Menopause leaves men in the dark new research shows.
Millions of men are unaware of the debilitating impact menopause and perimenopause can have on women and their daily lives.
In a study by the Online Menopause Centre, 59% did not know what perimenopause – the period leading up to menopause which can be severe – was and 1 in 10 wrongly believed symptoms such as diarrhoea and hearing loss were menopausal symptoms. Those questioned were also unsure of the causes of menopause, with only a third correctly knowing it was due to a drop in hormones.
The research carried out with employed males aged 18 to 65, also revealed that men are unaware of the damaging effect menopause has on women in the workplace. More than half did not know that many women have been forced to reduce their hours or give up work entirely because of menopausal symptoms. A further 61% admitted they would not know what to do if menopause/perimenopause was impacting a female colleague’s ability to do their job.
Despite men in the older age bracket (45 plus) being more likely to have wives or partners experiencing this change of life, they were the group who had the least understanding of menopause and perimenopause, compared to those younger. [i]
Commenting on the findings, Dr Laila Kaikavoosi from the Online Menopause Centre said: “It is concerning that men are so unaware of what happens to women during menopause and perimenopause. Many of those we questioned are husbands, partners or sons, or they may have female work colleagues experiencing menopausal problems, so being aware of what women go through is vital to greater understanding in society. Like many health changes that happen to females – such as puberty and pregnancy – they are very much kept between women, but this needs to change.”
Added Laila: “What is particularly worrying is that men in the older age bracket are more likely to be in senior management positions within the workplace, yet this group had the least understanding of menopause.”
Around 13 million women in the UK are currently peri or menopausal – equivalent to a third of the entire female population – with symptoms ranging from hot flushes/night sweats, headaches, sleep problems and joint pains, to depression, anxiety, poor memory, low self-confidence and loss of libido.
Whilst there was greater awareness amongst males of the common menopause symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats (71%) and change in mood (66%), fewer knew about brain fog/poor memory (34%) and joint and muscle aches (25%).
Despite there being a well-established link between menopause and the likelihood of developing certain diseases, 7 out of 10 men did not know the drop in hormones caused by menopause/perimenopause can increase a woman’s chances of developing heart disease, dementia and diabetes.
About the author
Dr Laila Kaikavoosi is a GP and leading expert in the field of menopause and has helped tens of thousands of women to reach their optimal health and hormonal balance by offering them the most up-to-date, unbiased and individualised treatment options. She is the founder of the Online Menopause Centre – www.onlinemenopausecentre.com – which provides virtual video consultations and individually tailored treatment plans to menopausal and perimenopausal women. Rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for its management and governance, OMC is the first online menopause clinic in the UK.
[i] 73% of 18-24 years olds and 62% of 25–34-year-olds knew what perimenopause was, compared to 33% of 45-54-year-olds and 29% of 55-64-year-olds. More than half of 18-34-year-olds understood the link between menopause and disease, compared to 27% in the 45-54 age group and 20% of those aged 55-64. In the workplace, well over two-thirds of those aged 18-34 understood that women were reducing hours/giving up work because of menopause, whilst this fell to 40% and 46% in the ages 45-54 and 55-64 respectively.