Impact of Change Stories
For some women hormonal changes and/or the related emotional changes of the transition affected their intimate relationships and sex life.
“I found my sex life just disappeared. I wasn’t interested in sex anymore. If he approached me I would have a hot flush that was most unpleasant so I would push him away, of course this led to marital problems. More recently I have come out of this change and since then we have been able to get back to a good sexual relationship. The issues we faced in that time were very difficult for me but I have learnt a lot from it and it has been a very positive experience over all.”
“I miss the feeling of wanting sex and that, for me, is one of the most significant changes of this time.”
“I was very dry, and found sex uncomfortable. When I asked my GP for help he said “you don’t need it anymore” but I still did need it. A friend told me about KY jelly and that has made a difference for us”
“The sleeplessness that I experienced interfered with my husbands sleep also.”
“My menopause was premature through surgery. I really struggled with it at first. I was 31 years old and I thought that I was going to be a lesser woman to society and to my partner. I saw both a sex counsellor and a marriage counsellor. In the end it was my own acceptance of what had happened that pulled me through. I realised that this was not the end of my life. It is how I think about myself that matters.”
Family and Friends
Family life and friendships can be affected in some unexpected ways.
“I would sometimes feel that I could kill anyone in the family on certain days, no-one was safe, they all gave me the shits.”
“I have always been a listener but I find that now I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t feel myself to be nurtured in my relationships and I want to feel nurtured myself now.”
“It doesn’t feel like a safe time for me with friends. I am afraid of going blank and forgetting what we are talking about, so I find myself observing life not participating in it.”
Self-identity was another thing that changed for women as they passed through the “menopausal years”.
“I used to think of myself as a confident and passionate person and as a competent worker. Recently I have found myself just going blank mid-sentence, I completely forget what I was talking about. My language skills have dropped off so rather than risking feeling inadequate I just don’t do things”
“I looked at myself in the mirror. My skin pores were larger and I looked somehow more masculine. My skin had become looser. But I felt the same on the inside.”
“I get a shock when I see myself in the mirror because it is not how I imagine myself. I look in the mirror and I think “Oh my god I’m my mother”
“I still find myself choosing the size 10 clothes of the rack and I am definitely no longer a size 10 but I still feel like the same me!!!”
“I went through menopause prematurely, so it happened 15 years ago. It is only now that I feel that I am ageing. Menopause didn’t relate to ageing for me in the same way that it does for women who go through menopause in their middle life.
“I’m in the middle of menopause, my periods have stopped and I haven’t felt that feeling of wellbeing, that joy and excitement in the world since. It’s a confidence thing. I hope this is not it”
Women will sometimes feel that their “social identity” has also changed.
“Men stopped noticing me. But I found it very liberating I could do something and be who I wanted and not be noticed for it. I am more focused on me now. My menopause was related to the chemotherapy I had for breast cancer. The cancer may be a part of the change, but I feel this is my process I’m going through, this is about MY life.”
“I feel invisible both sexually and socially and this gets up my nose. I think this is our culture’s attachment to youth. I like my soul to show on my face.
“Since I turned 50 there have been a few changes in my house. I had become invisible to my husband. I thought menopause makes me invisible in society at least I should be visible in my marriage. So I moved out of the matrimonial bed. I am more like a mistress now. We have great sex when I am romanced. I don’t look after him anymore. I cook for him if I am cooking for myself. I don’t assume the same things about me or him.”
Women have found that while they are in the menopausal transition that their recreational activities have been affected.
“It made it harder to enjoy sport when I was having hot flushes all the time.”
“My level of activity revolved around how much sleep I’d had. I was previously very active but the sleep disruption has really affected me.”
“I have osteoporosis now and so physically menopause is really affecting my life as I have had to give up two things I really love, skiing and horse-riding.”
“I find that I am so much less supple, I find it hard to get up off the floor. It is hard to do the same exercise. Over the last 6 months I have worked through an overwhelming feeling of being really old but I know now that I can get fitter.”
“I feel that my strength has changed I have to ask people to help me. I feel brittle.”
Please note: these stories are of a personal nature written by individuals experiencing menopasue and with their express permission. The Foundation takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the content, or any of the actions, experiences or concepts described by the writer; nor does it necessarily endorse or recommend any of the treatments, products or services that may be referred to. If you are concerned about your health in any way it is advisable that you speak to a health practitioner.
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