“In our twenties, we were like rabbits. Now… more like tortoises.”
Unfortunately, one of the bodily functions that we are unable to put a measurable numeric value on is the libido. The libido is monitored by referring to it as either benign low or high. An individual’s sex drive can be affected by many biological, social, and psychological factors. This is why it is vital to take full inventory when attempting to source the route of any libido related issue.
In this article, we will delve into the hormones that drive sex, their effect on libido, the differences between the male and female sex hormones, and how libido may change due to the female menstrual cycle.
Without a doubt, sexual desire is most influenced by testosterone. And while many may believe that testosterone is a male hormone, it is actually present in both male and females just like estrogen is. Proportions differ, of course, in regard to the sexes. Additionally, men produce their testosterone via the testicals while women’s testosterone comes from their ovaries and adrenals glands.
It is important to note that since hormonal changes such as the presence of a menstrual cycle or menopause are normal parts of female development, hormone changes do not necessarily indicate an issue.
However, if you are experiencing a drop in libido or the sensation of pleasure you would normally receive from sex, then you may consider options such as changing or altering medications or perhaps bioidentical hormone optimization therapy.
What Might Affect Hormones?
Hormone levels will fluctuate during the course of a menstrual cycle. Before and around ovulation, women usually experience a spike in their libido. Additionally, a smaller spike is typically seen in a female’s libido during menstruation. And before menstruation, libido is at its lowest. However, these are just reported norms and what your body does or how it reacts may be different which is completely okay, too.
Many women who use hormonal birth control methods, as well as postmenopausal women, experience less variation in their sexual desire.
Hormonal Birth Control Methods
Ironically, libido can be affected by hormonal methods of contraception like the pill, the patch, or vaginal inserts. This is because they work to suppress the cycle of hormones that occurs naturally in the body.
Additionally, while birth control may cause some women to experience an increase in their libido, it may cause others to experience a decrease in their desire. Difficulty achieving orgasm may also occur, as well as the discomfort and pain of vaginal dryness during sex. Effects vary from woman to woman.
During pregnancy, levels of estrogen and progesterone increase, as well as an increase of blood flow to the genitals which can lead to an increase in desire. Alternatively, other common symptoms of pregnancy include nausea, fatigue, and pain, which when combined with changes in your body and self-image, can also work to extinguish libido.
During the nursing phase, women have often reported a dip in libido. In fact, some have reported that they had no sex drive at all and were unable to achieve orgasm. It is important to understand that this is a normal occurrence and that libido often returns once the baby is either nursing less often or not at all.
During the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause), estrogen levels will spike and fall erratically as progesterone levels in the body decline. After menopause – which occurs once a full year of menstrual cycles have stopped – progesterone and estrogen will both steady out at low levels.
It is during these years that women experience a decrease in sexual desire, as well as experience an increase in vaginal dryness. Estrogen cream that can be applied topically to the vagina is just one of a variety of hormonal supplements that can be used to address the dryness.
With relief from the fear of pregnancy, some women have now reported encouragement in new-found sexual freedom.
Contact Us For More Information
Here at Revitalize, we’re here to help. Our mission is to help you Live Your Best Life through our evidence based, custom tailored Bio-identical Hormone Optimization Therapy. Contact us today to speak to an expert about how hormones could radically improve your quality of life.