Menopause can be a challenging moment in life. The slow production of our reproductive hormones brings about a number of effects on our bodies and minds that go from hot flashes to feeling irritable and anxious without an apparent reason. But these symptoms cause much more than feeling physically uncomfortable: menopause can affect your relationships, too. When not properly understood by your loved ones, menopause symptoms can lead to arguments, distancing, fighting, or even divorce.
Did you know that over 60% of divorces are initiated by women in their menopause years? Weird as it may sound, this has a scientific explanation. Hot flashes, for example, can cause a woman to leave the double bed she shares with her significant other in search of somewhere cooler and more comfortable. However logical this may sound, your partner may feel pushed away or even rejected, causing strain in your relationship. Arguing frequently, feeling undesired, and a lack of intimacy are only some of the problems you may experience with your partner.
And menopause can take a toll on other relationships, too. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, chances are you abandoned an active social life to retreat in your room. Meanwhile, not getting enough rest can affect your professional life and make you seem lazy or uninterested in front of your partners or managers. So, let’s take a look at the 7 most common symptoms of menopause which are often misinterpreted and how to explain them to your loved ones to avoid confusion!
What Happens With Hormones During Menopause?
The years leading up to menopause are full of changes, especially when it comes to your hormones. Let’s take estrogen as an example. This hormone is in charge of keeping your vagina moisturised and elastic, among other effects on your body. When its production starts declining during the first stages of menopause, vaginal dryness may appear, together with other annoying symptoms like hot flashes, lack of sexual desire, and night sweats.
Similarly, your levels of progesterone and testosterone also fluctuate during menopause, affecting your sex drive, your bleeding, your fertility, and something as important: your emotions. Research shows it’s very common to feel depressed and irritable during this period in life. Tantrums, mood swings, and inexplicable sadness are all menopause symptoms, and it is important to understand why they happen and look for suitable treatments (and to protect our loved ones from these menopause signs!).
The Most Common Misinterpretation of Menopause Symptoms
Hot flashes, mood swings, lack of desire, and other emotional issues can create a tense atmosphere at your home. You may be quick to anger, always tired, or completely uninterested in spending time with your loved ones, all of which risks creating distance and strain in your relationships. While you need support and understanding, your partner may not be aware of what’s going on or how to properly help you.
The first step towards improving communication and getting your partner to help you go through menopause is to understand what is happening with your body and your hormones, so let’s go!
1. Brain Fog
Brain fog (or the inability to think clearly) is a very common symptom of menopause. In addition to hormonal alterations, menopausal women undergo cognitive changes, which include reduced verbal memory and processing speed. How does brain fog make us feel? In short, you’ll probably be distracted, without focus, and forgetful of names, dates, and other important things. Unfortunately, our partners may interpret this as a lack of interest or a decline in love. If this is not discussed clearly, it can lead to miscommunication and problems in the relationship.
Did you know there’s something called menopausal anxiety? As the name suggests, this is a disorder suffered by almost 23% of women caused by the lack of hormones in our bodies that can lead to feelings of catastrophe, stress, and anxiety we cannot control. In extreme cases, women with menopausal anxiety can end up having panic attacks.
From a social point of view, this can affect the way we’re perceived by others, who can interpret this anxiety as negativity, need for reassurance, overdependence, or even being too controlling. This, in turn, can make your relationships suffer, as you may even end up wondering whether your partner truly loves you.
Luckily, you can take the bull by the horns and try to explain what is going on in your body to your loved ones. Be honest about how you feel, ask for help when anxiety crops up, and ask your partner not to minimise your feelings. Instead, you can teach them more about your triggers and what to do to make you feel better.
Irritability is also a very common menopause symptom that can hurt the ones we love. The lack of hormones in your body can turn a simple event like burned toasts into a nightmare where you end up shouting at your significant other and remembering things that happened years ago.
One step towards ensuring this doesn’t happen is to explain to your significant other that irritability during menopause happens because of a depletion of hormones and not because of their behaviour. Consequently, they can try to be empathetic, not take irritability personally, and adjust their response to the circumstances.
4. Mood Swings
Mood swings happen for the same reason as irritability: a fluctuation of your hormones that affect your brain receptors. Thus, you can be incredibly happy one moment and immersed in sadness the next without apparent reason. Again, our loved ones can see these mood swings as a lack of willpower, weakness, or even poor self-control as they don’t understand how the lack of hormones during menopause works.
