Q: What hormones affect the sexual activity in both men and women?
A: The main hormones are the following:
It’s important to understand that dysfunctional stress in the body is the root cause of most if not all hormone imbalances, and one of the earliest signs can be lower sexual desire. If a woman has been living with stress for a long time, then her adrenal glands are unable to make enough cortisol to keep up with the body’s demands, causing fatigue and also affecting the other hormones.
Signs of Imbalanced Cortisol:
Feeling wired, but tired
Running from task to task, feeling overwhelmed
Sugar or carb cravings
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Feeling burned out, fatigued, particularly under stress
Increased belly fat or weight gain
Unstable blood sugar – too high, too low, or both
Skin conditions such as eczema
Estrogen causes the female body to grow breasts and hips. When it’s in balance with its counter hormone, progesterone, your period arrives on time, your skin is clear, and your moods are generally stable. Estrogen raises levels of the mood-boosting neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and beta–endorphins. When estrogen is not balanced by progesterone, it can be overstimulating, leading to irritability, anxiety and insomnia.
Signs of Imbalanced Estrogen:
Bloating or water retention
Abnormal Pap smears
Heavy or excessively light (even absent) periods
Breast tenderness or cysts
Mood swings or PMS
Rapid weight gain, particularly at the breasts or hips
Red flush of the face, or rosacea
Vaginal dryness or atrophy
When your thyroid gland in your neck is underperforming, you feel flat and lackluster in most areas. Your hair thins, particularly eyelashes and the outer third of the eyebrow. The origin varies from person to person, and could step from autoimmune destruction (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) or secondary to high cortisol, or even from endocrine disruptors like Bisphenol A or flame retardants.
Signs of Low Thyroid:
Fatigue, particularly in the morning
Mood problems, such as low-grade depression
Dry, straw-like hair that tangles easily
Hair loss or thinning (particularly lashes and outer third of eyebrow)
Cold hands and feet, or intolerance of cold
Testosterone, known as the hormone of desire, has the strongest effect on libido. It’s the primary driver of libido in both men and women. In women of reproductive age, testosterone levels peak at ovulation, stimulating a woman’s desire for sex. It begins to decline in your twenties but the worst culprit when it comes to low testosterone is taking oral contraception. The pill raises your sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and as a result, you may experience low sex drive, vaginal dryness, and even pain with insertion.
Signs of Imbalanced Testosterone:
Acne or greasy skin
Rogue hairs, especially on face, chest, or arms
Anxiety or depression
Loss of confidence and agency
Poor muscular response to high-intensity or weight training
Irregular menstruation (cycles longer than 35 days, or skipping cycles)
Infertility or subfertility
During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (the 12 days following ovulation), sex drive and pleasure in sex tend to rise, partly due to rising levels of progesterone during that time. As women age, less progesterone is produced, which can cause hormone imbalance and infertility. In younger women, this can happen due to stress, poor diet and over-exercising.
Signs of Imbalanced Progesterone:
headaches or migraines.
mood changes, including anxiety or depression.
irregular menstrual cycle.
Here is a free hormonal balance test https://www.hotzehwc.com/symptom-checker/ provided by Hotze Health and Wellness Center. If you observe that you might have a hormonal imbalance I’d highly recommend to do the blood test with your doctor and take only prescribed medications if needed.