Gabby Logan: Men need to know more about the menopause

·5 min read
Gabby Logan has opened up about going through the menopause, revealing she believes men need to know about it. (PA Images)
Gabby Logan has opened up about going through the menopause, revealing she believes men need to know about it. (PA Images)

Gabby Logan has said men need to know more about the menopause so they can have a greater “empathy and understanding” towards women.

The BBC sports broadcaster told the Women’s Health Going For Goal podcast that she did not anticipate the effect the menopause would have on her.

While Logan, 47, believes the conversation is "growing in volume" with more people talking about the effects of the menopause and the perimenopause, she thinks it's something men need to be involved in too.

“Men work alongside women, men are married to women, and I think men also need to know what’s going on because we need to have that empathy and understanding of what’s happening to our partners, our friends," she explained.

“I just did not understand fully what was happening or going to happen to me, I’ll be honest.”

Read more: Penny Lancaster shares weight loss photos after 'turning to food for comfort' during menopause

The TV presenter said she had hormone replacement therapy to help her deal with perimenopausal symptoms.

“I felt like, ‘I’m not feeling the best version of me that I can feel right now’, and I don’t want to allow myself to slow for no reason,” she said.

“So that’s been about six months since I saw (my doctor) and I feel really good and I’m very lucky because I haven’t had a lot of the more aggressive symptoms that you get with the menopause.”

Watch: Women with premature ovarian insufficiency could suffer more severe menopause symptoms.

Logan went on to say she was determined not to let the menopause interfere with her work.

“I, on the inside, didn’t feel any different to the 32-year-old me,” she said.

“Yes, I’ve got more lines and of course I’m not looking exactly the same as I was when I was 32… but I also felt like I’d got more experience, there’s more I want to do and I’m better at my job, so all those things that are plus points for being a bit older.

“I just didn’t want to stop work just because of being a certain age.

“Being able to keep those conversations going on live television and all those things requires mental dexterity and cognitive ability.”

Read more: Gwyneth Paltrow reveals her perimenopausal wellness routine

Gabby Logan says she didn't anticipate the impact of the menopause. (PA Images)
Gabby Logan says she didn't anticipate the impact of the menopause. (PA Images)

What is the menopause and why do men need to know about it?

Dr Shree Datta, gynaecologist for intimate wellbeing brand INTIMINA, gives us the lowdown on what menopause is for men and women who would like to know more.

"It’s the time when women stop having periods and usually occurs between the age of 45 to 55," she explains. "This occurs as female hormone levels drop and means that women no longer release eggs to fall pregnant naturally."

According to Dr Datta, the average age for women to experience the menopause in the UK is 51 years.

"Most women experience at least one symptom around the time of menopause, and often start to experience symptoms in the months or years leading up to the menopause," she continues.

"Symptoms really vary from woman to woman, as does how severe they are and how long they last. Common symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes (such as feeling anxious or depressed), fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, memory loss and joint or muscle pain.

"As a result, it can be difficult to get comfortable with the right temperature and women may get around this by wearing lots of layers of clothing."

Read more: Having less sex linked to early menopause

Of course, these symptoms could also have an impact on relationships with many women going through the menopause also suffering from a loss of libido.

"Sex may be uncomfortable and women also express a lack of interest in sex," Dr Datta continues.

But it is important to remember, menopause affects every woman differently.

"Some may have no symptoms at all, or they might be brief and short-lived," Dr Datta says. "For some women they are severe and distressing and natural supplements or medication prescribed by their doctor may be helpful. Generally, the symptoms of menopause can last four to five years, but for some women they can last longer."

Health & Her co-founder, Kate Bache says menopause can have a big impact on couples as wild fluctuation in hormones can lead to a number of challenging symptoms that can affect a woman's body, mood and mind.

"According to data from the ONS, the UK divorce rate is highest amongst women aged 45-49, which is typically when women will experience perimenopause - the lesser known stage that takes place prior to menopause," she explains.

"During this difficult time we encourage men to be there for their partners by educating themselves on the changes that are happening and considering steps that could be taken together," she continues.

"This could include healthy eating and exercise, which can greatly contribute towards the management of many symptoms, or attending couples therapy, which can be a helpful channel for communicating and understanding each other's needs.

"Above all, it's important to remember that this is a natural and temporary phase in a woman's life, that once overcome, may allow you to feel a more positive and stronger connection together.”

Listen to the full Gabby Logan interview on the Women’s Health Going For Goal podcast, available now.

Additional reporting PA.

Watch: Physical activity helps reduce menopause symptoms.