Many women do not bring up low sex drive as their main concern when seeing their provider. We have found it is a very common issue in our practice and women are thankful when we ask them about their libido and are committed to doing what they need to do to help reignite their sex drive.
The common misconception is that if a person changes their attitude, that their desire for intimacy will return. Certainly, there is a high correlation between high stress, depression and low libido. However, the most common symptom we see correlated with low libido is fatigue. When a woman has been overdoing it, burning the candle at both ends, working, organizing and supporting the family and makes little time for herself, there is no energy leftover to ignite her internal flame.
Here are 3 areas to address and make sure you are incorporating into your daily lives, no matter how busy you are. Being intentional for even 5 minutes, will help you in building your reserves.
- Practice some form of self-care every day. Start with a few deep breaths, a walk around the block. You have to give yourself time, no one else will.
- Make sure you are getting 8 hours of restorative sleep a night.
- Make sure you and your partner spend 5 minutes a day, connecting.
So, no matter where you are in your hormonal years, our doctors understand the mental and emotional toll you are under. We are committed to taking a comprehensive look at each patient’s neurotransmitter, adrenal and hormone status to help us understand your reserve status and how depleted you may be. These assessments along with blood work, help us determine which physiological pathways are necessary to address in order to help rebuild all aspects of your health and wellbeing, including your libido.
The health of your adrenal glands plays a significant role in libido. Simply stated, if you are depleted and your refueling strategies are in a deficit, then your subconscious body will put sex on the back burner, to protect you from depleting your reserves even more.
A woman’s age and where she is on the hormone spectrum, also play a role in sex drive. Younger women typically have more robust hormones and higher levels of progesterone, the main hormone driver of female libido. However, if a younger woman is using hormonal birth control, she has high levels of stress or has had a significant trauma, her sex drive is often diminished.
As women reach perimenopause, hormone fluctuations along with low adrenal reserves leads to increasing symptoms of hot flashes, night sweats, erratic mood and of course low libido. Stabilizing hormones, so there are less dramatic swings between high and low hormones makes a marked difference for this stage of life.
Post-menopausal women are no longer having to cope with extreme highs and lows of hormones. However, with the levels of estrogen and progesterone being much lower, libido often goes into hibernation. With post-menopausal women, our goal is to support her energy, by bringing the adrenals out of a depleted state rebuilding her strength, stamina and reserves again.
If a woman requests, and is a candidate for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, we will incorporate them to help balance the fluctuating hormones during the perimenopausal years. However, for libido improvement, I do not see estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy being the key. Vaginal estrogen hormone replacement therapy, such as low dose estriol is one exception. It will definitely enhance libido when a woman is dealing with pelvic floor, vaginal or vulvar pain. In these circumstances pain is a huge deterrent to libido. Progesterone on the other hand is a highly supportive hormone that can support your libido, improve mood, sleep and healing. If it is bioidentical versus synthetic there are many beneficial and therapeutic uses.
If you are committed to getting your libido back on track, we would love to support you and help you find your optimal wellness to live your most healthy and vital life.