Estradiol, Sex, and the Power of Functional Medicine

Young diverse biracial couple having fun at the beach together. Young diverse biracial couple being romantic at the beach together.
Medically Reviewed
May 23, 2024

As an integrative medicine practitioner specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), I see a common thread in many women’s journeys: a decline in sexual desire and function. This can be incredibly frustrating, impacting not just intimacy but overall well-being.  

The good news? Estradiol, a key form of estrogen, plays a vital role in sexual health, and a functional medicine approach can be the key to unlocking a vibrant sex life again. 

Estradiol: The Spark of Desire 

Estradiol isn’t just about fertility. This hormone acts like an orchestra conductor, influencing a symphony of physiological changes that enhance sexual experiences.  

  • It promotes vaginal lubrication, keeping things comfortable.  
  • It increases blood flow to the genitals, intensifying arousal.  
  • And it contributes to a healthy vaginal lining, making sex more pleasurable. 

When the Music Fades: Understanding the Decline 

As women age, estrogen levels naturally decline, particularly during perimenopause and menopause. This hormonal shift disrupts the sexual symphony, leading to symptoms like dryness, pain during intercourse, and a dampened libido.  

However, there’s often more to the story. Underlying health issues like thyroid dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, and chronic stress can also contribute to low estradiol and sexual dysfunction. 

The Functional Medicine Advantage: Beyond the Band-Aid 

Traditional medicine often addresses sexual dysfunction with a one-size-fits-all approach, focusing on medications. While BHRT with estradiol can be a powerful tool, a functional medicine approach digs even deeper.

We don’t just treat symptoms; we identify the root causes of hormonal imbalances. 

This might involve: 

  • Thyroid testing: An underactive thyroid can mimic estrogen deficiency. 
  • Nutrient analysis: Deficiencies in vitamin D, zinc, and B vitamins can impact sex drive. 
  • Stress management techniques: Chronic stress disrupts hormone production. 

By addressing these underlying issues, we can not only restore healthy estradiol levels but also create a foundation for optimal sexual health. 

Reignite Your Passion: It’s Not Too Late 

If you’re experiencing a decline in sexual desire, know that you’re not alone. A functional medicine approach with BHRT can be the key to unlocking a renewed and fulfilling sex life. It’s about understanding your body’s unique symphony and creating the right conditions for a beautiful performance. 

Ready to explore your options? Schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you reclaim your passion and rediscover the joy of intimacy. 


The information contained in this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This blog post does not establish a doctor-patient relationship and should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. 

Dr. Angela DeRosa

As our Associate Medical Director, Dr. Angela De Rosa is integral to the continued education and innovation here at Nava Health. Dr. Angela DeRosa, DO, MBA, CPE, is a dynamic professional on a mission to change the face of women’s health and wellness. As a respected, internationally recognized authority on women’s hormonal health, Dr. DeRosa understands the range of health issues women face leading up to and during menopause, as she was in full-blown menopause by age 35. Dr. DeRosa has more than 25 years of experience in the medical field, both on the pharmaceutical side and in clinical practice.

Dr. DeRosa’s enthusiasm for educating patients on the realities of menopause and the risk factors of hormonal health imbalances has never waned. It was the driving force behind her first bestselling book, A Woman’s Health Survival Guide: How to Prevent Your Doctor From Slowly Killing You. Her book and its controversial title caught the attention of the public, media, and the medical community.

Dr. DeRosa is on the advisory board for the European Menopause and Andropause Society, a member of the International Menopause Society International Society of the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, and a researcher on women’s health issues. Dr. DeRosa is a Midwestern University Clinical Assistant Professor and a Past Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association President.