Talking to Your Partner about Low T
Sitting on the couch watching television, you notice your partner has gained some weight. A spare tire where his washboard abs used to be. You’re happy with your relationship, but it has waxed and waned lately. You wonder why. Are hormones to blame? Are you?
Let’s take a closer look. You may see that poor sleep, fatigue, little sexual interest, decreased energy, and lack of focus has crept into your partner’s everyday life. They might feel drained, irritated, and lacking in motivation. So what happened? Perhaps it’s the gradual decline in testosterone causing the distressing symptoms. But many struggle with broaching this sensitive topic.
Research says you’re not alone. Low testosterone affects 6-8 million men in the United States. The effects of low testosterone can affect not only physical well-being, but also psychological well-being, including overall energy levels. Low testosterone often causes marital strain as it can negatively affect intimate life.
Here are some tips when considering talking to partner about the possibility of low testosterone.
Be Positive & Normalize
Both men and women face hormonal imbalances as they age. Emphasize that each of you may be experiencing changes in physical and mental health. This may be caused by hormonal decline. Stay positive and reinforce the fact that you’re happy in your relationship and simply looking to improve an already satisfying situation. If you’re unhappy, neutral, or even concerned, be honest and use “I” statements to communicate your thoughts or worries. Ground the conversation in overall health and wellness. Make sure your concern about his overall physical, mental, and spiritual health is clearly conveyed.
Practice Patience & Persistence
There is no way to predict how your partner will react to your suggestions about getting a medical/hormonal evaluation, but stay patient and persistent about the assessment. Discuss the notion that physical health and sexual health are constantly intertwined. While he may be resistant at first, your partner may warm up to the idea once he understands the full impact of low testosterone on his health.
Stay informed about the symptoms and medical issues surrounding low testosterone. Keep the channels of communication open in a non-judgmental, non-accusatory fashion. Share your emotions, concerns, and frustrations honestly but kindly. As mentioned before, using “I” statements to talk about your thoughts or concern for him and his overall health and wellness can go a long way.
If he decides to get an evaluation and or hormonal assessment, offer to join him at this health care visit. Remind him that he is not alone in this journey. Take the time to visit your own doctor and invite him to join you for your visit too. Health and sex life can be a shared experience that maintains vitality within your relationship.
Take time to nurture your relationship and lower your stress. Spend time together! Get lost in a hobby. Connect with each other planning your future together. It’s important to take time to care for yourself mentally and physically. Exercise together and practice mindfulness. Go dancing or enjoy a cooking class. Nurturing your relationship takes time and energy from both a medical and behavioral standpoint. Remain committed to spending time together, enjoying each other, and loving one another!
His special interests include menopausal health, hormone therapy, sexual pain disorders, and loss of libido, chronic medical illness and medical devices and their impact on female sexual function. He is a well-known speaker who is featured locally, nationally and internationally. He has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in many scientific journals and lay magazines. Dr Krychman is an active reviewer for the Journal of Sexual Medicine. He was the Scientific Chairman for the 2010 International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health annual educational meeting. He is an active member in good standing in North American Menopause (NAMS), International Society sexual Medicine (ISSM), European Society Sexual Medicine (ESSM), International Society Study of Women’s Sexual Health (ISSWSH), American Society of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He was a member of the Standard Committee for ISSM and has been a guest professor at the ESSM Sexual Medicine Summer School in Oxford, England. He was the creator of the recent WISH Initiative (Women’ Initiative on Sexual Health: www.yourvoiceyourwish.com) and the 2013 recipient of the WISH Outstanding Achievement award given by the ISSWSH. He is also on the professional advisory board for the Patty Brisben Foundation.
Dr. Krychman’s has published 7 books including his most recent one: The Sexual Spark, 20 Essential Exercises to Reignite the Passion, 100 Questions & Answers for Women Living with Cancer: A Practical Guide to Female Cancer Survivorship has been recently published, 100 Questions and Answers about Women’s Sexual Wellness and Vitality and Breast cancer Sexuality, Sensuality and Intimacy. He has been featured on the Today show and in the New York Times and US News and World Report World Report, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Health Magazine and many others. He was named one of Orange County Top Doctors for 2015 and 2016 in Menopause, Sexual Dysfunction and Vulvar Pain. In 2019 and again in 2020, he has been named an Orange County Physician of Excellence by Orange Coast Magazine in Survivorship, Sexual Medicine and Menopause.