Menopause and Depression – Are They Killing Your Sex Life?

by Laura Ramirez on September 12, 2011

Menopause and depression impact all areas of a woman’s life and can take a toll on her relationships, particularly with regard to sex and intimacy. Symptoms such as insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes and night sweats don’t help you more pleasant or your interactions more loving. When you add to this the fact that your partner may be going through male menopause and may be suffering symptoms of his own, you start to understand the high divorce rate during mid-life.

Since depression can be a symptom of menopause or be a preexisting condition that is worsened by it or by the simple realization that you are getting older, it is important to get yourself on solid emotional ground. Often, this can be accomplished with hormone therapy (either synthetic or bioidentical) so fluctuating hormones do not send emotions spiraling out of control. Sometimes medications help take off the edge temporarily or psychotherapy and lifestyle changes (like improving your diet) are helpful. Just adding exercise to your daily regimen and keeping a gratitude journal can help you to change gears.

Another thing that you might realize is that you are not getting the emotional support that you used to get from your spouse or partner. Sometimes, this could indicate that your man is also displeased with his life. Around the age of 40, some men start suffering with erectile dysfunction for the first time ever. Embarrassed by this condition, rather than talk about it, many men withdraw and stop making intimate contact. While a lot of people assume this condition is psychological, it is often physical and can be treated easily with the right medication.

Here’s what one article has to say about the effects of menopause on the sex drive:

In women, physical changes like menopause can affect physical intimacy and sexual drive. Although, menopause itself does not affect your ability to have sex, the reduced hormone levels may cause certain discomforts like vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This may also prolong your period to reach an orgasm.

If you are constantly popping antidepressant pills or if you are suffering from signs of clinical depression, it’s no wonder that your sex life is suffering a major set-back. One of the major hallmarks of depression is reduced interest in sex. Be aware that both depression and antidepressant pills can affect your libido. Thus, it is advisable to treat the condition at the earliest.

Marital or relationship problems like lack of trust and proper communication can act as major hindrance to experiencing enjoyable and satisfying sex. Women, in particular, are closely tuned to their emotional sides at the time of sexual intimacy. Hence, it is vital to solve all issues like infidelity, unsolved conflicts or fight and poor connection to steer your sex life in the right direction. For this, you can even seek professional counseling to sort out any personal indifference between you and your partner.

menopause and depression

Menopause and depression do not have to rule your life.

Some other things that will help alleviate menopause and depression is to get enough sleep. Create an environment in your bedroom that is inviting and relaxing. Keep electronic devices out of your room because the tiny indicator lights on the front of them can wake you up during the middle of the night. Take natural supplements like melatonin or 5 HTP to ensure a good night’s sleep or drink a glass of warm milk about 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Engage in rituals that relax you before you settle down for the night.

Have honest communications with your significant other about what you’re experiencing. Encourage your partner to share feelings too, so you can support each other instead of fighting or withdrawing even more.

Cutting down on alcohol consumption can help. Instead of drinking wine to relax, try a warm cup of herbal tea with local honey. Making sure that you are well-hydrated will also make you feel more energetic. Just having more energy alone can lift you out of the depressive cycle that is so damaging to relationships and sexual intimacy.

How about you? Has the combination of menopause and depression compromised your sex life? Which changes have you made that might help other women in the same situation? Please leave your comments below and share this on Facebook using the social media buttons below. Let’s start a conversation about menopause symptoms that is helpful to everyone.

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