Hormones are responsible for various functions in the body. They play a significant role in mood regulation and romantic desires, among many other functions of the body that affect our daily lives.
The balance of hormones can be disrupted by aging, surgeries, chronic stress, and other medical conditions.
Libido is a person’s sex drive, and when certain hormones are low, it can affect our desire to have sex.
What Causes Low Libido in Women?
What Causes Low Libido in Men?
Similar to women, the same external factors (stress, depression, fatigue) can contribute to low libido in men.
However, these are also symptoms of having low testosterone levels in the body. Similar to women, estradiol also plays a role in men.
What is Hormone Therapy?
Hormone therapy, for both men and women, is a medical intervention to help those with hormone imbalances. In addition to low libido, hormone therapy is used for various symptoms that affect us more as we age or after certain procedures.
Factors such as fatigue, mood, and sex drive are just some things hormone therapy can help. Compounding a medication can help tailor each hormone replacement therapy prescription to suit an individual’s needs.
Increase Libido in Women
There is debate about which hormone, estradiol or testosterone, plays a more prominent role in libido. Typically, we see a considerable increase in levels of both hormones prior to ovulation in women.
The figure below is from a recent review of clinical trials that showed that when both hormones are combined, they significantly improve women’s sex drive.
Increase Libido in Men
Similar to women, we are not only focused on replacing testosterone levels in men. Estridol also plays a role in libido.
This can help not only with increasing sexual desire but can also help those affected by erectile dysfunction and low energy levels.
Possible Side Effects
- Stomach cramps
- Weight changes
Some severe side effects can include blood clots. It can also be associated with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer, which is why it’s important to attend all breast cancer screening appointments if eligible.
- Thomas HN, Hamm M, Hess R, Borrero S, Thurston RC. “I want to feel like I used to feel”: a qualitative study of causes of low libido in postmenopausal women. Menopause. 2020;27(3):289-294. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001455
- Cappelletti M, Wallen K. Increasing women’s sexual desire: The comparative effectiveness of estrogens and androgens. Horm Behav. 2016;78:178-193. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.11.003
- Barbonetti A, D’Andrea S, Francavilla S. Testosterone replacement therapy. Andrology. 2020;8(6):1551-1566. doi:10.1111/andr.12774