Symptoms of Low Libido and Sex Drive
Keeping Your Sex Drive Alive with HRT
As humans, it’s hardwired in our biology to procreate. Written within our DNA is an almost primal instinct to pass on our genetic material. If you ask some evolutionary biologists the question, “What is the meaning of life?” you shouldn’t be all too surprised when they answer back, “To reproduce…”.
Looking at our environment and the millions of species that occupy our world, it’s evident that reproduction drives almost, if not, all, species. Just as it’s in a lion’s, deer’s, bear’s, whale’s, penguins, etc., nature to reproduce, so is it in us as humans. There are even examples of species of animals that demonstrate a sole existence for reproduction; take salmon, octopus, praying mantis, to name a few examples of animals that exist to reproduce even at the cost of their own lives.
But what makes us different than the animals of the world, aside from our developed brains and utilization of tools, is our ability not just to seek out sex as a means for reproduction but as a means of enjoyment and pleasure (albeit there are recorded instances of various animals who do the same).
Sex as a means of enjoyment and recreation has been documented in our span of human history: from art depicting sexuality captured on cave drawings, vases, tapestry to our digital world in the form of pictures, tv, and film. It’s almost impossible to avoid sex as it exists at the forefront of the human conscious as evident in much of the media, literature, and art that we consume. Given the prominence of sex in our everyday lives, more so in our relationships with significant others, what happens when the idea or act of sex ceases to bring enjoyment?
When sex no longer arouses the same feelings and desires as it once did in your youth, it may be time to address your waning libido. It’s not uncommon as we age for our sex drive to decrease or vanish all together. However, aging and it’s consequences aren’t something we have to accept. With bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, you can reverse the hands of time and find passion and enjoyment in sex as we’re meant to.
Aging and Our Hormones
Unless you’re a hormone specialist, you may have never put much thought to hormones, what they are, what they do, and their critical function in our biology. These unique signaling molecules generated by our various organs help regulate both our physiology and behavior.
Hormones in Our Youth to Our Thirties
In our youth, amidst puberty where sexual maturation occurs, hormones like testosterone and estrogen are working in surplus to grow prepubescent bodies. This growth manifest in various ways across males and females like the development of sex organs, changes in voice, menstruation, muscle development, etc.
As we age, these hormones, like testosterone and estrogen, remain an ever-important factor in our aging. In our twenties, for both men and women, hormones are in full swing. Levels of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and other vital hormones are at their highest levels. Physiologically, we peak, hormonally, during this span of our lives.
Entering into our thirties, men begin to see a slow diminish in testosterone, resulting in increased difficulty maintaining muscle mass. Even metabolism begins to slow down. In women, fertility begins to decline, metabolism slows, and estrogen levels that play a role in skin health decrease, causing signs of wrinkles and sagging.
Hormones in Our Forties to Our Fifties
There’s no more denying the ugly truth: you’re getting older. You see it in the mirror, and you feel it in your body. At this point, hormones are declining to the point of deficiency. Levels of motivation are declining as testosterone declines, sleep may not come as easily anymore, and your mood fluctuates, leaving you feeling like you have no control over it.
In men, it’s around this age, we see a decline in libido as testosterone levels lower, and estrogen levels increase. Consequently, performance issues begin to arise around this age, with around 40% of males reporting erectile dysfunction issues.
Inversely, women experience the possible dip in libido but are compounded by a variety of other unique problems: perimenopause has begun as levels of estrogen and progesterone ebb and tide, muscle loss occurs more easily than it is to keep, and temperature swings occur rampantly with hot flashes and night sweats.
Hitting our fifties, the hands of time have genuinely turned. Fifty-year-old males have begun, if they weren’t already in the midst of it, andropause. This entails a lack of focus, decreased motivation, muscle loss, bone loss, and mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Your memory isn’t what it quite used to be since the relaying of neural synapses requires sufficient hormone levels. And to add insult to injury, even if you wanted to combat the weight gain and muscle loss, energy levels have drastically fizzled out around these years.
