April is now dubbed “sex” month. I recently heard the best analogy. When it comes to sex women’s libido is like a cockpit in an airplane. There are a thousand buttons that all have to be taken care of before women will think about it. Men on the other hand have one button that says “go”. So, when we start talking about libido there are many, many factors involved when it comes to a woman. Men, don’t tune these newsletters out because you need to know and understand all of this so you can help increase the odds! Men will really need to tune into the date night newsletter!
First, let’s start the sex month talking about the hormonal component. Read on to learn about the role of testosterone as well as all the other hormones that play a part…..
Women have testosterone just like a man does but in very small quantities. Even a young 20 year old women doesn’t have much so clearly testosterone is small component to libido but it can make a difference for sure! As we age, testosterone and all hormone levels in general decline. Testosterone often drops off first followed by progesterone and then estrogen. You will know when your progesterone decreases as you will have heavier cycles, more PMS, breast tenderness, irritability and when it gets really low night sweats. When estrogen starts dropping woman can get more emotional, dryer skin, decreased lubrication and eventually hot flashes. Testosterone on the other hand just slowly declines with very subtle symptoms that can be blamed on a whole host of other things.
How do you tell if your hormones are off? Test them!
The reproductive hormones must be tested based on your cycle if you have one. Day 21 is the standard day to test with day 1 being the start of your menstrual cycle. If you are in menopause then they can be checked any day of the month. Testosterone levels can be checked any day of the month regardless of your menstrual cycle. While blood work is easy and usually covered by insurance, if you are trying to balance hormone replacement therapies then saliva or blood spot testing is preferred.
Don’t forget to look at the other hormones to make sure you don’t have issues in other areas!
Other hormones that can affect libido which are rarely discussed include the adrenal hormones (DHEA and cortisol), insulin (which controls blood sugars) and thyroid. All of these need to be optimized because if you are tired then your body will not allow you to think about sex! It just turns that center off.
If your testosterone level is low, you can replace it. Testosterone replacement in women comes in different forms:
- Topical creams which can be placed on your wrist, vaginally or even on the clitoris.
- Injections (reduced amounts compared to a man)
Testosterone replacement can come with a lot of side-effects if the levels are high. Irritability, acne, deepening voice, hair loss on the top of your head and hair growth everywhere else to name a few. Some women can be very sensitive to even small amounts so you just have to start low and work up. Most women tolerate moderate amounts of testosterone well. Keep in mind that even with testosterone replacement libido can be low which is why you have to work on the other aspects.
If you have been taking testosterone for energy, I would challenge you to look at the other hormones because you probably have adrenal fatigue and the testosterone is artificially helping that system. You should be able to have great energy even with low testosterone!
What if you don’t want to take testosterone or you have had side-effects from it and have low libido? I have plenty of women in these categories and libido is not dependent on testosterone so don’t worry! Work on the other aspects and be sure and read all of upcoming newsletters for other things to work on!
If you are struggling with your libido, call us today!
To your health,