Can Estrogen Replacement Help Your Sex Drive?
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Sex drive is complicated and very individual. Although there is no one size fits all for loss of libido, one thing we do know: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all profoundly affect a woman’s sex drive and, by extension, ability to have an orgasm.
If you are one of the millions of women experiencing perimenopause or menopause, your hormones are either fluctuating or in decline. Here is a visual picture of estrogen decline with age.
We know that testosterone also affects sex drive, and the decline of that hormone also impacts libido. Sex hormones play a pivotal role in many aspects of physical and mental health. And if you are in menopause, you are experiencing firsthand the disruptive effects of declining hormones, and loss of sex drive is probably one of them.
Sex hormones are also crucial for a range of bodily functions and a person’s general health. In both males and females, sex hormones are involved in:
Puberty and sexual development
regulating bone and muscle growth
promoting hair growth
body fat distribution
Mood and energy
The Role of Estrogen in Sex Drive
Since we have already established that sex drive is impacted by a wide range of variables, starting with the basics can help. If you address all of the other factors such as stress, time constraints, conflict, caregiving (the list goes on) and don’t consider the role of sex hormones, you may not notice much improvement.
Several years ago, a large national survey found that sexual activity fell significantly with age. Fewer than half of women ages 57 to 73 said they were sexually active, and those who were had sex less than twice a month, on average. Here are some of the reasons why:
Harvard Medical School has this to say about estrogen and testosterone, and libido: “In women, both estrogen and testosterone can contribute to libido. Estrogen is manufactured by the ovaries and in body tissues; testosterone, by the ovaries and adrenal glands. While estrogen levels drop sharply at menopause, testosterone levels decline slowly and steadily with age. Women whose ovaries are removed before menopause often experience a dramatic loss of libido.”
Depression significantly affects libido, arousal, and the ability to orgasm, and menopause is associated with an increased risk of depression for some women.
A drop in estrogen affects the vaginal walls. Less estrogen may cause the tissues of the vulva and the lining of the vagina to become thinner, drier, and less elastic or flexible. The reduction of vaginal secretions results in decreased lubrication. All of this can lead to painful penetration.
How Estrogen Replacement Can Help
At Optimal Hormone Health, we recommend replacing all of the missing hormones! To optimize hormone replacement for your individual situation, we will draw labs, discuss risk factors, and get started getting you back up to speed and ramping up your sex drive. Let’s look at estrogen in particular and how replacement can help.
The National Institutes for Health conducted a comparative study of estrogen and androgen replacement, and this is what they found: “In summary, four out of five studies found that estrogen-only therapies that produced periovulatory levels of circulating estradiol increased sexual desire in postmenopausal women (Dow et al., 1983; Davis et al., 1995; Dennerstein et al., 1980; Sherwin, 1991; Sherwin & Gelfand, 1987). Estradiol presumably impacts female sexual functioning by acting on the central nervous system to increase sexual desire…”
Having higher estrogen levels in the body increases vaginal lubrication, increases sexual desire, and improves the comfort of vaginal penetration. Consider our vaginal rejuvenation laser treatment, which can help support vaginal support and tone.
Estrogen replacement will help you feel better by improving energy, sleep, concentration, skin tone, and mood.
And don’t forget about the other benefits of estrogen replacement. Osteoporosis: Estrogen helps maintain strong bones by preventing calcium loss. A family history of osteoporosis may also increase the risk. Heart disease: Estrogen made by the body seems to protect against heart disease. It may do this by raising the level of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood. After menopause, the risk for heart disease rises sharply.
Sex Drive, Communication and Experimentation
Even with estrogen and other hormone replacement, revving up your sex drive may take time. Communicating with your partner and getting back in touch with yourself (literally!) will take focus and effort. Some of our suggestions also put a premium on overall good health habits.
You may want to try experimenting a bit first with a sex toy to get the juices flowing! The clitoris is the seat of sexual pleasure for women, and you may need to reach orgasm yourself first before feeling comfortable with your partner.
Communicate with your partner about what turns you on, and take it slow!
Attend to all aspects of your health so you will feel vibrant and sexy. Estrogen will help with skin tone and lubrication, but don’t forget a healthy diet and plenty of exercise to get the blood flowing.
Estrogen to Help Your Sex Drive
Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone work together (and always have) to keep you healthy and sexy. When hormones decline, consider the benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement to improve your sex drive and return you to a robust and healthy you.