As we go through life, there are times when even those of us who generally have a healthy libido, or sex drive experience problems with it. While this problem can occur at any stage of life, it most commonly occurs after menopause for women and for men after age 50.
Hormone imbalance can certainly be a part of the issue here, but, of course, not always the only issue. Stress, relationship problems, availability of time, and a myriad of other things can affect the libido, but if those issues are not causing the problem, we should look at our hormone status. Without hormones being in the proper balance, there will be some problems in your sex life.
For men who experience either sex drive or performance problems, you need to discuss with your doctor about having your testosterone, free testosterone, and estradiol levels checked as a start. While you are getting tests done, you should also consider doing a PSA to check on your prostate if you haven’t done this recently. If these hormone levels are low normal or below, testosterone replacement might be an option for you. Discuss this with your doctor. A bonus is that raising your testosterone level if it is low has additional benefits for muscle mass (and thus weight control), and brain function among others.
For women to have a healthy, normal sex drive, estrogens, progesterone, and testosterone need to be available and balanced in the body. Sometime after age 35 or so, women can begin to have problems with hormone levels. Commonly, the stopping of ovulation causes a loss of progesterone production by the body. Then later estrogen can decline along with testosterone at some point. There are many patterns this can take, so it is best to work with your doctor and look at all the types of hormones if you experience a decrease in your libido not explained by other factors.
In most conventional hormone replacement plans, only some form of estrogen and maybe some form of a synthetic progesterone called a progestin are used. These progestins do not function for libido like the human version does. The hormone most commonly associated with libido is testosterone, and there are no female appropriate forms of bio-identical testosterone available from drug manufacturers for women. Compounding pharmacies by prescription from your doctor can formulate a female appropriate dosage for you. As with men, there are additional benefits from raising a low testosterone level to normal other than sex drive.
If you have any questions about this or any other hormone-related subject, please call one of the pharmacists at Pharmacy Solutions.