For women, menopause is now in full swing. Imbalances in estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and thyroid hormones also make for extreme levels of fatigue. Yet it’s simultaneously challenging to get sufficient rest. Body composition truly begins to change with fat deposition happening more abundantly in troublesome areas. And similarly to men, it’s as though your brain is in a fog.
Symptoms of Aging for Men and Women
- Fatigue, weight gain, muscle loss, insomnia, irritability, depression, memory loss, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, and prostate issues.
- Hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, insomnia, mood & skin changes, memory loss, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, and low sex drive
Combatting the Consequences of Aging — Reversing Lowered Libido and Increasing Sex Drive
As emphasized by the various causes of all of these aging symptoms in both men and women, hormonal imbalances cause our physiology to run amok. One day your young and living life, and the next thing you know, you’re planted in front of a mirror or old photographs, wondering where the time has gone, lamenting your youth and health gone passed.
But regardless if you still have plenty of time on your side or currently dealing with many of these symptoms in older age, there are ways to combat them, especially lowered libido.
Exercise and Diet
Younger or older, abundant with hormones or not, exercise should be practiced by everyone. By keeping your body in shape, you not only fight off muscle loss and weight gain (hormonal imbalances are exacerbated in those who are overweight) but can prevent disease, improve wellbeing & mental health, and prolong cognitive function.
Practice around 30 minutes of cardio coupled with stretching and resistance workouts to work your body adequately. On top of the exercise, eating healthily and appropriate quantities will go a long way in improving your physical health. Foods like lean proteins can help stave off muscle loss, as well.
Given the physical nature of sex, being in your best shape will be more conducive to sexual intercourse than being out of shape.
While it may be more challenging with age to get a good night’s rest, sleep is vital for day-to-day function. Sleeping allows our mind to reset and rejuvenate our stores of energy. With more energy, sex becomes more feasible. And consequently, studies show that regular sex increases sleep quality. So with your heightened energy, engage in exercise and have fun with sex to promote the best sleep so that you can do it all over again.
Stress Management and Body Image Acceptance
Those who are dealing with an abundance of stress experience greater levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone fitted to help the body combat stressors. It’s an important hormone that helps us deal with threats by activating our fight-or-flight reaction. Adrenaline levels increase, blood pressure rises, cortisol increases glucose in the blood, etc. However, constant stress keeps the body in a constant state of stress-responsiveness, which our bodies, and specifically our hormones, aren’t fitted to handle.
Too much stress for too long causes our bodies to experience anxiety, depression, headaches, digestive issues, sleep problems, weight gain, impairments to memory, etc. All of these symptoms actively challenge your ability to enjoy sex. By finding ways to manage stress, you can avoid these symptoms. In a circular way of thinking, exercise, and even sex, can help lower your cortisol to healthy levels.
Secondly, it’s not reasonable to look in the mirror and dislike what you see because it’s not your youthful twenty-year-old self looking back at you. Aging is natural and should be accepted. Embrace your body-image as it’s unreasonable and unhealthy not to be kind to yourself.
With a greater acceptance of your body, you can allow your significant other to demonstrate that same love and acceptance as well within the intimacy act of sex.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Last on this list, but certainly not least, in fact, maybe even the most critical recommendation for improving your libido and staving off aging is that of hormone replacement therapy or HRT.
As we’ve seen, with age, men and women lose levels of testosterone; also, various imbalances occur with other hormones that result in a plethora of age-related symptoms. Testosterone is a strongly linked hormone that regulates sex drive. Additionally, women who have lower estrogen levels suffer from reduced blood flow to the vagina, resulting in dry and painful intercourse. Inversely, high estrogen in men causes erectile dysfunction.
To maintain a healthy appreciation for sex, it’s important to keep these sex hormones regulated. Sometimes, no matter how much exercise, diet, and sleep we’re getting, there’s not much we can do to fight Father Time. It’s in these moments where HRT can help you.
By replacing missing or lowered hormone levels, balance can be restored, returning your body to how you remembered it. As complicated as our physiology can be, HRT is far from it. It’s a non-invasive and manageable solution for age-related issues.
Contact Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine today if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms. We look forward to helping you achieve a more youthful version of “you” and helping you improve your sex drive.