Yep, hormones can affect your sex drive – here’s how
Lost your libido? Your levels could be off balance
It’s a sexual fact that everyone goes through dry spells. Even the horniest among us can feel charged with desire one day, and totally vacant down there the next. From medication, to stress, to mental health issues, to relationship problems and more, there are tons of factors that can alter whether or not you feel like a wild ride with your partner or your favourite vibrator.
One of the under-the-radar reasons why you might be experiencing a lack of libido is the balance of hormones in your body. “Sex hormones” – oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone – have an impact on your appetite for orgasms. So here’s the 411 on how they work, plus what you can do to bring that horn back with a bang.
Hang on, I have testosterone?
Yep, it’s not just men who have this particular hormone surging through their bodies. Women have testosterone, too. It’s produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands, so it’s an important hormone to consider when you’re searching for your libido. Not only is it linked to sex but it can have a hand in your mood, concentration and energy levels, all of which impact your ability to enjoy a good session.
So how does oestrogen affect my libido?
Having sufficient levels of oestrogen is really important for your overall female health. The hormone has a direct link to sexual functioning, so if this is off balance it can make a pretty big difference to your libido. And like your sex drive, there are loads of different reasons why your levels might be low, including menopause, breastfeeding, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), extreme exercising, and more. Low levels mean less lubrication in the vagina and less blood flow to the area, which makes it harder to become aroused, let alone have an orgasm.
What about progesterone?
This sex hormone works in the same way that oestrogen does. If your levels are off, you’re less likely to wanna do it, according to recent research. Progesterone’s main function is to prep the uterus for a baby but it can also help to regulate menstruation. If it’s too low your periods can become irregular, heavier and longer, but if it’s too high it can lead to fatigue, headaches, sore boobs and bloating. Hardly a recipe for hot sex.
How to get your sex drive back
Switch up your sex routine. Try new positions, invest in some super-stimulating toys, work on orgasmic meditation and reconnect with what you like between the sheets. Some relaxing solo sessions could re-stoke that fire, no expert needed.
Understand your sexuality. Needs and preferences can change throughout your life so don’t be afraid to do some self-exploration. Reflecting on your relationship with yourself, masturbation and your sexual partners might help you to express yourself in a way that you haven’t tried before.
Don’t dismiss your mental health. Psychological issues can play a huge part in the way your body functions, including how it experiences pleasure. If you suffer with depression or anxiety, this could be contributing to your dry spell. Speak to your doctor about how to move forwards with your libido.
But if you would rather hoover the entire house than have sex with yourself or anyone else, chances are it’s your hormones. It’s been estimated that around 70% of low libido issues are down to an imbalance of at least one of the three we’ve talked about. Book an appointment with your GP to discuss your options, which could include changing your contraception or other types of medication.
Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb