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Does Hormone Therapy Help Low Libido?

Low Libido

Hormones are responsible for various functions in the body. They play a very large role on 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 through 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?

Things such as stress, depression, and fatigue can all affect a woman’s romantic desires. Other causes can be due to post-menopause and pregnancy. In speaking specifically about hormones, estradiol and testosterone have both been implicated as playing a critical role in women’s sex drive.

What Causes Low Libido in Men?

Similar to women, the same external factors (stress, depression, fatigue) can contribute to a 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 a variety of symptoms that affect us more as we age or after certain procedures. Things such as fatigue, mood, and sex drive are just some of the things that hormone therapy can help with. Compounding a medication can help make each hormone replacement therapy prescription tailored to suit an individual’s needs.

Increase Libido in Women

There is debate as to which hormone, estradiol or testosterone, plays a bigger role in libido. Typically, we see a huge 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 used in combination, they show great efficacy in improving 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.

Hormone Therapy and Libido

Possible Side Effects

Some side effects can include
  • Headache
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite
  • Weight changes

Some serious side effects can include blood clots. It can also be associated with a small increase in the risk of breast cancer, which is why it’s important to attend all breast cancer screening appointments if eligible.

Andrea Segerstrom-Nunez

Intern Pharmacist, ClearSpring Pharmacy

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