If you have been struggling with symptoms of hormone imbalance, you’re in good company. Hormones and libido, and their effects on each other, is something our team at Pellecome in Randolph, NJ, strives to help our patients with. If you’re looking to better your body’s hormonal balance, you may want to consider bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Is Low Libido in Men & Women Due To Hormonal Imbalance?
The idea of hormones and libido being tied together is one that is widely accepted. A lack of libido can sometimes be caused by the body not producing enough “sex hormones.” This condition is called hypogonadism, and it can potentially affect a person’s libido regardless of their gender.
If you’re concerned that you may not be producing enough sex hormones, getting some bloodwork may be a good call. This could help you and your doctor pinpoint any problem areas. If your bloodwork determines that you do in fact have a hormonal deficiency, hormone therapy may be able to help relieve your symptoms by addressing the root of the problem.
Other Tests for Hypogonadism
Blood tests are the most common way to check for hypogonadism, but if you or your practitioner are concerned that your symptoms may be caused by a tumor in the brain or pituitary gland, or that your symptoms could be affected by the presence of ovarian cysts, a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound may be used as an additional diagnostic tool. Semen analysis is another diagnostic tool used for men.
What Causes Hypogonadism?
In men, hypogonadism is often tied to testosterone production. In women, it may be tied to estrogen production, progesterone production, or both. Why hypogonadism occurs can usually be tracked down to one of two causes. The first is that there is an issue with the sex glands that is interfering with the body’s ability to make the right amount of sex hormones. This is called primary hypogonadism.
Secondary hypogonadism can be caused by your brain signals not being picked up by your sex glands. This can lead to the sex glands not “getting the message” when it comes to producing the right amount of sex hormones.
Do I Have Hypogonadism?
While bloodwork and testing is always a good idea if you have concerns, people between 40 to 50 years old who are experiencing a decrease in the production of sex hormones may be facing a hormonal reduction due to age. Younger individuals who have little to no sexual interest are considered more likely candidates of hypogonadism.
Health issues and the use of certain medications may contribute to developing hypogonadism. No matter what it is caused by, the symptoms, which can include a decreased libido, menstrual or erectile issues, and mental fatigue, can interfere with a patient’s health and wellbeing. Relief from symptoms may come in the form of replacing some of the hormones your body isn’t producing enough of.
Hormones and Libido in Men
How your hormone levels affect you can vary per person. Each person is a complex system in and of themselves, with a variety of hormones all trying to do their jobs. When hormone levels are correct, it tends to help the body stay in balance. However, if one of these key hormones is out of whack, it can negatively affect the body in other ways.
Testosterone is often seen as the most important hormone when it comes to male libido. Lower testosterone can contribute to a lowered sex drive or increased sexual difficulties. Bio-identical hormone therapy may be able to help patients struggling with low testosterone. This treatment aims to reproduce the hormones your body naturally makes. This can help your body regain a proper hormonal balance.
Andropause and Hormonal Balance
You’ve probably heard of menopause, but have you heard of andropause? Andropause, also known as late-onset hypogonadism, is comparable to menopause in women, except andropause affects men. It can even come with similar symptoms to menopause, such as hot flashes.
The diagnosis of andropause is usually tied to age and whether or not you have symptoms of testosterone deficiency. The most common reported symptoms of andropause include a loss of libido and erectile dysfunction. If you are struggling with symptoms of andropause, bio-identical hormone therapy may be able to help.
Hormones and Libido in Women
Many patients tend to see estrogen as the “female hormone” and testosterone as the “male hormone.” The truth is a little more complicated than that. Estrogen is just one of the key hormones that can affect libido in women. Low levels of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone could all be contributing factors in a decreased libido. Unfortunately, all three of these hormones tend to naturally decrease during and after menopause.
The Role of Testosterone
Testosterone production isn’t just important for men, it plays an important role for women as well. When ovaries aren’t functioning at their best, the amount of testosterone produced can decrease. While this could be caused by more expected factors such as menopause or a hysterectomy, younger women aren’t immune to issues with testosterone production.
Testosterone in women is generally considered important when it comes to orgasms and interest in sexual activity. That means a decrease in testosterone can cause a subsequent decrease in libido.
