Breaking the Silence: Why We Need to Talk About Menopause

29th September 2023
 minute read

Table of contents

Menopause, a natural yet significant phase in a woman’s life, often comes shrouded in a veil of silence. This silence envelops not only the women going through it but also the society that surrounds them. Many hesitate to talk about it openly, making it a whispered topic amidst closed circles. It's high time we change this narrative and start having open conversations about menopause. Talking about it not only provides support to those going through it but also educates and prepares others, making the journey a shared, rather than a solitary, experience.

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, typically occurring in her 40s or 50s. It’s a time of hormonal changes which can bring about various symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances. However, the experience of menopause is as unique as the individuals going through it. While some may breeze through with minimal discomfort, others might find it a challenging time, both physically and emotionally. Despite its universality among women, menopause often remains an enigmatic and misunderstood phase, largely due to the lack of open discourse surrounding it.

The silence around menopause not only fosters misinformation but can also cultivate feelings of isolation, embarrassment, or unease among those experiencing it. The whispers can make menopause feel like a secretive phase to be navigated alone, rather than a natural life transition to be shared and supported. This silence can extend to personal relationships, workplaces, and healthcare settings, often making the journey through menopause more challenging than it needs to be. Through open discussions, we can demystify menopause, foster understanding, and create a supportive environment for every woman embarking on this natural phase of life.

Setting the stage for a candid discussion on menopause, this article delves into the imperative of breaking the silence. By exploring the benefits of open communication, we aim to emphasize the power of dialogue in transforming the narrative around menopause, nurturing supportive relationships, and promoting holistic well-being amidst this natural life transition.

1. Finding Comfort in Shared Experiences:

The first signs of menopause might stir a blend of emotions within you. The idea of your body changing can be unsettling. However, you might find that having a chat with someone who’s walking the same path can be quite reassuring. Or reading an account from someone else who’s also experienced some of what you’re going through might help. When you share your fears, discoveries, or even little victories, you realise you’re not alone on this journey. This camaraderie can be a comfort blanket on days when menopause feels like a challenge. You might find that sharing a laugh over unexpected scenarios or discussing coping strategies can lighten the load and provide a fresh perspective.

2. Keeping Partners in the Loop:

When the tide of menopause sets in, it doesn’t just affect you, but ripples through your intimate relationships as well. A sudden dip in sexual interest or mood swings can sometimes brew misunderstandings or feelings of disconnect with your partner. Having an open dialogue can help bridge this gap of understanding. When your partner knows what’s going on, they are better positioned to offer support, and together you can navigate through the waves of menopause with love and understanding. It’s about growing together through this phase, nurturing patience, and forging a stronger bond amidst these changes.

3. Extending the Conversation to Family:

Your family is your inner circle of support. When menopause causes a shift in your mood or energy levels, it's essential that your family understands the why behind it. Explaining to your children why mum might be feeling a tad irritable or why grandma has suddenly become forgetful helps in preventing misunderstandings. It can prevent others worrying that something more serious is going on. It also educates them, normalizing menopause for the future generations. It’s about fostering an environment of empathy and understanding, which, in turn, nurtures stronger family bonds.

4. Changing the Story Around Menopause:

Menopause has often been cloaked in negative narratives. It’s time we shed light on the entire spectrum of experiences. While there might be challenges, many women also experience a sense of liberation, a cessation of monthly periods, and a newfound confidence that comes with age and wisdom. Talking about these positive aspects along with the challenges can help reshape the narrative around menopause. It also educates others, helping to shift societal perceptions and create a more balanced and positive understanding.

5. Seeking Professional Guidance:

Menopause can sometimes trigger feelings of fear or shame due to the physical and emotional changes it brings. However, opening up about these changes to a healthcare professional can be a game changer. There’s a wide array of treatments available to manage symptoms – both medical and psychological. Discussing your symptoms candidly with a healthcare provider can lead to personalised advice and treatment plans, making this phase much more manageable. This might be speaking to your GP about treatments for specific symptoms or exploring hormone replacement options. Or it might be speaking to a therapist about the emotions you’re experiencing, exploring the changes in your identity at this phase in life and/or going through some techniques to manage specific difficulties, such as low mood or any self-critical inner talk that’s surfaced. It’s about taking proactive steps towards ensuring your well-being during menopause. Remember, you don’t just have to “put up with it” – help is available.

6. Communicating at Work:

The workplace is a significant part of your life, and having a supportive environment there can make a big difference. Informing your colleagues or managers about your menopausal status, if you are comfortable doing so, can lead to a more understanding and supportive work environment. It might also help in making necessary adjustments, like temperature control or flexible work hours, to ensure you remain comfortable and productive. It’s about creating a conducive and empathetic work culture.

The silence surrounding menopause serves no one. Opening up about menopause, whether it’s a heart-to-heart with your partner, a family discussion, a chat with friends, or a consultation with a healthcare professional, can significantly impact how you and others navigate through this phase. It nurtures understanding, fosters supportive relationships, and helps to dismantle the often negative narrative surrounding menopause. Let’s break the silence, let’s make menopause a shared, understood, and supported journey. Through open conversations, we can cultivate a culture of empathy, education, and support, making the path through menopause a more positive experience for all involved.

Looking for some psychological support around the menopause transition? Connect with a world-class Lumo psychotherapist or psychologist today for in-person, video and live chat appointments.

Breaking the Silence: Why We Need to Talk About Menopause
Clinical Director
Lumo Health team
You may also like
No items found.

Boost your teams’ mental wellbeing today

Ready to find out more? Let’s talk