My husband became quite the online student during Covid lockdowns, happily swapping previous commuting hours for YouTube IPA home-brewing tutorials and general ‘fix it’ man stuff. Well, he’s still working from home, and I’ve found him just the ticket. Menopause training!
Yes, you read right. Created by the UK-based Menopause Experts Group, this genius online course is specifically designed for the men in our lives to understand what women go through during menopause, how it affects them also, and perhaps most importantly, how they can help us get through this often confusing and frustrating time. Because it’s online it can be done in the privacy of your own home at your own pace, and it’s completely free of charge.
Research has shown that more marriages fall apart during this period of a women’s life than any other, which is pretty scary but perhaps understandable given the potential symptoms women can face during menopause, including depression, migraines, night sweats, and loss of sex drive. Which makes it all the more reason for men to be in the know.
Wishful thinking perhaps, but since the training course was launched in June last year, husbands, partners, sons and male co-workers have been registering in record numbers, according to Dee Murray, CEO and Founder of Menopause Experts.
And not only are men signing up for menopause training at twice the rate of women, says Dee, they’re also finishing the training faster – in three weeks on average, compared to three months for women, who have their own online training version.
Encouraging stuff. But I learned long ago that most men clam up at the mere mention of periods (which was quite handy if you had a male boss and needed to call in a sickie. “Ok, no problem. Um, get well soon…?” Click. Sound familiar?), and I can only assume that as a married woman decades later, the subject of menopause, considering it’s all related, may have a similar effect on my husband. But while I suspect he may not thank me immediately, I think he will later.
I spoke with Dee Murray, CEO and founder of Menopause Experts, to the get the details:
What made you create this training course? And how is it unique?
My background in psychology made me very aware that men need to be involved in this conversation, as menopause affects them too. We are not aware of any other platform that provides comprehensive education regarding menopause for men, which is relevant to husbands, partners, sons and male colleagues, including bosses. We have not dumbed the training down, and kept the information both relevant and supportive.
How has it been received?
We’ve been amazed at how quickly men signed up during the first week when we launched. It is not just partners who are signing up, it is HR directors and company bosses too! Surprisingly, we have noticed that men are completing the course faster than women (perhaps they have more time?).
Men often clam up with talk of periods or menopause. Any tips on how we get them to sign up for the training?
When I talk confidently about menopause most men are very curious. The more we talk openly about this, the less embarrassing it becomes. Men approach me all the time wanting to talk about their wives’ moods and hormones, often thinking it is something they have done. Men are fixers by nature and they get frustrated when they can’t solve things. However, menopause needs support not fixing, and so education plays a vital role in preparing women and men for the post-reproductive years of their lives.
Most women get very down because they don’t feel their partners understand what is happening, but women don’t either, so it is time for everyone to be educated. Let’s not waste anymore time debating it, let’s just do it.
I can’t find anywhere in the US that does something similar. Do you know of any?
No, we believe we are the first. We provide this free training because it’s a resource that’s not available elsewhere. Education about menopause in the UK and the US is severely lacking, and we’re trying to change that.
What can men expect to learn on the course?
Everything about menopause that they need to know, including female anatomy, biology and psychology. Understanding what happens to a woman when she enters post-reproduction has never been discussed with men before, so it is time for the post-reproduction awakening!
What key aspects of menopause do you think men need to know about (that can affect their marriages and lives as their wives deal with them)?
It’s important for men to know how it impacts their partner’s psychology and ultimately their sex life. Women often lose the desire to have sex with their partners during menopause. There are several reasons for this that are discussed during the training, but the great news is that there are ways to reignite a healthy sex life in a relationship.
Is the course all online and can you do it from anywhere in the world?
The course is all online, free, and available from anywhere in the world. It is currently only available in English, but we are working towards implementing versions that deal with different cultures and languages as we grow.
What would you say to men who are hesitant or nervous about doing the training?
Why would you hesitate? If you love the woman in your life, this information could save your relationship. A single piece of information gleaned from the training could be life-changing for both of you.
Have you really had sons do it? That’s impressive!
Younger men are particularly keen as their mother may be going through it. My son is 19 and has completed the training. He is very knowledgeable about the subject and has now secured a job within a menopause business working on IT support.
You say co-workers have signed up. Have you found this is an HR initiative?
This is a great initiative for HR and the wider corporate arena. The training provides companies with a much-needed resource that is accessible 24/7 and available whenever someone needs information on a specific menopause-related subject. Some companies are now signing up for a Brand License that lets them run internal training or sell it on to clients in the form of a workshop or event.
Roughly how much time overall does the training take?
If you are coming with no knowledge of menopause, we recommend that you study for 30 to 60 minutes daily, meaning the training can be completed in a few weeks. If you have the time and are so inclined, you could get through the sessions in 16 to 20 hours.
Is there a written element or is it all listening or watching?
The training incorporates written and aural elements, with graphics to illustrate points like women’s biology. The training is developing over time and is constantly updated as new research is carried out.
Are men featured in the training materials?
Yes, as we talk about relationships quite a lot, and that has just as much to do with men.
The training is for both men and women. Roughly what percentage of it speaks directly to men?
The men’s training course is separate from the women’s. Both courses can be accessed as www.menopauseexpertstraining.com/browse.