how to support your partner through menopause

Navigating Menopause Together: A Guide for Partners

The menopause may well be a natural life event, but its symptoms can significantly impact both our physical and emotional health. Relationships, in particular, can face immense strain during this time, often exacerbated by a lack of open discussion. However, it doesn't have to be this way. This guide is tailored specifically for partners to provide you with insights into the impact of perimenopause and menopause, along with practical tips on how best to support your loved ones through the changes. 

Understanding the menopause

The majority of partners are unaware of the menopause and the extensive range of symptoms that can deeply affect a woman's life. This lack of awareness is hardly surprising, considering most women reach this life stage without understanding it themselves!



In basic terms, your partner has reached menopause when she has gone 12 consecutive months without a period. Her ovaries are no longer producing eggs, leading to a decline in estorgen and progesterone levels.



There are four key stages, each bringing its own set of challenges and adjustments, particularly perimenopause: 

  • Pre-menopause: Regular menstrual periods without any signs of menopause symptoms.
  • Perimenopause: Hormone levels start to fluctuate, resulting in a large range of symptoms. Periods are often still regular, eventually becoming irregular.
  • Menopause: The absence of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months.
  • Postmenopause: The time after a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months.

Timing and symptoms

On average, menopause occurs around the age of 51, with perimenopausal symptoms often starting around 45. However, some women can experience symptoms for 10–14 years before they reach menopause. Early menopause (under the age of 45) or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) (under the age of 40) can be triggered by various factors, such as surgery involving the ovaries, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy.

Throughout perimenopause and menopause, levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone fluctuate before declining. These hormonal shifts can lead to a wide range of symptoms.

Symptoms and their severity can vary widely, and every woman will have her own unique combination of symptoms and experiences, which may include changes in periods, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, joint pains, insomnia, brain fog, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, urinary changes, skin and hair changes, and many more.

20% of women will have no menopause symptoms.
60% of women have mild-to-moderate symptoms.
20% of women have severe symptoms that impact their daily lives.

Treatment options

Numerous treatment options are available to manage menopausal symptoms effectively, be it with prescribed menopause medications, support from natural remedies, lifestyle changes, eating well, or practicing self-care, which, whether alone or combined, can all have a big impact on how your partner is feeling.

If your partner is struggling, it's important to seek help before symptoms become unbearable. Arranging an appointment with your healthcare professional or a menopause specialist to explore available treatments tailored to individual circumstances and symptoms is always the best starting point.

How to support your partner through menopause

Here are eight practical ways you can support your partner through the changes:

1.Understanding menopause:

Menopause is not just about hot flushes and mood swings; it's a complex hormonal transition that will affect your partner physically, emotionally, and mentally. By educating yourself about the symptoms and challenges of menopause, you can better understand what your partner is going through and provide the support they need.

2. Being supportive:

The transition from perimenopause to postmenopause can be a challenging time, and having a supportive partner can make all the difference. It's essential to listen to your partner, validate their experiences, and offer empathy and understanding. Sometimes, just being there to lend a listening ear can provide immense comfort and support.

3. Accompany them to appointments: 

Your presence can provide reassurance and moral support, easing any anxiety they may feel, while helping you get a clearer understanding of what they are experiencing and the treatment options available.

4. Practice patience:

Recognise that hormonal fluctuations can bring about mood swings, irritability, and other challenging symptoms. It may be easier said than done, but try not to take things personally and resist the urge to snap back. These symptoms are a normal part of the menopausal transition and are best handled with patience and understanding. 

5. Address intimacy:

Sexual intimacy during menopause can be complicated. Many women experience a decreased interest in sex and discomfort from dryness, leading to an avoidance of physical contact. It's most likey that both partners long for physical intimacy to return, by initiating open conversations and addressing any concerns with empathy and understanding, couples can work together to bridge the gap and rediscover intimacy and connection.

6. ​​Simple gestures make a big difference: 

When hormone levels are fluctuating and declining, life can sometimes be pretty uncomfortable. Your partner will be experiencing many physical and emotional changes to her body, and it's not uncommon for women to wonder where the real her has gone. Simple gestures can make a huge difference when your partner is feeling stressed, tired, or overwhelmed. Just being there to offer words of support, a hug, perhaps the dinner cooked, or a waiting bath can work wonders.

7. Express love:

A lot of physical changes can happen as hormone levels decline, which may affect your partner's confidence and self-esteem, such as weight gain, thinning hair, and dryer skin starting to show more obvious signs of aging. Try to be patient and understand that adjusting to these changes can take some getting used to; sometimes all they may want is reassurance and a hug.

8. The importance of rest: 

Overwhelming fatigue is a common symptom, especially in perimenopause, and keeping up appearances, particularly when at work, can be draining. You may find your partner prefers staying home and cozying up on the sofa instead of socialising during this time. And being at home with you is probably where they feel the most comfortable right now.


Menopause has long been referred to as 'the change' of life, and rightfully so. However, it's important to remember that this transformation impacts not just the person experiencing it but also their partner too. Education and increased awareness about the different stages of menopause play an important role in having a healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationship. We’ll all go through many physical and emotional changes as we age; it's how we support each other through them that makes all the difference



Discover our range of evidence-based supplements, developed with mind and body nutrients to support your body and your needs before, during, and after this transitionary life stage.


This article has been reviewed by our expert advisory team.












Back to blog