To improve sex, it’s especially important to find ways of talking with your partner about how sex feels and how both your sexual feelings are changing as you age. Women who experience increased sexual desire (which is perfectly normal, although less common than reduced libido) may feel confused because ageing bodies are not typically viewed as sexual.
Don’t try to read your partner’s mind – you have not experienced menopause and should not be expected to understand how it feels. You can, however, increase your understanding by talking to her about the changes she is experiencing. You can also use the opportunity to let your partner know that you still love her and aren’t interested in having sex with other women (and be reassured that she still loves you, even if she doesn’t want sex as much).
If you are worried that you might hurt your partner during sex, ask her if she ever experiences sexual pain and what causes her pain during sex. You may find that some aspects of sex from earlier years may have improved for her. Discuss possible strategies for improving your sex life with your partner, and be ready to make some practical suggestions. For example, suggest going shopping for sex toys or talk about articles you’ve read on menopause.
Bear in mind that your own sexual feelings have also changed with age, and it’s important for you to explain these changes to your partner. You may also start a discussion about treatments that can relieve the sexual symptoms of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy is effective in relieving sexual symptoms in most women, and there are also treatments available for male sexual dysfunctions, including erectile dysfunction.
Also ask about her preferences for sexual activities now she is in the menopausal period
Problems with the intimate relationship or a lack of social support may worsen psychological symptoms (e.g. mood changes) during menopause, and these may in turn worsen sexual symptoms. Try to talk with your partner about any issues in your intimate relationship, and think about how you can deal with these. For example, consider practical steps you can take to improve your relationship, like spending more time together. Some couples may benefit from relationship counselling to address issues such as lack of trust.
Menopause is a time of significant emotional upheavals for women, and these changes ple, a menopausal woman may be coping with changes to her maternal role because of children leaving home. Talk to your partner about these changes and how she is holding up emotionally. Just talking may help, although other strategies may be needed if she is experiencing severe emotional changes which are negatively affecting her daily life or relationships. For example, she may need some special attention, and you can encourage and help her to:
It is an opportunity for you both to reassure each other that the sexual changes are not because of reduced feelings of intimacy and love
- Put aside special time for herself;
- Do something special;
- Surround herself with supportive friends;
- Take on new roles in life, such as joining an interest group or doing charity work; and
- Talk to her doctor if she experiences severe emotional symptoms.
The shape, size and texture of a woman’s body typically changes in the menopausal period. These changes may cause women to feel less confident about their body image. Society tends to value young bodies more than older bodies, and often equate the normal changes that occur as a woman ages (e.g. weight gain, wrinkling and sagging skin) with loss of beauty, even though they are completely normal.