“When your partner goes through menopause,
different hormonal changes will affect their body,
health, energy levels and mood”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Relationships Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menopause Lovers/Partners/Spouses
  • Menopause Relationships

Menopause

How may menopause impact on a woman’s relationships?

In Information for Partners the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) elaborate on:

“When your partner goes through menopause, different hormonal changes will affect their body, health, energy levels and mood. They may also have different emotions about coming to the end of their reproductive years.

While every woman’s experience is different, it’s a good idea to learn about menopause and related symptoms so you can support them through this time”.2

Menopause Symptoms

What are some menopause symptoms?

In Perimenopause – Fact Sheet: Symptoms the JH explain:

“Symptoms can include any of the following:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Irregular periods
  • Problems with falling asleep, staying asleep and sleep quality
  • Breast tenderness
  • Itchy/crawly/dry skin
  • Exhaustion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido (sex drive – talk to your doctor about sexual function if this concerns you)
  • Migraines
  • More pronounced premenstrual tension
  • Mood changes, such as feeling more teary and irritable. Anxiety may also occur
  • Weight gain, despite no changes to diet or exercise, due to the metabolism slowing down”.3

Sex

Is there an association between sex and menopause relationships?

In Information for Partners: Sex and Menopause the JH elaborate on:

“It’s common for women to have lower sex drive (libido) during menopause. This could be due to many things, including changing hormone levels, vaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness (which can cause discomfort during sex) and lowered mood and fatigue”.4

In Relationships the JH elaborate on:

“The impact of sexual problems on a relationship can be significant. Painful sex (dyspareunia), problems with libido, physical changes such as menopause can all impact on your sex life and your relationship. Consider having an open discussion with your partner and/or a health professional about how you feel. If you’ve been avoiding sex this can be especially difficult. But if you do find support, it can build intimacy and help you to manage your sexual relationship more honestly. The good news is there are strategies to help you”.5

Menopause or Not

Does menopause cause all sexual problems during this time?

Not necessarily. In Relationships: Relationships & Painful Sex the JH elaborate on:

“For women approaching menopause who are experiencing sexual problems in a relationship, it is helpful to sort out how much is due to the physical symptoms of menopause rather than other sexual issues. It can be difficult to know if menopause influences your relationship with your partner, or if the relationship you have with your partner influences your experience of menopause”.6

Tips for Couples and Partners

What are some tips for couples and partners?

In Navigating Menopause Together: How Partners Can Help — Tips for Couples and Partners the JH elaborate on:

“The years surrounding menopause can be difficult for women and families, but supportive communication can help. These tips from Ms Needleman are designed for couples, but some may also apply to women who don’t have a partner.

  • Learn together…
  • Negotiate sex…
  • Maintain connection…
  • Wait for calm….
  • Practise self-care”.7

In Perimenopause – Fact Sheet: Supporting Your Partner Through Perimenopause the JH also elaborate on:

“Tips that can help both of you include:

  • Reading up about menopause…
  • Engaging in non-sexual ‘no strings attached’ physical contact, such as hugs and back rubs…
  • Sleeping alone when necessary…
  • Listening and asking questions….
  • Making comments that show empathy (“that sounds really hard”) and…
  • Not making jokes about her symptoms
  • Reminding your partner you find her attractive and how much you love and value her”.8

Tips for Partners

What are some tips for partners?

In Information for Partners: Tips To Support Your Partner the JH elaborate on:

“There are many things you can do to help your partner through the different stages of menopause.

For example:

  • Listen and be supportive
  • Understand that some (not all) mood changes may be due to menopause
  • Allow your partner to express their feelings, even if you don’t understand them
  • Ask your partner to help you understand their symptoms
  • Encourage your partner to talk about what they need and when they need it
  • Keep an open mind about why your partner may be acting differently
  • Support your partner to make healthy choices, like eating healthy food and reducing alcohol consumption (which can
  • Affect menopausal symptoms)
  • Be patient when it comes to sex – and find other ways to be intimate
  • Go with your partner to medical appointments or counselling (if required)”.9

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with my relationship?

If you would like help with your relationship, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. Together you can decide on who may be the best health care provider to help you.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Relationships?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Information for Partners. Last Updated: 20 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/information-for-partners Accessed: 08 October 2022
  2. Information for Partners. Last Updated: 20 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/information-for-partners Accessed: 08 October 2022
  3. Perimenopause – Fact Sheet: Supporting Your Partner Through Perimenopause. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/resources/perimenopause-fact-sheet Accessed: 08 October 2022
  4. Information for Partners: Sex and Menopause. Last Updated: 20 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/information-for-partners Accessed: 08 October 2022
  5. Relationships. Last Updated: 10 January 2020| Last Reviewed: 02 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/sex-sexual-health/relationships Accessed: 08 October 2022
  6. Relationships: Relationships & Painful Sex. Last Updated: 10 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 02 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/sex-sexual-health/relationships Accessed: 08 October 2022
  7. Navigating Menopause Together: How Partners Can Help — Tips for Couples and Partners. Last Updated: 17 October 2022 | Last Reviewed: 10 October 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/news/navigating-menopause-together-how-partners-can-help Accessed: 18 October 2022
  8. Perimenopause – Fact Sheet: Supporting Your Partner Through Perimenopause. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/resources/perimenopause-fact-sheet Accessed: 08 October 2022
  9. Information for Partners: Relationships. Last Updated: 24 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 03 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/information-for-partners Accessed: 08 October 2022
Topic Last Updated: 28 October 2022 — Topic Last Reviewed: 08 October 2022

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