What Happened To My Sex Drive? Hormone Fundamentals

Men’s and women’s sex drive naturally fluctuates over the years. When relationships change or major life events occur (such as pregnancy or menopause), sex drive can be impacted. Studies have shown that antidepressants are also a common cause of a drop in sex drive. If you’re bothered by a low sex drive or decreased sex drive, there are lifestyle changes that you can make that can improve it! Let’s first talk about how hormones play a role in controlling your sex drive.

sex drive may be improved by addressing hormone imbalances
Though there are many factors that can negatively affect your sex drive (libido), there are also many ways to improve it!

How Hormones Affect Female Libido

Loss of libido is something that impacts over one-third of women, so don’t feel like this is a problem that you have to face alone! When hormonal imbalances cause a loss of libido in women, it’s common to find that testosterone levels may be lower than normal.

In some cases, lower testosterone levels can be caused by thyroid issues. Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, two common thyroid conditions, can cause symptoms of fatigue, depression, and mood disorders, all of which can cause anyone to “not be in the mood”. Low estrogen levels (which typically occurs as women approach menopause) may also cause libido to drop.

Loss of Sex Drive in Men and Your Hormones

Men don’t like to talk about it, but with low libido impacting about 16% of men, it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. If a man is experiencing a loss in libido and hormonal imbalances are the culprit, a hormone test may show that testosterone levels are lower than normal. Low testosterone is a common problem, as 40% of men over the age of 45 and 20% of 15 to 39-year-old men experience low testosterone. Also, estrogen and cortisol levels may be higher than normal in men that are experiencing a loss of libido.

Thyroid issues in men can also create ejaculation problems – both premature and delayed. Studies have shown that hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid) can cause premature ejaculation, and hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) can cause delayed ejaculation. Fortunately, thyroid disorders are treatable once they are identified.

Other common causes of loss of libido in men are:

  • erectile dysfunction,
  • performance anxiety,
  • stress,
  • medical conditions,
  • and certain medications.

Treatment Using Hormone Therapy Solutions

If you and your doctor determine that hormonal imbalances are the cause of your loss in libido, hormone therapy can be the solution:

Estrogen – estrogen is available in many forms, such as pills and patches.

Testosterone – the use of testosterone supplements to resolve libido issues is controversial. Talk with your doctor about whether or not testosterone supplements make sense for you.