Hormone imbalance can certainly turn our emotional lives into a nightmare, but the good news is that there are natural treatments available to make your life a bit easier. For instance, you can try our Hormone Harmony System, made of completely natural ingredients that support hormone balance for women of all ages, easing your symptoms, helping you control cravings and mood swings, and boosting your energy to do away with brain fog!
5. Low Libido
Your sex drive can also change during the menopause period. Some women notice an increase in their sexual desire, but many others may experience a decrease due to having less testosterone and estrogen in their blood. This, in combination with vaginal dryness, is the perfect combo for many to replace sex with Netflix marathons any day of the week.
Of course, you can imagine what type of problems this can bring about in your relationship, as your partner will probably feel there’s a lack of interest and desire on your end. And while there’s no magical solution to this problem, acknowledging the issue and explaining its causes can help. Your partner should know exactly what’s going on with your body so you can look for solutions together.
Experts recommend that partners increase the number of intimate moments they spend together, physically and emotionally. Using external stimulation, such as vibrators, and moisturizers to avoid vaginal dryness is also a great solution to increase your libido.
If you are feeling more tired than ever, again your hormones are to blame. You’re not lazy but are suffering from menopause symptoms! Don’t let anybody minimise your fatigue and accuse you of laziness: instead, explain that the lack of progesterone makes you feel tired. Plus, don’t hesitate to consult with a doctor and look for a suitable treatment for your fatigue.
It’s very clear by now that menopause can be an emotional rollercoaster, as depression can also hit hard during this period in life. On top of dealing with your emotions, you’ll have to educate your loved ones so they don’t perceive depression as negativity, laziness, being anti-social, or simply lacking the interest to continue the relationship. It’s not a question of trying harder, but depression is a real health problem that requires attention and help from professionals. If you avoid social events or even struggle to get out of your bed, it’s time to seek help and look for adequate treatment.
Then, your loved ones need to know how to help you, too. Some common phrases that don’t help include: “just smile and you’ll forget!”, “you just need to get out of bed and you’ll feel better”, “you’re just too negative”. None of them is going to help you magically snap out of depression. Instead, a joint visit to a health professional is in order so you can deal with these emotional symptoms in the best way possible and with the help of the person you love the most.
Other Effective Ways to Protect Your Relationships During Menopause
If you are having trouble handling your fluctuating emotions, among other symptoms, here you can find some tips for natural menopause relief:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes avoiding alcohol, having a balanced diet, and exercising regularly. This will help you sleep better and manage depression and anxiety in a natural way.
- Find an activity that helps you relax. After a long, stressful day at work, there’s nothing better than spending some time by yourself and practising something that calms you down, like meditation or yoga.
- Improve communication with your loved ones. Menopause can be a difficult time to go through, and it can be even worse if the ones you love have no idea what you are experiencing. Take the time to understand your feelings and then try to explain them to the people who surround you. In this way, they’ll be able to help you cope with depression, anxiety, brain fog, or any other menopause symptom you may be experiencing. Plus, you’ll avoid misunderstandings and confusion.
- Try out natural supplements to regulate your hormones. Hormone imbalances during menopause can be nightmarish, but there’s something you can try out to regain your equilibrium: natural supplements like our Hormone Balance Collection. These are carefully devised formulas that will target and adapt to your unique needs and do away with hot flashes, irritability, anxiety, or any other symptom you may have.
Don’t Let Menopause Stand in Your Way
Facing a loss of sexual desire, poor sleep, hot flashes, irritability and anxiety can certainly take a toll on any relationship. While all these symptoms are completely natural and expected during menopause, not many people are informed or understand their implications. As a result, declining hormone levels can cause a lot more than those pesky night sweats. For instance, the lack of sexual drive caused by low hormone levels can be perceived as a lack of interest or love.
Don’t let your menopause symptoms get in the way between you and your loved ones! To fight misunderstandings and confusion, communication in any relationship is key. Pay attention to your triggers, understand exactly what is going on with your body, and then try to explain it to your partner, friends, or co-workers if necessary.
In this way, they will not take your reactions personally and they’ll be able to accompany you accordingly during this period in life. Your menopause symptoms will be much more manageable with the help and support of those you love.
For more tips on how to treat menopause symptoms and still feel and look your best, follow us on social media, where we regularly post about issues that commonly affect most women.