How Changing Female Hormones Affect Sexuality
Hormones play multiple roles in human body. In women, there are significant changes in hormones with age, and levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone normally decline during and after menopause. The female hormones affect sexual desire and functioning.
Female Hormones and Sex Life
Testosterone plays a crucial role in influencing sexual desire. In women, this hormone is produced by adrenals glands and the ovaries. With age, the hormones that have been regulating your sex drive and reproductive cycle start ebbing and have a negative effect on your sex life. These hormonal changes are often blamed for age-related female sexual dysfunction.
Different hormones control a range of essential functions in the body, including reproduction, growth & development, and energy.
- Estrogen: The primary female hormone, estrogen plays a huge role in regulating the menstrual cycle, development of sexual organs, and thickening of the uterus lining. There is a reduction in estrogen levels as a woman begins approaching menopause. When the level of estrogen reduces significantly that the thickening process of the uterine lining stops, menopause occurs. The reduced estrogen levels can adversely affect your sex drive and cause vaginal dryness, which is often associated with unstable mood and sleep patterns. Not only this, dryness of the vagina causes pain during intercourse. This is one example of how reduction in female hormones affects sexuality.
- Testosterone: This is primarily a male hormone, but the female ovaries naturally produce testosterone to make estrogen. The higher the testosterone levels, the greater the sexual desire in women. Since there is a decline in the testosterone levels after menopause, it may cause significant reduction of arousal and sexual response in women. Testosterone is blamed for the majority of cases of female sexual dysfunction.
- Progesterone: This is another female hormone that helps control the menstruation cycle. The levels of progesterone begin to fluctuate and gradually come down when a woman reaches menopause. The fluctuating levels of progesterone and other female hormones affect sexual behavior in women.
Treatments For Low Sexual Desire
- Estrogen therapy can help relieve the symptoms associated with low estrogen levels. Since estrogen is the key female hormone, the therapy can boost levels of the hormone and help make intercourse more comfortable. However, there is a high risk of endometrial cancer associated with estrogen therapy, thus women with an intact uterus are recommended to take progesterone dosage along with estrogen to lower the risk.
- Testosterone supplementation can help improve female sexual desire in women experiencing problems with sex drive.
Making simple lifestyle changes can help restore sexual desire in those suffering from female sexual dysfunction. Taking adequate rest and sleep and eating healthy food are some of the natural ways to deal with the problem.