LOOSING YOUR SEX DRIVE?
NO SEX DRIVE?
Would you rather watch a movie than be intimate with your partner? Does folding laundry sound like more fun than sex? Do you find yourself fantasizing about sweatpants and chocolate rather than romantic getaways?
Well, you’re not alone. For a lot of women (and we mean a LOT) low libido, inability to orgasm or pain during sexual intercourse has become the norm. When a woman who once had a strong sex drive loses her desire for intimacy she may feel frustrated, embarrassed and generally disheartened.
Unfortunately, this is an area most people do not feel comfortable discussing, so often women move through a slow demise in their relationships wondering “What is wrong with me?” The most common culprit of low sex drive in women may be hormonal imbalance. As we age our sex hormones (progesterone, estrogen and testosterone) begin to decline. For some women this can begin at a younger age, well before other symptoms of perimenopause or menopause become noticeable.
Does this mean women have to accept the fact that sex is never going to be as amazing as it once was? No way! Balancing your sex hormones can go a long way to help you get your mojo back.
Libido is really a function of the brain. It has been indicated that adequate progesterone levels turns on sex drive within the brain. Research shows estrogen supplementation alone may be insufficient to restore sexual responsiveness.
Think of progesterone as the light switch that “turns on” your sex drive. Estrogen:Let’s face it. Nobody wants to have sex if it hurts. Vaginal dryness (aka atrophic vaginitis) resulting in painful intercourse is a result of declining estrogen levels.
One of estrogen’s many roles is to regulate vaginal lubrication. Estrogen is also responsible for maintaining the thickness of the vaginal lining so as estrogen declines, some women experience vaginal atrophy (aka a loss of muscle tension in the vagina). Others may lose clitoral sensitivity making it difficult to achieve orgasm. It’s really no wonder that as estrogen levels recede, sex can become less and less desirable.
We hear a lot about the guys and testosterone, but what about us girls? Yes, women need testosterone too. Testosterone is essential to a woman’s strong sexual response and ability to orgasm. Testosterone is fundamental to our sex drive because it impacts the entire “circle of sex”: interest, arousal, sexual response, lubrication, and orgasm.
Testosterone boosts self-confidence, energy and motivation. It also strengthens libido and the ability to climax.
Testosterone generally tapers off more slowly than progesterone or estrogen, however it should not be neglected when assessing a woman’s sexual function and potential hormonal imbalance. This is particularly true for women who have had a hysterectomy. In these cases, levels of testosterone can be very low or barely detectable.
Adrenal fatigue or imbalance is another common cause of low libido. Our adrenal glands are involved in many functions throughout the body, including handling our response to stress and producing sex hormones.
If a woman experiences stress on a regular basis, adrenal fatigue can lower the hormones that fuel her sexual response and leave her without any sex drive. DHEA:DHEA is a precursor hormone which means it plays a role in the production and function of many other hormones throughout the body. Since DHEA is so significant to our delicate interchange of hormones, DHEA imbalances will frequently lead to imbalances of the sex hormones.
Do men experience “male menopause”? Well, sort of…Andropause is the term describing the process in a man’s life when his hormones naturally start decline (primarily testosterone). This usually occurs during their late forties or early fifties, however many men feel the effects of hormonal imbalance much younger.
This gradual decline in hormones may result in men suffering from symptoms. Symptoms include: Increased belly fat, irritability, fatigue, depression, loss of libido and erectile dysfunction.It is important to remember that even if men are not experiencing any symptoms of hormonal imbalance they too can benefit from hormone replacement to ensure optimal health. Hormonal imbalances in men can be the precursor to serious disease and increase the chances of many long lasting health problems.