Women’s Sexual Health
For women, libido naturally fluctuate over the years and can coincide with the beginning or ending of a relationship, and with major life changes such as pregnancy, menopause or illness and can greatly affect quality of life. When we look at the physical causes of low libido, most fall under the umbrella of hormonal imbalance. Low libido is commonly accompanied by other symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as insomnia, fatigue, night sweats, vaginal dryness, fuzzy thinking, anxiety and low mood. These symptoms can make daily life miserable and can also affect the way in which a woman perceives herself, potentially taking its toll on her self-esteem.
Estrogen helps to maintain the health of the vaginal tissues as well as a woman’s interest in sex. But estrogen levels may drop during the transition to menopause, which can cause a double whammy — decreased interest in sex and drier vaginal tissues, resulting in painful or uncomfortable sex. At the same time, women may also experience a decrease in the hormone testosterone, which boosts sex drive in men and women alike.
In addition, many women experience a low libido before menopause, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with estrogen or testosterone levels. Women experiencing estrogen dominance due to low progesterone levels often complain of water retention, fibrocystic breasts, depression, and irregular, occasional heavy periods, as well as a low libido. Balancing hormones goes a long way in addressing these symptoms and restoring a woman’s sex drive.
We all know that chronic stress isn’t good for us, but we may not realize its significant toll in depleting libido. The body interprets ongoing stress as life threatening, so naturally, survival is prioritized ahead of reproduction or pleasure. Many women are worn out by balancing job, marriage, volunteering, house-hold chores and errands, and caring for aging parents and young children. In essence, an exhausted woman does not have the energy for intimacy. Thus, it is also essential to test for and address any dysfunction of the adrenal glands.
Other causes of low libido include the use of medications (such as anti-depressants or blood pressure medicine), drug or alcohol abuse, or being overweight. Also, a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to a lackluster sex drive. Exercise will build energy and stamina, both elements of libido.
If you are suffering from low libido, start simple: Book a consultation with Dr. Suzanna Ivanovics, ND. to assess whether a comprehensive hormone panel may help you to understand the cause of your low libido. From there, working with Suzannato re-establish your hormone balance may help you find your way back to a healthy and enjoyable sex life.
Yours in health,
Dr. Suzanna Ivanovics, ND