Whether you like it or not, menopause will hit your wife or partner at some point. It’s a rough time not only for her but also for you. And the sad thing is, symptoms can start even before she hits the menopausal stage. The symptoms can include hot flushes and night sweats, which can hamper her sleep pattern. This means, the experience will not only be tough for her but both of you as a couple. Your sex routines may be greatly affected as well.
Some men who were not educated enough about their partner’s menopausal symptoms tend to take the matter personally. Because of her mood swings brought about by those wacky hormones, he thinks she has changed, leading him to look for emotional and physical comfort outside of the relationship. But if you care for your wife or partner, you would expand yourself and be man enough to stand with her in these most trying times. Doing so will preserve and strengthen your relationship.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s period stops for 12 months. Women’s natural menopausal age ranges between 45 and 55, with 51 being the average. In rare cases, they can have it as early as in their 40s or 30s. Some women also don’t have it until their 60’s.
But symptoms can begin to appear in their 40s or 7 years before a woman’s final period and could last for up to 5 years after. This means women can suffer from menopausal symptoms for about 12 years in their lifetime, which is quite challenging. Despite being a natural part of the menopausal process, the symptoms can make women feel bad about themselves, which is quite typical.
The symptoms start to occur as the ovaries begin to produce less progesterone, estrogen and testosterone hormones. The changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can affect the body’s core temperature regulation. Estrogen and progesterone are two female sex hormones that regulate menstruation while testosterone in female regulates sex drive and energy enhancement.
Reduced levels of these hormones, which happens during menopause, can have drastic effects on the female body. The effect can even cause some women vaginal bleeding or dryness and painful sex. Your sex life can drastically go downhill as a result of the following:
1. A decrease in sexual desire
Sex is one of the foundations of a successful relationship. But strong relationships can thrive even without sex. And menopause is the period, which can test the strength of your relationship. It’s this period when your wife may reject your sexual advances not only once, twice, but more often. She may even avoid being intimate with you.
Don’t take all this to heart. It’s not about you or her. It’s about what her body is going through. Since high levels of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone regulate a woman’s reproductive organs and sexual desire, a drop in the level of these hormones naturally leads to a reduced sex drive, the main reason why your wife no longer shows interest in sex.
2. Painful sex
Vaginal dryness, which is one menopausal symptom, can lead to painful intercourse and other discomforts during sex. This is another reason why your wife avoids intimate moments with you. If she’s not telling you about it, she might feel embarrassed to let you know.
3. Mood swings
Changes in her mood also take place during the menopausal period. Aside from the changes in hormone levels, the discomforts and lack of sleep may make her more irritable than usual. The more she’ll get upset when you misunderstood her actions. She may even cry for no reason.
4. A decrease in self-esteem
A lot of things go through a woman’s mind as she hurdles through the menopausal period. She can feel bad about herself when she doesn’t understand what’s going on within. Her self-image and self-esteem will also go down as her energy declines. She may even feel ugly and old.
In addition to the above discomforts, your wife may experience other symptoms including increased irritability, thinning hair, difficulty in focusing, anxiety, lack of energy, lethargy, low mood, emotional vulnerability, increased headaches and muscle and joint pains.
What should you do?
We need to understand that menopause is not something your wife or partner wish to happen to herself. It’s just the way the hormones of the body are designed to do their part. With the hormones’ constant fluctuations, so are their effects on the female body. So, what’s the best course of action to take when menopause hits the house? The experts offer the following advice:
Show understanding and compassion
During menopause, your wife may feel as if she’s standing at her edge. Instead of pushing her to fall, hold her and assure her that you understand what she’s going through. Menopause is only a period, a transitional phase for your relationship. Whatever difficulties she’s facing at the moment, the fact that you’re at her side can mean the world to her.
Talk it out
Most often, issues can be best solved when it’s being brought into the open. Since menopause affects not only your wife’s biological processes but also your relationship, talking about it can give you a proper perspective on where you put yourself and how you can be of help.
Keep the romance alive
You will still make a great couple even with less or no sex at this time. Bring her out to a dinner date, buy her flowers, chocolates or anything she loves. This can make a big difference to her and can make her feel desired, loved, and cared for.
Since painful sex is caused by vaginal dryness, you can experiment with lubricants to stay sexually active. You can also try positions that hurt less or is less uncomfortable for her. She might be feeling quite ‘hot’ and having your body a bit distant from her might offer her comfort.
Accompany her to a health care professional
Sometimes, medication can ease menopausal symptoms. It would be a big help to ask for a doctor’s advice about menopause and how symptoms can be reduced.
Encourage her to eat right and to exercise
A good diet can help boost her mood and energy so is exercise. You can exercise together. A brisk walk or cardio can make her feel good while increasing your bonding time as well.