If you suspect that your hormones are either positively or negatively affecting your sex life… you might be right… on both counts.
While puberty marks the beginning of your sexually reproductive years, menopause marks the end of them. To be clear, I don’t mean it marks the end of your sexuality, I simply mean that it marks the end of your ability to reproduce.
But what does reproduction have to do with anything?
Well, a lot, actually. Because…
Your reproductive years are when your hormones are at their peak.
These hormones grow your breasts, fill out your hips, create monthly cycles and provide the environment to grow a baby, as well as the ability to nourish it. Not to mention, give you your sex drive. Basically…
Your hormones create your femininity, your ability to procreate and the desire to do so.
Pretty important, huh?
Equally important though is what happens when they’re not optimal or at their best. That’s because instead of them giving you a happy and healthy life and libido, we’re told that they’re wreaking havoc on them.
How do you know if your hormones are to blame?
You suffer from pre-menstrual syndrome
Just because PMS is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal. It’s just that we are told that it is and sadly, we accept it. But…
The usual symptoms of PMS are not normal. They are signs that something isn’t right.
What’s more, is that many of us women have taken birth control pills (which are synthetic hormones) to alter our natural hormones so that we don’t get pregnant. This is great for avoiding pregnancy, but they come with additional symptoms, side effects and consequences.
Did you know…
That your testosterone levels can be temporarily and permanently lowered from the use of birth control pills.
Sadly, yes. And many women are not advised of this before taking them. However, given the fear of an unwanted pregnancy, many of us would have taken them regardless.
The irony is that if it’s going to lower your sex drive, you may not need birth control!
But notwithstanding a lack of desire, if you’re feeling bloated, have tender breasts, or are in agony due to menstrual pain, then your hormones are affecting your ability to feel sexy. If you’re irritable and bitchy and your husband’s breathing is getting on your nerves, then your mood swings are making it harder to have sex with him. ?
You suffer from hot flashes
Hot flashes are synonymous with menopause and precisely the reason why most women dread it. I mean, who wants to be a hot mess? Anyone?
Just like PMS symptoms, hot flashes are a sign that something is off. They’re also a sign that your life is out of balance.
Yep. That’s because we’re doing too much, we aren’t taking care of ourselves, and we don’t know how to relax. Instead of grounding ourselves in the feminine, where we listen to our bodies and nurture them, many of us have developed our masculine capabilities of planning, ambition, and getting shit done. Which is great… until it leads to burnout and elevated stress levels… that further derail our hormones.
Here’s the thing, if you’re hot one minute and cold the next and sex involves either cold compresses or a snowsuit, then it’s getting in the way of enjoyable sex.
Did you know…
Hot flashes or night sweats (hot flashes that happen at night) can be the result of low estrogen and/or low progesterone. If you’re stressed out, that’s like adding fuel to the fire… and you’re already hot! And since coffee chemically increases your stress hormones, then your cup of java can serve as a trigger for them.
You have more yeast infections
Most women will suffer from occasional vaginal infections, but they tend to happen more often when hormones are in flux. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause, as well during your period can increase the likelihood of having them. The use of birth control pills can have the same effect. But this change in hormones isn’t the cause of the infections. Streptococcus is to blame. When hormones are in flux, it creates a lowered immunity because the body’s efforts are going into looking after the reproductive system. This reduction in your immune system allows bacterial strep to proliferate.
Of course, there are other causes… the use of antibiotics (which make strep stronger), diet, hot, humid weather, continuous use of panty liners, or tight-fitting clothing that doesn’t breathe. However, if you don’t have any of these, then it’s most likely due to strep bacteria. If you have excess yeast, it’s not yeast that’s the problem. Yeast is just the canary in the coal mine.
At any rate, if you’ve got a yeast infection, you likely aren’t, nor should you be, engaging in sex.
Did you know…
Our vaginas normally have yeast bacteria and this is a good thing. It’s just that under the conditions listed above, the existence of strep bacteria increases and so does the yeast that’s there to try to reduce it.
You have a low sex drive
Your libido is impacted by many things, but if your hormones are out of balance, then they can affect your sex drive.
Your hormones are meant to work together in harmony. But if one is out of tune, it affects the whole band.
For instance, when your cortisol levels are high (that’s your stress hormone), then your body doesn’t produce your sex hormones. If your body is in fight-or-flight mode, it’s not going to be willing to lie down and have sex. So, you don’t need your sex hormones, right?
Furthermore, when your cortisol levels are high, they block the receptors for sex hormones, so even if you have enough sex hormones, cortisol has put its key in that keyhole and nobody else is getting in.
Did you know…
Testerone is known as the “hormone of desire”… because it gives you your sex drive. Therefore, if your testosterone levels are too low, you’re not going to feel like having sex and you won’t be able to will yourself into having it either.
That’s not to say that having more is better, because, with hormones, you don’t want too little or too much. You want just the right amount of each and in the right amounts in relation to each other.
FYI: Even though menopause brings about a reduction in hormones, it doesn’t mark the end of your sexy years. In fact, it’s the beginning of a new chapter in your sexuality.
You have signs of ageing
I hate to break it to you, but we were designed to reproduce. In the old days, people perished shortly afterward. If it weren’t for proper sanitation, better living conditions and modern medicine to increase our life expectancy, we’d be checking out early like our predecessors. So thank God for all of that, right?
But, in living longer, you’ll want to be sure that you maintain your quality of life. That is, you need to eat well, get lots of exercise and sleep, manage your stress and ensure your hormones are in sufficient quantities.
Did you know…
As soon as we become perimenopausal (anytime after the age of 35), the signs of ageing become more obvious.
We develop wrinkles, our skin begins to sag, we gain belly fat and have greater difficulty with weight loss. We have issues with sleep and we lose muscle tone, develop bone deficiencies and our vaginas can suffer atrophy and have difficulty providing lubrication for sex.
All of the above are due, at least in part, from a reduction in hormones. Remember, when you’re no longer of reproductive age, your body stops producing the same level of hormones that were once a part of that.
To reclaim our juiciness and sexual vitality, we need to restore our hormones to their previous levels.
What can we do about our hormones?
Get them tested.
Many conventional doctors are going to poo poo all over this and argue that our hormones are constantly changing, so there’s no point in testing them.
I call bullshit on that.
If they’re important for testing when a woman is trying to get pregnant, then obviously, they’re useful indicators. I mean really, why would it be relevant for one instance and not for another?
More importantly, it gives you something. A number. And this number allows you to see if your hormones are where they are supposed to be. If you have symptoms, checking your hormones can give you clues as to what might be causing them. Even if you don’t have symptoms, it’s good to find out your numbers when everything is great. Then, if and when things aren’t great, you know where you want to get back to.
In closing, your hormones ARE important and they DO affect your sex life. If you are suffering any of the above, have your hormones tested.
Food, exercise, sleep, stress management and natural hormone replacement are all ways we can balance our hormones, but you won’t know what to fix if you don’t know what the problem is!
Photo Credit: stock.adobe.com/ Daylight Photo
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