How do hormones affect your sex life? Let’s talk about it.
When you think of your sex life are you thinking of sexual desire, sexual responsiveness, or orgasm?
Sexual desire or libido is hormonally driven.
For men, the ability to achieve an erection, and for women, the ability to lubricate or sexual arousal is also hormonally driven. In both sexes, the ability to orgasm is driven by yet a different hypothalamic hormone.
So how do hormones affect our sexual experience?
For women, estradiol is the main promoter of sexual desire, sexual arousal, and orgasm. We think of testosterone as being the libido hormone in women, but it’s not. It’s estrogen.
While cycling in your reproductive years, you do experience a spike of testosterone but only when your estrogen levels fall freeing up more testosterone, at ovulation and premenstrually. While testosterone is your hormone of motivation, estrogen drives your libido. Some women with estrogen dominance meaning their ratio of estrogen to progesterone is high, may have a low libido. That’s because their estrogen receptor sites are saturated. It’s almost like estrogen is screaming but the cells aren’t responding.
It’s important that your estrogen levels are well balanced with progesterone.
Plus, your progesterone needs to be adequate enough to actually create estrogen receptors so that you have estrogen response at the hypothalamic level, the pituitary level, and in all your cells. Estrogen stimulates blood flow to the uterus and pelvic organs. It helps to enhance the lining of the vagina, preparing it to produce adequate lubrication during sexual intercourse. And estrogen promotes enough blood flow to the pelvic organs to enhance the orgasmic experience.
It’s actually another hypothalamic hormone, oxytocin, that is released during orgasm. Oxytocin is known as the cuddle hormone but it’s also the hormone of climax in both men and women. If your sex hormones are adequate, but you’re still finding that your sex drive is low, or you’re in orgasmic, it may be because you have an oxytocin deficiency.
If your hypothalamus is dysfunctional, you’re not going to make enough oxytocin. Oxytocin promotes social bonding between the people. When you experience sexual chemistry with another person – that’s oxytocin. Oxytocin is called the love hormone because it’s responsible for some of the positive emotions you feel during attraction, desire and orgasm.
Men need adequate testosterone in order to maintain erectile function and also for their sexual drive. But again, it’s oxytocin that allows for sexual bonding and for the orgasmic experience.
So yes, sex hormones definitely affect your sex life.
Women who do not lubricate well enough for comfortable intercourse do not have enough estrogen. It’s a very common problem in menopause. Poor lubrication can also be an issue for new mothers. After they give birth their hormone levels fall dramatically, and if they’re breastfeeding, high prolactin blocks their estrogen receptors. Using estrogen vaginally can be incredibly helpful in maintaining a healthy vaginal epithelial layer that is able to lubricate properly for intercourse.
I have found that when my patients support their hypothalamus with Genesis Gold®, their sex drive, sexual responsiveness, and orgasmic potential increases. That’s because the hypothalamus is responsible for balancing your sex hormones. With a healthy hypothalamus, you produce adequate levels of oxytocin which enhances your sexual experience.
If you have any questions about hormones and your sex life, please join me in our Hormone Support Group where I answer your questions live. You can access it by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.