LGBTQIA+ and Sex During Menopause

The menopausal transition affects people in different ways. Many people report that stress can wreak havoc on menopausal symptoms. A person born with ovaries will experience menopause, but the experience may vary depending on their gender identity. If the person undergoes surgery to remove the ovaries before menopause transition, the effects of menopause will start to appear soon after the procedure. Effects may be more abrupt and feel more severe than with natural menopause, as they will not develop gradually and will come on quickly. Male hormone supplements may either reduce or complicate these effects as well.

Females in same-sex relationships who experience menopause naturally at midlife may find that their partner can offer positive support regarding changing sexual emotions and activity. However, women in same sex relationships may have a partner who is going through the menopause at the same time. In some circumstances, this may be positive in terms of increased mutual understanding. Sometimes, if both partners are experiencing symptoms such as sleep disturbance or night sweats, this may increase tiredness and fatigue for both partners. It may also be more difficult if both partners experience symptoms such as depression or mood swings at the same time.

Transgender, non-binary and intersex individuals may also experience the menopause. Some trans people may not wish to disclose their trans status to their employer or others for example and as such may not wish to disclose their menopausal symptoms if it would disclose their trans status. This can be difficult as they are going through the transition often alone and do not have a support system in play to help through this life changing transition.

People who were assigned male at birth but have transitioned to female may use hormone therapy for life and should generally experience limited menopausal symptoms unless hormone therapy is interrupted or hormone levels are unstable. Their libido is unlikely to change due to hormonal fluctuations, but age-related changes may still affect it.

People who were assigned female at birth but have transitioned to male will experience a natural menopause if their ovaries remain in place and no hormone therapy has been undertaken. Trans men will also experience menopausal symptoms if the ovaries and uterus are surgically removed (this may lead to premature menopause). Symptoms may be reduced or complicated if hormone therapy (such as the male hormone testosterone) is in place. Lastly, how a trans person experiences symptoms later in life may vary depending on the age at which they transitioned and when in time that was (treatments have changed and developed over time).