What is Menopause?

For Loved Ones

Men go through midlife changes just like women. Men usually transition through these changes slowly and may not notice symptoms for years that result from declining testosterone levels.1 Conversely, fluctuating changes in hormone levels, like those encountered in menopause,can cause noticeable changes in a woman’s emotional and physical well-being on a daily basis.

Seeing a spouse or loved one experience dramatic mood swings or physical problems due to menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, may make you feel uncomfortable. There are things you can do that may help you and your loved one through this difficult time. 

Here are just a few suggestions:

  1. Offer more attention and understanding than usual. Let her know she is not alone in experiencing the onset of menopause.
  2. Communicate with each other. Share what you are experiencing and offer to listen when she needs to talk.
  3. Consider the physical changes she may be experiencing. Some of the common symptoms, such as vaginal dryness and weight gain, can be addressed.
  4. Educate yourself on the common emotional symptoms of menopause. If you know why your partner is having emotional ups and downs, it could help you relate to her better.
  5. Support positive lifestyle choices. Regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and a good night’s sleep may improve her symptoms.

Watch an Expert Physician discuss menopause and relationships.

EstroGel® 0.06% is approved by the FDA for use after menopause to reduce moderate to severe hot flashes and to treat moderate to severe menopausal changes in and around the vagina. If you use EstroGel only to treat your menopausal changes in and around your vagina, talk with your healthcare provider about whether a topical vaginal product would be better for you.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RISK INFORMATION I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT EstroGel® (AN ESTROGEN HORMONE)?

  • Using estrogen-alone may increase your chance of getting cancer of the uterus (womb). Report any unusual vaginal bleeding right away while you are using EstroGel.  Vaginal bleeding after menopause may be a warning sign of cancer of the uterus (womb).  Your healthcare provider should check any unusual vaginal bleeding to find out the cause.
  • Do not use estrogen-alone to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, strokes or dementia (decline in brain function).
  • Using estrogen-alone may increase your chances of getting strokes and blood clots.
  • Using estrogen-alone may increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older.
  • Do not use estrogens with progestins to prevent heart disease, heart attack, strokes or dementia.
  • Using estrogens with progestins may increase your chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, or blood clots.
  • Using estrogens with progestins may increase your chance of getting dementia, based on a study of women 65 years of age or older.
  • You and your healthcare provider should talk regularly about whether you still need treatment with EstroGel.

Do not start using EstroGel if you have unusual vaginal bleeding, currently have or have had certain cancers, had a stroke or heart attack, currently have or have had blood clots, currently have or have had liver problems, have been diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, are allergic to EstroGel or any of its ingredients, or think you may be pregnant.

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any unusual vaginal bleeding, have any other medical conditions, are going to have surgery or will be on bed rest, are breastfeeding, and about all the medicines you take.

Serious but less common side effects include heart attack, stroke, blood clots, dementia, breast cancer, cancer of the lining of the uterus (womb), cancer of the ovary, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, gallbladder disease, liver problems, changes in your thyroid hormone levels, and enlargement of benign tumors (“fibroids”).

Common side effects of estrogens include headache, breast pain, stomach or abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, fluid retention, and vaginal yeast infection.

If you would like more information, talk with your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

References
  1. Mayo Clinic. Male menopause: myth or reality? Available at:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/male-menopause/MC00058. Accessed April 15, 2015.
  2. Prior JC, Hitchcock CL. The endocrinology of perimenopause: need for a paradigm shift. Fron Biosci (Schol Ed). 2011; 3:474-486.