Erectile dysfunction. Low libido. Little blue pills. Odds are that if there’s something going wrong in the bedroom, there’s something going wrong in your body. More often than not, that something is a hormone imbalance.
For this reason, today we’ll focus on two hormones that affect both men’s and women’s sexual vitality. The first is testosterone. The second is thyroid. Surprised?
The Role of Testosterone in Men and Women
You probably already know that testosterone is produced in a man’s testes, but did you also know it’s produced in their adrenal glands?
Not only that, but women’s adrenal glands also produce testosterone, as do their ovaries. A woman’s body naturally produces around 0.25 milligrams of testosterone each day. This may not seem like much compared to the 4-7 milligrams that a man’s body makes, but a woman’s body requires every little bit of testosterone to maintain a healthy mood, sex drive, and healthy muscles and bones.
Optimal testosterone levels can therefore provide both men and women with increased energy, reduced fat, and healthy libido.
In addition, testosterone has a protective effect on the heart and blood vessels. Women and men reach peak testosterone levels in their 20s. Testosterone levels then begin to drop approximately one percent a year.
That means the older you get, the lower your testosterone levels.
However, most people think that testosterone levels only affect men’s sexual vitality, but a testosterone imbalance in women can be just as troubling. The signs of low testosterone levels depend on the sex and age of an individual. Both men and women may experience
- Low sex drive
- Decreased sense of wellbeing
- Depressed mood
- Difficulties with concentration and memory
- Moodiness and irritability
- Loss of muscular strength
- Loss of body hair
- Increased body fat
Men with low testosterone may also experience erectile dysfunction and breast development. And low testosterone levels in women can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Even if low libido and erectile dysfunction were removed from this list, the other symptoms alone could make anyone feel less sexually attractive or in the mood to engage sexually.
Diagnosing and Treating Low T Hormone Imbalance
If you think you have a low testosterone level, never fear. A simple blood test is all it takes to diagnose low testosterone levels. Once your doctor gets a handle on the situation, BHRT (Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy) can deliver testosterone directly into your body to get your testosterone back to optimal levels.
If you already know you’d like to talk to us about possible low T and low sexual vitality, contact us today for an appointment.
But remember, above, we mentioned thyroid imbalance too? Read on and find out why this hormone can affect sexual vitality.
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls the way your cells use energy. You may be surprised to discover that when your thyroid is not functioning correctly, your sex life can fall flat.
Moreover, thyroid issues are one of the most commonly diagnosed medical conditions in the US. The American Thyroid Association (ATA) estimates about 20 million Americans have some type of thyroid disease and that up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition.
The connection between thyroid hormone imbalance and sexual issues is more common than you think. For instance, studies have shown that an average of 60% of men and 35% of women with hypothyroidism experience sexual dysfunction. A high percentage of people with hyperthyroidism also have reported sexual issues, with numbers coming in at 48-77% of men and 44-60% women in select populations.
Hypo vs. Hyper Hormone Imbalance
Above, we just mentioned two types of thyroid disorders. Let’s define them.
1 An overactive thyroid makes too much hormone for the body to handle. This condition is called hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism brings with it a variety of symptoms, including:
- Weight loss
- Heart palpitations
- Stomach upset and diarrhea
- Sweating, often excessive
- Extreme hunger
- Intolerance for heat
2 The other type of thyroid disorder occurs when you have an underactive thyroid. This is hypothyroidism. If your thyroid isn’t making enough thyroid hormones, then you’ll experience a host of other symptoms, including:
- Fatigue/extreme tiredness
- Sensitivity to cold
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Dry hair/hair loss
Men, Sexual Vitality, and Thyroid Hormone
Hyperthyroidism (high thyroid levels) in men has been associated with pre-ejaculation. And not surprisingly, its opposite – hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) – has been associated with delayed ejaculation. Thyroid levels that are not within the normal range can also impair a man’s desire to have sex at all.
Women, Sexual Vitality, and Thyroid Hormone
On the other hand, thyroid hormone imbalance in women comes with a whole host of symptoms and issues. Both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions in women can
- decrease sexual desire,
- impair arousal,
- lower vaginal lubrication,
- negatively affect orgasm,
- stall satisfaction, and
- cause an increase in pain during intercourse.
Women who have a thyroid disorder might also have low testosterone, which leads to low libido.
Thyroid Hormone Imbalance, Sexual Vitality, and Mental Health
Thyroid hormones affect circulating sex hormone levels through peripheral and central pathways. If thyroid levels are too high or too low, they can indirectly provoke psychiatric and autonomic system dysregulation, which can lead to impaired sexual function, mood disorders, and depression.
However, if this is all starting to sound depressive, there is treatment that helps.
Diagnosing and Treating Thyroid Disorders
Unfortunately, many people attribute their most troubling symptoms to non-thyroid causes like getting older, going through menopause or simply feeling depressed. As a result, they suffer unnecessarily instead of getting appropriate thyroid treatment.
First, your provider can order you a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test to measure thyroid function, as well as T4 and T3 tests to measure the actual output of your thyroid gland.
Second, consider this. Sometimes antibodies can cause an autoimmune attack on your thyroid, resulting in symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. If this is the case, then your provider will use additional tests to uncover the root of the problem.
Finally, thyroid hormone imbalances are treatable using various approaches. These include hormone replacement therapy, as we mentioned above for low T.
So – if thyroid hormone imbalance is the underlying cause of sexual issues, you can get your libido back on track with a little time and effort.
The Nava Holistic Approach to Sexual Vitality
At Nava Health, we go beyond traditional means of diagnosing and treating hormone imbalances. Get in touch with one of our caring, professional Certified Wellness Consultants today to learn about Nava Center’s holistic approach to achieving sexual vitality!