What Exactly is Menopause?
Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop functioning, ending her menstruation and ability to reproduce. Usually menopause occurs during the mid to late 40s to early 50s but can also occur before or after this time. When a woman’s menstruation has ceased for at least one year, she has gone through menopause and is now post-menopausal. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, spotty or irregular menstrual periods, urinary symptoms, decreased sex drive, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Women may experience a few or several of these symptoms since menopause affects every woman differently.
How Menopause Can Effect Women
Some women experience menopause as a natural occurrence but others experience menopause as a result of a hysterectomy. In both surgical menopause and naturally occurring menopause, hormone levels are affected since the ovaries have stopped functioning and no longer produce estrogen. This can result in a decreased sex drive. Depending on the woman’s libido prior to going through menopause, a decreased sex drive may not be a huge problem for her but it can be a problem for her partner if she is in a relationship. Menopausal women who have experienced problems or are concerned about the effects menopause will have on their relationship and intimacy with their partner can benefit greatly from hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Menopausal women who have experienced or are concerned about the effects menopause will have on their relationship and intimacy with their partner can benefit greatly from hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. Hormone levels play a big part in a woman’s attitude, lifestyle, and sexual desire.
Lifestyle Changes Associated with Menopause
In addition to having a decreased libido, other issues such as depression, certain medications, or health problems, can have an effect on a menopausal woman and her relationships. Post-menopausal women are at an increased risk for illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Changes in hormone levels may also cause some women to experience changes in their mental health. If a woman is experiencing mental health issues or is under treatment for other medical conditions, this can cause a strain on her relationships. Treatments for any illnesses or other medical conditions may also include medications which can adversely affect the libido. Likewise, any issues left untreated can add strain to a relationship. Women should talk to their partners about any effects they are experiencing as a result of menopause. They will need the support and understanding to help get through this change in their life and also to help keep the relationship together.