Low libido – It’ll drag you down. And there is still a stigma about talking openly about anything to do with our sex lives. In fact, up until recently, low libido was a topic that got blown off as something you can’t do anything about.
Often, if you were under fifty, doctors labeled it as a psychological condition. If you were over fifty, it was just an unfortunate fact of life. Thank goodness times have changed. We are no longer held hostage by those constraints and old ideas.
Let’s take this opportunity to continue to:
- Break down the barriers
- Start talking openly about low libido
- Talk about how it might be affecting you
- Talk about what you can do about it
Low libido can be found in both men and women and can reflect a variety of health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney disease
5 Things That May Surprise You When It Comes to Low Libido
Many equate low libido with a decrease in sexual drive. However, this drive can also affect your energy levels and overall interest in living.
Anti-depressants used to be the go-to for treating low libido. But, the additional serotonin in them reduces sexual desire.
2. Oral Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives increase SHBG (sex-hormone-binding globulin), which causes testosterone to stick to your cells. Since these cells are stuck and cannot flow freely through the body, “free” testosterone levels are reduced, which also lowers libido.
3. Thyroid Hormone Levels
Even if thyroid hormone levels are only slightly off, this can impact sexual function in both men and women.
4. Testosterone Levels
Athletes often have higher testosterone levels than non-athletes. So, their lab results could still look “normal,” but they notice a drop in testosterone.
Due to regulations for fire-retardant chemicals on furniture, carpets, etc., Americans have a larger decrease in testosterone levels. Other countries ban chemicals such as these.
Causes of Low Libido and Reduced Testosterone
The medical community still does not understand low libido and how to treat it. However, recognizing known hormone disruptors and minimizing your exposure to them can give you a boost in the right direction. Known contributors to low libido are:
- Lack of sleep
- Low thyroid
- Birth control
- Overuse of alcohol
- Chemical exposures
- Pain and pain medications
- Cancer and kidney disease
- Heart disease
How Does Testosterone Fit?
Although typically associated with the male of the species, testosterone is essential for both sexes. It not only regulates sex drive and can be a contributor to low libido, but it also has a role in:
Testosterone in women serves to heighten sexual response and orgasms. When testosterone is low, sexual response is low, and sex drive dives. It’s a well-established fact that testosterone levels naturally decrease as we age.
However, in the past two decades, researchers have noticed a decline in men’s average testosterone levels at every age. It’s thought the many hidden chemicals in our daily lives, i.e., pesticides and chemical fire retardants, contribute to this problem.
Let’s Talk About Menopause
30 to 40 percent of women complain about low libido making it the most most common sexual complaint made by women. Low sex drive is a common symptom of:
This is a result of hormone imbalances—mainly of the hormones progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. We’ve already taken a quick look at testosterone, so let’s focus on progesterone and estrogen.
Progesterone and Estrogen
The natural decrease in progesterone during perimenopause can result in estrogen dominance, which effectively causes low libido in women.
The imbalance can also cause:
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy (a loss of muscle tension)
- Decreased clitoral sensitivity that leads to lessened interest in sex
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
Getting to the Bottom of the Problem
It may take some time to determine the cause of your low libido. Your doctor may run some tests to rule out diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, or cancer as the cause.
If one of these diseases is the problem, your doctor will treat you for it, and you should see your libido get a boost as a side effect. Your doctor may review any medications you are taking to see if any of them have sexual side effects.
- Antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) may lower sex drive.
- Switching to a different type of antidepressant-like bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL) usually improves sex drive.
Since over 70% of women with low libido have correctable hormonal imbalances (and similar estimates have been published for men), your doctor may also take a look at your hormone levels.
Let’s Talk Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy
Currently, Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy (BHRT) is the safest and most effective treatment for correcting hormone imbalances. You may be familiar with the bad reputation had by synthetic hormone replacement (HRTs) BHRT’s are different.
BHRTs are made from plants and have the same molecular structure of hormones naturally produced by the body. BHRT treatments will not only boost libido but have other health benefits that come with youthful hormone levels, including age-related diseases.
Optimizing Hormone Levels
Optimizing hormone levels can be a complicated process and requires the expertise of a trained BHRT professional who works with a compounding pharmacy to combine and customize dosages.
For example, since optimal health requires “hormonal balance,” testosterone cannot be adequately rebalanced without also considering estrogen and progesterone.
When you fold in the recent discovery that thyroid hormone levels (T3) have a more significant impact on libido than previously thought (for both sexes), it’s essential to consider it in the “hormone balance” equation as well.
A good BHRT practitioner is trained to:
- Root out the underlying problems
- Look at the whole picture
- Offer a comprehensive approach tailored to address your individual needs so you can get back that extra skip in your step
Sometimes the underlying issues are as simple as an unhealthy diet, which can cause symptoms, like fatigue, that contribute to low libido in women.
Sometimes the problem is not connected to a physical cause. Taking the time to talk with a sex therapist or counselor skilled in addressing sexual concerns can help with low sex drive.
This type of therapy may include educating you about sexual response and techniques. The therapist or counselor may offer recommendations for reading materials or exercises that you can do as a couple. Attending couples counseling that addresses relationship issues may also help deepen feelings of intimacy and desire.
In addition to counseling, your doctor may prescribe a medication called flibanserin (Addyi) to boost your libido. You take this pill once a day before you go to bed.
However, the possible side effects of Addyi include:
- Low blood pressure
For example, side effects may worsen if you drink alcohol or take fluconazole (Diflucan), a conventional medication to treat vaginal yeast infections while taking Addyi.
Why Finding an EveiPEL Provider Could Be Just What You Need
In most cases, a pharmaceutical pill will not address hormonal imbalances or emotional variables. What does address both of those factors, though, is EvexiPEL’s truly integrated approach to hormone optimization, hormone pellets. Here’s why our approach works:
- Our practitioners spend as much time as necessary, talking with their patients. Typically, this means they will not stop until they have uncovered the root cause (or causes) of the issues that you are having.
- They will run several tests. And then follow-up tests as well as have multiple conversations with you until they can diagnose the problem.
- They will then come up with a holistic plan that addresses whatever is ailing you. For example, with issues such as a decreased sex drive, this treatment plan may include unconventional treatment methods.
- This could mean seeking:
- Detoxifying your environment
- Attending to your emotional well-being
- Nutritional supplementation
Our EvexiPEL Practitioners Will Take the Natural Approach
So, if BHRT is necessary, our EvexiPEL practitioners will take the natural approach. Instead of putting something synthetic into your body, we use hormone pellets derived from natural, plant-based substances.
For example, our EvexiPEL practitioner customizes the ingredients of these pellets to meet your individual needs. Then, a compounding pharmacist makes the pellets just for you. These pellets metabolize naturally into your body, without causing adverse side effects.
Whatever you need, our providers will be there for you. After our practitioners uncover the root cause, they will work with you to devise a unique and effective treatment plan.