Low sex drive is a common complaint, and unfortunately, there are many factors at play. Stress at work, relationship issues, underlying health conditions, and even medications are just some of the potential causes of decreased libido.
Here at PRP in Philadelphia, we know that hormone imbalance is another common cause of low sex drive. That’s why Dr. Stuart Kauffman and our team offer a variety of services to help restore your sex drive, including hormone replacement therapy.
In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about the link between decreased libido and hormone imbalance.
The link between low sex drive and hormone imbalance
Because there are many aspects of your physical and emotional health that affect your libido, identifying the cause of your low sex drive is the first step in reclaiming it. Any major hormonal shift can affect your libido — for better or for worse.
For example, many expectant moms experienced a boost in libido, especially in the second trimester. On the flip side, when hormones crash after birth, you may experience low libido during your postpartum period.
Pregnancy and childbirth aren’t the only times in which hormones affect your libido. It’s normal to see your libido slow down once you reach your 40s and 50s, during perimenopause and menopause.
Men are also affected by changing hormone levels. Andropause, colloquially referred to as “male menopause,” is a period in which older men experience a dip in testosterone. In either case, it’s clear that both men and women who experience an imbalance of sex hormones — estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone — can lead to a decreased libido.
Additionally, low thyroid hormone levels can also contribute to loss of sex drive and diminished desire.
How a hormone imbalance affects women
Hormones are chemical messengers with each one serving its own purpose. Hormones help many body functions run smoothly, including regulating your temperature, digesting your food, and sending hunger signals to your brain.
Reproductive hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, play a big role in creating your sex drive but they must be balanced. Too much or little of any hormone can throw your whole system off-kilter.
For example, estrogen is essential for building sexual interest and arousal and increasing vaginal lubrication, but if your estrogen is too high, it can contribute to fatigue, weight gain, and fibroids. Too much progesterone can decrease arousal.
During menopause, your estrogen levels decrease, which explains many of the common symptoms of menopause: vaginal dryness, decreased libido, and vaginal atrophy. Not to mention the mood swings, sleep disturbances, and fatigue that accompany menopause only work to further decrease your libido.
How a hormone imbalance affects men
Women aren’t the only ones affected by hormonal shifts. Men may also experience a loss of desire due to hormonal changes. Testosterone stimulates the male sex drive, and unfortunately, low testosterone can decrease attraction and arousal and contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Testosterone isn’t the only hormone that affects a man’s sex drive. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) — a steroid prohormone that supports your libido by increasing testosterone — declines with age. In other words, reduced DHEA levels lead to decreased testosterone and a tanked sex drive.
This means that the natural aging process, decrease in testosterone and DHEA, and underactive thyroid function are all potential causes of libido-busting hormonal imbalances.
Hormone replacement therapy can jumpstart your sex drive
Whether you’re entering menopause, andropause, or struggling to regulate your thyroid function, the key to improving hormone-related loss of sex drive is to restore balance to your hormones. We do that with hormone replacement therapy — a customized therapy that may target estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and adrenal hormones.
Restoring balance to your endocrine system addresses many symptoms of hormone imbalance including loss of sex drive, fatigue, mood swings, and more.
Because hormone replacement therapy is individualized to meet your needs, Dr. Kauffman first analyzes your hormone levels through blood, urine, and/or saliva testing. Once he determines the type and dose of hormones you need, you receive your hormones in the form of a topical cream, an injection, patch, or gel.
Hormones are also available as a small pellet that is inserted under your skin. The pellet emits the just-right-for-you dose of hormones, so you never have to worry about missing a pill.
In addition to hormone therapy, Dr. Kauffman can also address other aspects of sexual dysfunction through specialized PRP injections: the O-Shot and the P-Shot. Neither of these shots addresses hormone imbalance, but they do increase sexual pleasure and sensitivity.
To learn more about hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine options for sexual dysfunction, schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, office. Call or request an appointment online today.