Low Testosterone & Libido - What's the Connection?
Unfortunately it's not the simple relationship we'd like it to be...
Low Libido in women is incredibly common – 45-50% of women report low libido, and we actually think this is under reported (because self-reports almost always are). And so while low libido is incredibly common it's also complex to solve. An area we're quick to jump to in cases of low libido is "hormone imbalance", and often low testosterone is top of the list.
Now, we do know that low testosterone in women is associated with decreased sexual desire or libido, a decrease in sexual thoughts or fantasies and increased difficulty reaching orgasm. It's also associated with...
Lack of concentration.
Loss of motivation.
Muscle weakness or inability to put on muscle mass.
Reduced vaginal lubrication.
So Testosterone is IMPORTANT in women and believe it or not, it's actually the most abundant active sex hormone in women throughout the female lifespan! Yes, you have more testosterone than estrogen & progesterone *your "dominant" female sex hormones*.
So while it looks like we should just be able to increase testosterone to solve the aforementioned symptoms, we know that an improved serum testosterone does not actually correlate to better libido. And furthermore, hormone replacement therapy with testosterone is not recommended or efficacious. This is an important conversation, because libido is an area we're quick to blame our hormones for and unfortunately the research just doesn't support that.
Bottom line: your libido is much more complicated than a single hormone. I like to describe it as a series of gates that all need to be open to reach that place of desire and receptivity. And your hormones (yes, even testosterone) are just one of those gates. The others are a complex interaction of psychosocial factors; your stress/anxiety, body image, past experience/trauma with intimacy, physical or mental fatigue, relationship strain/stress, communication, knowledge of your & your partners needs, the list goes on.
If you're ready to reconnect with pleasure, to deeply understand your body & it's needs. Maybe it's time to Cycle with your Cycle