It may not have occurred to you that crying, moodiness, and hot flashes experienced by the woman in your life are medical symptoms and not an indication that something is wrong with your relationship.
So now you know you’re getting the blowback from her menopausal symptoms, but you don’t know what to do about it. It can’t be said too often: it’s best to communicate. Go with her to her doctor’s appointment. Read more about this phase of a woman’s life. Talk to her about her experiences and feelings. Ask her how you can help.
The experts at everydayhealth.com offer some survival tips to get you started:
- Don’t take her moodiness personally. It’s just the female hormones talking – the estrogen and progesterone surging and ebbing in her body. Grumpiness or tearfulness can also result from lack of sleep which menopausal women experience as they deal with hot flashes and night sweats.
Flexibility is the key to dealing with mood swings. Instead of getting defensive, ask her if she wants to talk, or give her some space. Sometimes, all she needs is a little understanding.
- Be patient when it comes to sex. When women go through menopause, their vaginal tissue can become very sensitive. As estrogen levels drop, the tissue in and around the vagina can dry out, making it very thin, thereby making intercourse painful.
On top of that, many women may lose interest in sex during menopause because their levels of the male hormone testosterone, which helps fuel libido, can drop along with other hormones.
The bottom line? Be patient. If your partner just isn’t in the mood, don’t press the issue. Most women’s libidos usually revive after menopause is complete. If she’s willing but has physical pain, suggest she talk to her doctor about vaginal estrogen creams to help relieve the dryness.
- Make her feel beautiful. Many women feel less than feminine as they go through menopause. Some mourn the loss of their reproductive abilities. Others may find their weight creeping up, even if they’re maintaining their normal diet and exercise routines. Add that to the constant hot flashes, and you’ve got a recipe for one sweaty, unhappy woman.
How can you help? Remind her that she looks great. You can also suggest a date night, a leisurely dinner out over a glass of wine, or an evening at home, just the two of you.
- Remember that menopause is not forever. Menopause may seem like the bad gift that keeps on giving, but you can take comfort in knowing that things do get better. The transition into menopause can last up to eight years or so, but most women feel their symptoms most acutely for only about two years.
- Know when to suggest a doctor. Sometimes menopausal symptoms can’t be optimally treated with self-care. In fact, the woman in your life may be avoiding seeing a doctor out of fear. You can help by suggesting to go to the doctor with her. Just knowing that you’ll be by her side offering support may be enough to encourage a visit.