What Other Effects Can Hormone Deficiencies Cause?
Decreased libido can be frustrating and discouraging, and can get in the way of your romantic life. While regaining hormonal balance can help patients improve their sense of sexual wellness, there are other reasons to consider hormone replacement therapy.
Lack of Energy
Do you find yourself struggling with a stubborn “brain fog” that even coffee has trouble cutting through? A hormonal imbalance may be to blame. Issues with the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing our body’s hormones, can lead to chronic fatigue. One example of this is hypothyroidism, which is caused by an underactive thyroid and is commonly associated with exhaustion.
Loss of Calcium
In addition to its role in the reproductive system, estrogen also plays an important role in how the body maintains blood cholesterol levels, and how it uses its calcium supply. This can put postmenopausal women in particular at a higher risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which the body is taking too much calcium from the bones without replenishing it.
For women, having the right balance of estrogen can often mean stronger bones. In these cases, hormone replacement may be able to help protect women from osteoporotic fractures. Men shouldn’t underestimate the importance of healthy estrogen levels either, as estrogen is also an important hormone for men when it comes to bone health.
Hormones and Libido FAQ
1. Why Choose Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy?
Pellet therapy is an easy and simple process that you’ll only have to make time for three or four times per year. The insertion generally takes less than 15 minutes, so you could probably even squeeze it in during lunch break! Unlike some of the alternatives, you won’t have to remember to take daily oral medication or apply daily creams.
The hormones used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, also known as BHRT, are plant-based. On a molecular level, they are extremely similar to the hormones our bodies make on their own. Since the treatment comes in a pellet form, the body can absorb it over time. This minimizes hormonal fluctuations. It is important to note that your healthcare provider may recommend a combination of different treatments depending on your needs.
2. How Long Does BHRT Take To Work?
After the pellets are inserted, your body will be supplied with a steady dose of bio-identical hormones. Results can vary due to individual factors, but most patients can expect some relief from their symptoms after about two to four weeks. Symptom relief may take longer in other cases. You should be able to enjoy the full results of your treatment by six months.
3. What Else Can I Do To Improve Libido?
In addition to treatment, there are some things you can try at home that may help increase libido. One of the best ways to support a healthy body is by feeding it a healthy diet. If the body is an engine, what you put into it is fuel. Exercise is another great way to keep yourself healthy and help you feel your best. Feeling your best may help encourage better libido.
Make sure you are well-rested and reduce stress as much as possible. Bananas, figs, pistachio nuts, and asparagus are thought by some to be natural aphrodisiacs if you wanted to try that as well. If it doesn’t help with libido, the good news is that all of these things, in moderation, are good for you anyway!
4. Is BHRT Used To Treat Other Issues Too?
The human body is made of so many different hormones. These hormones can affect each other as well as different aspects of our mental and physical health in different ways. Our team at Pellecome offers several different treatment options to help our patients with varying concerns.
Over time, chronic stress can cause hormonal imbalances in the body. These imbalances can lead to a cycle in which the imbalances themselves may contribute to higher stress levels. We offer BHRT treatment that can help support the body and bring these hormones, such as cortisol, back into balance.
When it comes to weight loss, treatments that utilize leptin may be helpful. Leptin is the hormone that tells our bodies that we have enough fat storage. That message can help the body feel more full, and reduce food craving.
There are many hormones that play a role in our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Supporting a healthy hormonal balance in your body may help reduce sleep issues.
5. How Do I Get Started?
If you are interested in BHRT, you can schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider that offers this service. If you and your provider both determine that this could be a good fit for you, the next step will be to determine your exact hormone levels. This is usually done through bloodwork.
If your bloodwork shows that you’re a good candidate for this treatment, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment to have the BHRT pellet inserted.
Finding a Fit
We know how frustrating it can be to find a good fit when it comes to treating hormonal imbalances. Our team is dedicated to finding personalized solutions to help you reach and maintain your personal goals. If you would like to learn more about how BHRT could help you achieve a better balance in your body, reach out to Pellecome of Randolph, NJ, today for more information!