Keeping Romance Alive Despite Menopause
It's been a long day. I feel exhausted. I can detect a faintly unpleasant smell emanating from myself and deduce that my antiperspirant deodorant has failed miserably in its task of keeping me dry and fresh through innumerable hot flashes. Forget the bear with a sore head - I feel like a bear with an axe through my head with the headache that has descended upon my hormonal brow.
Speaking of axes, it would probably be wise to hide any household or garden tools which could be used as a weapon as I feel an irrational rage inflating from my very core. I say irrational but my other half forgot to put his dinner plate in the dishwasher and in my menopausal eyes that is a clear motive for murder. Isn't it?
And then, dear reader, I notice the glint in his eye as he shuffles over to me on the couch. The children are in bed and I want nothing more than to quell my stress with some mindless TV followed by blissful oblivion in sleep but he has other ideas.
To be fair, I should be flattered that he still wants to see my battle-scarred, child-birth-wrecked body naked and delighted that he still sees me in a romantic fashion. But believe me, sex is usually the last thing on my mind.
I know I am not alone in this feeling. Many of my friends have confessed to imaginary illnesses, lengthy or even fictional menstrual periods or have feigned deep sleep to avoid any bedroom antics.
My case is not helped by the fact that I have a prolapse, apparently caused by the diminishing oestrogen in my body as the menopause well and truly takes hold. This makes sex uncomfortable at best and downright painful at times. Oestrogen pessaries help the physical symptoms but along with the tablets I take for menopausal high blood pressure, I feel like a broken old hag.
So what can be done about lack of sex drive and romance? Well it depends whether it's due to physical aspects of the menopause or a feeling of being old, unattractive or frumpy.