Perimenopause (peri) and menopause can be a super challenging time for relationships.

Women going through peri are going through huge emotional and physical changes as their ovaries are winding down from their fertile years and start the tough trek to menopause. 

It can be hard for partners to know how to best support their wives or girlfriends. Common symptoms like mood changes, sleep disturbances and reduced sexual desire can be tricky to navigate. 

Perimenopause is also a time when women are moving out of their fertile years, so for some women there may be significant distress and anxiety dealing with the loss of not having children.   

Understanding what your partner is going through is key to you being able to know how to best support them.

Your support will be critical in ensuring she feels supported and confident as she goes through the rollercoaster ride that is perimenopause and menopause.

Okay let's start with the basics....

So, What The Heck Is Perimenopause, Menopause and Postmenopause Anyway??

Perimenopause - is the lead up to menopause, or the transition years.  Peri usually starts when women are in their late 30’s and 40’s. It can vary alot in duration for women; we're talking anything from 2-12 years and on average between 4-6 years.

The most common perimenopause symptoms are:

  1. Irregular periods
  2. ​​Mood changes - anxiety, depression, rage
  3. Hot flushes and/or night sweats
  4. Problems with falling asleep, staying asleep and sleep quality
  5. Trouble concentrating/brain fog.

As we are all unique and different each woman's experience of peri will be very different.

Your peri partner may also be experiencing one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Itchy/crawly/dry skin
  • Exhaustion
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido 
  • Migraines
  • Heavier Periods
  • More intense PMS
  • Weight gain (despite no changes to diet or exercise, due to the metabolism slowing down or insulin resistance).

Menopause  - Is a moment in time when a woman hasn't had a menstrual cycle for 12 months and the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) blood level is elevated to 30 mIU/mL or higher.

The average age for a woman to reach menopause is 51 years of age. 

Postmenopause - the time after a woman has hit menopause. Common symptoms are:

What causes the symptoms?

Simple answer is changes in hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone as a woman moves away from her reproductive years into menopause.


Depending on a woman's severity of symptoms she might choose changing lifestyle choices and natural supplements or bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or a combination of both.


Read up!  She'll LOVE you for it.

You Should Know: Your Support Means The WORLD to Her

This experiential study in 2016 found that “The training of menopausal health for spouses improves the quality of life in women during menopausal transition.” 

Another study (here), where they conducted at-length interviews, found that when men better understand menopausal changes, it “fosters the development of better emotional support for their wives, which improves the quality of marital relations.” 

Communication is key in these transitional years, like having conversations around symptoms that might be effecting your sex life might be really uncomfortable but important to discuss to help you embrace options to help make your sex life more comfortable like using lubes or moisturisers. Here’s a post we wrote about different options women could try. 

Phew! Okay, So In Summary!

In summary, here are our top tips to help you support the wonderful woman in your life:

  1. You don’t need to have all the solutions, listening is good and often all that's needed (maybe hold her hand and tell her you're there for whatever she needs too for extra bonus points).
  2. Please don’t take her mood swings to heart, they are not (always) personal.
  3. Be patient.
  4. Keep communication open, don’t be afraid to talk about the uncomfortable stuff.
  5. Encourage and support her to explore treatment options.
  6. Let her know you still find her attractive.
  7. Help motivate your partner in making lifestyle choices that will help support reducing perimenopause symptoms - maybe by adopting them with her but don't be annoying about it either.  Read our 4 Pillars to Peri Health here.
  8. Buy her a bag of our Peri Chai Latte to help soothe her symptoms if she's having trouble with sleeping, mood, anxiety, sore joints and funky skin.

If you're still here - well done!  Thank you for being a wonderful and supportive partner willing to learn and understand what your beloved needs as she transitions through this challenging time.

There's also a letter here for partners, we're sure she'd love you to read too.

July 22, 2022 — Angela Greely

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