KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 — National Council of Women’s Organisations Malaysia (NCWO), with the support of Herbalmeds (by BiO-LiFE), has shared the results of a menopause awareness survey targeting men.
Injecting the “men” in menopause, the male partners’ support and advocacy for menopause relief could be the ultimate demonstration of love and appreciation for his most precious one.
The support from men is also an effective way to address the fears and worries a woman might face.
The survey supports the call to raise awareness and correct the misperception and stigma surrounding menopause, along with information on menopause stages, identifying symptoms, treatment options available, and lifestyle adjustments that can be made.
The awareness efforts include advocating for and motivating family members, spouses, and partners to support women in dealing with menopause-related issues and ultimately achieve a better quality of life through real-life stories.
Low Health Literacy Of Menopause
NCWO, supported by BiO-LiFE and the Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), conducted a survey in July and August 2021 to investigate men’s knowledge about menopause, their behavioural patterns, and their support for their female loved ones in relation to health care choices and treatment approaches.
507 men above 18 years old participated in the survey, with 78 per cent of them being 41 years old or above. 55 per cent of the survey respondents have a spouse who is perimenopausal (going through menopause) or already menopausal, while 22 per cent have family members who are either perimenopausal or menopausal.
The survey insights revealed that approximately 70 to 72 per cent of respondents have insufficient general knowledge about menopause and its symptoms, and 33 per cent are unaware that menopause is part of the natural reproductive ageing process, highlighting the awareness gap among Malaysian men in relation to menopause.
Despite the various treatment options available to support women through menopause such as hormonal treatment, herbal supplements, lifestyle modification and a few others, only 21 per cent of respondents were aware of all the options available to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Engaging Men To Support Advocacy Of Proactive Menopause Management
While men’s knowledge and awareness level of menopause is low, 98 per cent of respondents agreed that they would do everything they could to help their female loved ones go through menopause to live a healthy, fulfilling life, further reinforcing the opportunity for men to play an important role in supporting their female loved ones through menopause.
“Women experience menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but their experiences of this significant stage of life are diverse as each women’s menopause is unique. Most women understand and are aware that menopause is a natural part of ageing,” said Dr Sharifah Hapsah, NCWO president.
“However, awareness may still be lacking with regards to availability of help and treatment, which can support them through the menopause period more comfortably. This lack of awareness on where to get help, advice and support become barriers which prevent women from seeking support, and therefore women choose to suffer in silence,” she added.
“Menopause should not be a distressful time in a woman’s life, and she does not need to go through the journey alone. It is important for family members, especially the spouse or partner, to learn about the symptoms and its consequences to help navigate through the health changes and overcome them together,” she explained.
“We are encouraged that the public survey insights revealed men’s willingness to play a vital role as advocates for menopause management. Along with heightened awareness on menopause, we want to inspire more men to proactively show their support and encouragement for their loved ones who are dealing with the challenges of menopause.”
“The partnership with NCWO highlights the brand’s commitment and priority to improve the quality of life and people’s well-being,” said Carolyn Kong, head of marketing at Mega Lifesciences and BiO-LiFE Marketing.
“There are at least 34 common symptoms that women experience in menopause and yet, only 7 per cent of women get the treatment they need. This shows that the level of knowledge and action taken to treat it is still low amongst the society and community. We hope to advocate, especially to the women’s significant other, the importance of being supportive and understanding to the women they love who are experiencing menopause,” she added.
“It can start from simple and small gestures such as understanding what menopausal symptoms are, having open channels for communication on how it may be affecting your loved one’s health, or offering to accompany her to seek professional advice and appropriate treatment from doctors. This could be the best way of expressing their love and utmost appreciation to her during this challenging natural stage in life.”