Unexpected changes in our sex life
My wife and I have been married for 24 years. She is 51 and i am 49. Within the last 6 months, we have had difficulties in bed. I was having some issues keeping erections so I started generic viagra which helped. My wife though is indicating she doesnt really feel much arousal. She says she has desire, but her physical body doesn’t respond to touch. She says when I touch her its more like a medical exam. For a test, one night she tried to manually stimulate herself but she didn’t respond. When we have intercourse she says that it feels different and she can’t achieve an O even with me stimulating her with my hand. So, it’s been difficult lately. We have sorta avoided intimacy altogether due to the uncertainties. My wife has also noticed her body changing in other ways such as frequent burping/sensitive stomach, difficulty sleeping at night. She says she will wake up and feel what seems like hormones racing through her body and it keeps her awake. She is thinking she may be on the verge of menopause. She still has a period but even its changing. So, my question is from those who have similar experiences, can you offer any advice? My wife has an appt with her obgyn next week to discuss more. Looking for some hope 🙂
It definitely sounds hormonal 😯 Have you guys discussed what your desires are for sexual intimacy and your sexual relationship, as you age? Have you discussed your stance on BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy)? If not, I would discuss those things first. I know that bhrt could help with a lot of those issues you are speaking of, especially in your wife, but potentially in you too. I would check out a bhrt doctor, it will likely save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run (if you can’t find one in your area, there is telemedicine and we have had a good experience with Defy Medical.) I am sure not all OBGYN’s are like mine was, but when I asked about what I should do if I face low libido, she basically said that was all in the head and called hormone doctor’s quacks. Thankfully, I am educated enough to know that this medical doctor has no clue what she is talking about in that area, and I know to never to go to her when I face my own issues… but not every patient would be as I was. Another wife going into her, may have seen the death to her sex life in her marriage, she may have gone away feeling broken and hopeless, or rejoicing because now she has a “professional” backing her in getting out of sex … so be educated and be careful on how much stock you put into the “professionals” words.
As I am nearing those menopausal years, and am likely facing perimenopause right now, I have been paying closer attention to information around that. One thing that I have found a little scar,y but also good news in practicality, is that for women, it sounds very much like it is a “use it or lose it” scenario. The vaginal tissues will stay healthier with regular blood flow and lubrication to the area… masturbation is as effective as sex. It also sounds like frequent sex will keep the vaginal wall from shrinking and therefore, it will be more likely it will keep the pain and eventually impossibility of having PIV away. That can be hope to some and doom to others. That’s why I believe it is very important you guys discuss the importance of sexual intimacy in your marriage as you age, and realizing, that it can and will likely change in how it looks, but if you want to keep intercourse (PIV) as part of that sexual intimacy, now is the time to be working towards that.
My DW had some of the same issues. We found out she was in perimenopause! Welcome to the next stage in life! You will face new challenges to walk through together.
One thing to remember: Love and sex may have been primarily hormone driven in the past. But you will find that they can be sustained by passionate emotion and deep commitment too!
My wife is turning 42 and has the hormones of a 55 yr old (the bloodwork said so THREE yrs ago) and she just went 11 months without a period and then decided to have another one so the count to end menopause started over. Her desire has been down the past few months. I am a little older than your wife so I understand your situation in the bedroom as well. (Some days & wks are better than others for me.)
As SC said, it is a bit of a “use it or lose it” scenario. While DW’s desire is down, we’ve still continued (3-5x/wk) because of the connection we feel, the importance it is to my marriage and my generous wife to meet my needs & desires for frequency.. At this point, sometimes she’s on fire and other times, sex is “whatever” for her. (HOWEVER, she never makes me feel that way.) DW used to describe something similar to what you described and she takes natural supplements to help with various menopause symptoms. My wife prefers more natural homeopathic options over traditional meds if possible and she suggests going to bonafide.com where she gets hers from to check out their various options. She just ordered one that helps with desire also so we’ll see how that does over the next couple months but the other thing she’s taken has helped her hot flashes and PMS/irritability symptoms tremendously.
DW also suggested using coconut oil or almond massage oil for foreplay lubricant because it’ll also help with vaginal dryness. She likes the natural stuff and I bought MELT massage oil for massage BUT it has become a staple in our bedroom after she tried it on me for OS and she never wanted coconut oil again because almond oil is more stable, esecpailly in the winter here.
She is absolutely menopausal. A lack of Estrogen will cause most of those issues plus at least 12 more!!
HRT not only involves the secondary benefits of relieving symptoms but the primary reason for HRT is the big 3: Heart attack/Alzheimers/Osteoporosis. Very important as heart attack kills far more women than cancer.
I am on HRT and have been for at least 3 years but despite that and alleviation of many symptoms, i still have different symptoms down there. Penetration doesn’t feel exquisitely good like it used to, in fact it feels just–wooden. But clitoral stimulation still results in good orgasms but they vary. All a normal part of aging, unfortunately and in addition to urging her to explore HRT, you both have to wrap your head around your new normal and bring humor into it and be prepared for lowered expectations and attitude adjustments. Sex can be wonderful in later years but it most certainly is different.
I would urge her to look up Menopause Barbie on YT. She is a retired gynecologist that specializes in menopause, she has over 100 videos that can be overwhelming but i have never heard anyone like her explain the truth of hormones and menopause, your wife will learn a lot.
SC is right, it is important to make a commitment to maintain sexual intimacy as you head into this phase of your marriage. My DW at 47 years old had a hysterectomy and went through her change very quickly. She lost most of her ability to become aroused simply by touching, cuddling, etc. On top of that, she had not experienced an orgasm during our 22 years of marriage. What saved our sex life was discovering the Magic Wand, which provided my wife with her first O. It is now a regular part of our lovemaking.
We make a point of scheduling PIV sex at least once a week, and usually engage in some other sex play during the week (HJ for me in the shower or bathtub, sometimes PIV sex, etc.). Scheduled sex may sound boring, but knowing we will be having PIV sex on Saturday morning gives us something to look forward to, and gives DW and I time and motivation to make preparations. For example, my wife might take time during the week to find a piece of lingerie she has not worn for awhile, or put out some extra candles to enhance the romantic atmosphere of our bedroom. I will make sure I am groomed (smooth nails, shaved face, etc.) so I smell and ‘feel’ good when I cuddle and ‘touch’ my wife. I think about new activities we can engage in during foreplay; recently I have started using a feather to tickle her back and butt and started using some new vibrators during the cuddling phase of our love making session. On a weekly basis we discuss and talk about what each of us needs and wants to make our sex lives satisfying.
Having a quality sex life requires active engagement on the part of both spouses, and means lot of frequent communication and patient listening. These things become even more important as we start to age, or when other factors bring change into our sex lives (birth of a child, etc.) I will be praying for you and your wife.