prepare for these changes, too, and find ways to offer support. Since every woman’s experience is unique, also ask her questions and create a safe space so she feels comfortable sharing her experience. If you have children, gently let them know what their mom is going through so they can be sensitive too.

Find ways to show up. Staying healthy with exercise and a good diet can help women cope with menopause symptoms. You could team up and train together with walks after dinner and exercise at the gym. Take some tasks off her plate (maybe pick up extra household chores) and help plan for any disruptions to the normal, such as guests visiting. Ask what she needs (maybe a cool drink, maybe some space), encourage sleep hygiene – the ways to provide comfort are endless.

We also know that 78% of people surveyed reported no longer sharing a healthy sexual relationship with their partner. One explanation is that menopause can lead to vaginal dryness, which may result in pain during intercourse, prompting lowered libido or desire for intimacy. This is why, when it comes to intimacy, it’s important to accept that it may change. Talking about this, even if it’s difficult, and finding ways to reconnect is key. For her, physical activities or pelvic floor exercises may help physically, but there’s a chance she may need to talk to her doctor, especially if she has concerns or fears around intimacy at this time. In general, communication through this phase can help, and you should try discussing feelings calmly. Be patient and empathetic, since experiencing emotional fluctuations can be heavy.

Rohita Shetty, Medical Affairs Head, Abbott India commented, “Menopause can have a great impact on a woman’s social and family life, as suggested by over 70% of respondents in our local survey. While many women even experience debilitating symptoms, most shy away from having a conversation related to them, even sometimes with their doctor. This can be an isolating experience. Encouraging meaningful conversations is helpful – and we are trying to help break the silence around menopause with an engaging conversation starter. For women, finding ways to authentically connect with their partner and talk about this experience can be uplifting.”

Support can go beyond actions. Use your words – give compliments, especially since she may experience self-esteem issues at this time. Give her reassurance and support her on her journey to feel like herself again on challenging days.

With some effort, menopausal women and their partners can find ways to navigate the many changes that come with this chapter in a woman’s life, with their partners finding ways to support them meaningfully.


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