Hormones That Affect Sexual Desire


The human body and all its components are still being studied by scientists. From the cellular level to the hormonal level to the completed picture, scientists are not yet sure what makes certain things tick. Take female sexual desire, for example.

The past few years have been vital to understanding the hormonal changes that drive women from puberty to the reproductive years to the postmenopausal years. It is known that three hormones affect sexual desire: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Also, these three hormones exist in both male and female bodies.

The past few years have seen studies piling up relating to these hormones and how exactly they cause female sexual desire. There’s so much more, though, to understand. 

How Testosterone Affects Female Sexual Desire

Have you ever wondered why you can go for hours during sexual play? Thank testosterone for your stamina. You can also thank it for sexual fantasies and thoughts, as well as the intensity of wanting a man. 

Testosterone acting with estrogen produces these as well as other changes in a woman’s body, even during her period. That’s what the last 40 years have taught science about estrogen and testosterone changes regarding the role of testosterone in female health.

Wait, that’s a man’s hormone. What’s it doing in a woman’s body? Aside from sexual desire, testosterone fosters bone and brain health. It’s produced in the adrenal glands and the ovaries.

Keep in mind that a man’s body has nominal levels of estrogen, too. This not only helps the testes produce sperm but affects male behavior patterns. Both sexes use the same hormones for bone, brain, and heart health. It’s only in the sexual arena the hormones produce different effects.

Estrogen Role in Sexual Desire and Arousal

Ladies are aware of the pleasant feeling when they meet a great guy. The tight stomach, the trembling knees, and the suddenly damp underclothing are among the first signs of desire. What do hormones have to do with it?

Estrogen is one of the most important female hormones. Produced by the adrenal glands, fat tissue, and ovaries, estrogen does more than just stimulate a girl’s libido. It affects heart, bone, and brain health. The dampness with which ladies are familiar as well as intensely wanting this great guy is caused by the estrogen kicking in.

The Relationship Between Progesterone and Female Sexual Desire

Progesterone prepares the womb for pregnancy. Produced by an endocrine gland during menstruation, progesterone stimulates the uterus to thicken in preparation for supporting an egg. If a woman gets pregnant, progesterone triggers the body to supply the womb with the blood vessels it needs to nurture the fetus.

Clearing Up Popular Misconceptions

In past decades, science has failed to learn everything about how hormones affect female sexual desire. Science does, however, know a few pertinent facts about the subject:

Testosterone treatments. It was previously thought that women with a low sex drive needed more testosterone. This is, in fact, not so. Science has failed to find sufficient evidence that low testosterone in women equals low sex drive.

Estrogen treatments. It’s a popular misconception that women have little to no sexual desire after menopause. It’s true that decreasing estrogen production causes a dry vagina, thinning of the walls of the vagina, and lack of sexual appetite. What’s also true is that hormone treatments, over-the-counter lubricants, as well as creams to help rebuild the vaginal walls are available to women requiring postmenopausal help.

Young women don’t generally suffer the hormonal changes unless they’re pregnant, which older women suffer. Due to menopause, women are more likely to get osteoporosis, their minds become less focused, and their sexual desire flags. Simple hormone therapy helps. It’s the misconception that older women don’t want sex anymore that needs to change.

Older women suffer a genitourinary syndrome that adds distress to the already frustrating hormonal changes taking place. Psychological changes or perceptions affect older women, too. Distress has its own effect on hormones and their changes.

Birth control failure. The hormones in birth control pills suppress the estrogen that fosters pregnancy. The misconception lies in the fact that antibiotics negate the effects of the birth control pills, allowing pregnancy to occur. Only about one percent of women taking birth control pills along with antibiotics get pregnant, regardless.

Getting pregnant during a woman’s period. The hormones that govern egg release and womb preparation are inactive, to a certain extent, during a woman’s period. However, the male sperm lasts in a woman’s body for up to seven days. When the egg is released soon after the period is over, the sperm will still be able to mate with it. 

Hormonal changes affect female sexual desire. We’ve seen that testosterone has little to no effect on female desire during some of the changes to the female body, such as her period or aging. However, estrogen and progesterone therapies help foster female sexual desire along with other changes to the female body.

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