HOW FLUCTUATIONS IN HORMONES AFFECT OUR SEX LIFE MORE THAN WE THINK
HOW FLUCTUATIONS IN HORMONES AFFECT OUR SEX LIFE MORE THAN WE THINK
The female body is a temple of numerous hormones that work to regulate body functions like menstruation, ovulation, health, and sleep cycle. What happens when these hormones fail to work? Your body may experience low sexual desire and function, leading to poor or no sexual desires. This scenario is what is termed hormone imbalance or hormone fluctuation. Sex hormone levels may change occasionally, but significant changes are experienced during menopause, puberty, and pregnancy. This article discusses how hormones influence sex drive in women and what causes a hormonal imbalance.
The Role Of Hormones In Female Sexuality
A woman's hormones oversee body functions like growth, reproduction and energy levels. The hormones listed below are responsible for sex-related activities.
Progesterone is a visceral steroid that controls pregnancy, menses, and embryo development in humans and animals. Low levels of this hormone are manifested through irregular or short menstrual cycles. Spotting between or during your periods is also a symptom of the low progesterone hormone. Other symptoms include anxiety, depression, shifts in mood, and irregular sleep cycles, affecting your sex drive. Some people going through depression do not have the mental strength to engage in any sexual activity; the same applies to people who do not get enough sleep because they are busy trying to get through the day with two hours of sleep in their system. There are various ways to boost progesterone levels in your system; increase your intake of Vitamins B and C and watch out for stress-inducing situations because stress releases cortisol in the body instead of progesterone.
Estrogen plays a huge role in developing sex organs when girls approach puberty, regulate menstrual cycles, and develop the uterine wall in readiness for pregnancy. Low estrogen levels are experienced by girls who have yet to hit puberty and women approaching menopause. However, women of all ages can experience low estrogen levels. The impact of low estrogen levels affects your sex drive. Women end up experiencing vaginal dryness, also known as atrophy. A woman experiences pain during sexual intercourse or penetrative sex caused by an atrophy condition. You can boost low estrogen levels by re-introducing estrogen into the body. You can use creams advised by a sex therapist or a urologist. The creams help to increase vaginal wetness and arousal in women.
Women's testosterone levels fluctuate naturally, during their menses and at different times of the day. Most people know that testosterone is a male hormone, which is true, but women also harbor this hormone in the ovaries but in small quantities. Testosterone is an important hormone because it helps to make estrogen. Studies have shown that the higher the testosterone levels, the higher the sexual desire in women. Women's testosterone levels gradually decrease after menopause, resulting in reduced sexual response. A woman may not engage in sexual activities, but you can treat the condition by working out and eating a balanced diet. Women who desire improved sexual desire during menopause can use testosterone supplements. These supplements boost sex drive in women battling sexual satisfaction. Testosterone replacement therapy like the MonaLisa TouchLaser may also be beneficial in restoring your sexual drive.
Signs You Have Hormonal Imbalance
Decreased Libido: Decreased libido indicates that your body is adjusting to the hormonal imbalances taking place in you. Low libido is characterized by low arousal levels and disinterest in intimacy.
You Are Unable To Orgasm: You may experience the urge to engage in sex, though the drive is minimal. However, you may experience difficulty during orgasm. This condition is also known as the non-orgasmic effect.
Vaginal Dryness or Atrophy: Menopause comes with hormonal changes. Your vaginal walls start to thin, dry, and become less elastic during this period. You will experience discomfort when your vagina is less lubricated during penetration. Atrophying may also affect normal bladder function leading to difficulties in peeing. You may also experience pain.
Causes Of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance is a normal occurrence that you may have experienced in your womanhood, during puberty, or during your first and monthly menstrual cycles. According to (Khmil & Marushchak 2020), a shift in hormones opens the door to issues with your sexual health, body weakness, and weight gain. These changes may be normal to some, but they may signify a body disorder for other women. The conditions below may be responsible for your hormonal imbalance;
- Ovary removal
- Nursing/ breastfeeding
- Stress and chronic stress
- Polycystic Syndrome
- Adrenal removal
- Ovarian cancer
The Role Of Hormones In Menopause
Menopause is when a woman cannot bear children because her menstrual days are over and the ovaries stop maturing for fertilization. Perimenopause is the period before menopause. Mascarenhas et al. (2003) noted that the woman’s body adjusts to changes during menopause. These changes come in the form of
- Vaginal atrophy
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Constant mood changes
- Hot flashes
According to Avis et al. (2015), perimenopause may last for about 4 years, but it may go up to 8 years in some cases. A woman reaches menopause when they have lasted a whole year without having periods. The ovaries continue producing progesterone and estrogen but in small amounts. Estrogen is the primary hormone in a woman's body. Therefore, low levels of this hormone may bring about a ton of body disorders, including osteoporosis, bone density loss, and increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
The Bottom Line
Hormones play a vital role in regulating general body health. Sexual hormones are vital in maintaining the body’s sexual development and reproduction. Progesterone and estrogen are the main sex hormones in women. They are produced in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and the placenta during pregnancy. Female sex hormones are responsible for muscle and bone production, hair growth, and changes in body weight. Hormonal fluctuation occurs throughout a person's life, and long-term imbalances may incur serious health issues. Most people have a blurry knowledge of hormones and how imbalances may affect a woman's health, but you can self-diagnose and know the best approach to your imbalance with articles like this.
Avis, N. E., Crawford, S. L., Greendale, G., Bromberger, J. T., Everson-Rose, S. A., Gold, E. B., ... & Study Of Women’s Health Across The Nation. (2015). Duration Of Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Over The Menopause Transition. JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(4), 531-539.
Khmil, M., Khmil, S., & Marushchak, M. (2020). Hormone Imbalance In Women With Infertility Caused By Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Is There A Connection With Body Mass Index?. Open Access Macedonian Journal Of Medical Sciences, 8(B), 731-737.
Mascarenhas, P., Gapski, R., Al‐Shammari, K., & Wang, H. L. (2003). Influence Of Sex Hormones On The Periodontium. Journal Of Clinical Periodontology, 30(8), 671-681.