The desire for sex - one's libido - is influenced by many factors. Psychological as well as physical factors contribute to sex drive, as does age, health, and lifestyle factors like the amount of sleep, exercise, and how much alcohol consumed.
Hormones & the Female Libido
For women, hormone fluctuations and certain OB-GYN conditions can dramatically impact libido.
The following hormones, all of which are produced in both men and women, play an important role in female sexual desire:
- Estrogen – involved in reproductive and sexual development and function; higher levels are associated with vaginal lubrication and increased libido
- Progesterone – fluctuates in relation to estrogen levels; acts to suppresses estrogen production after ovulation
- Testosterone – women produce this hormone, although in lower quantities than men do; may improve sexual desire and function in some women
Hormone-related events and conditions that can affect a woman’s libido include:
One of the biggest causes of low libido in women is menopause. This is when you stop ovulating, and your body gradually produces less estrogen and progesterone. This results in symptoms such as vaginal dryness, painful sex, and a reduced sex drive. Women who take hormone replacement therapy as part of a menopause symptom management regimen may experience an increase in their sex drive.
Many women of childbearing age experience the highest level of sexual desire just before and during ovulation (days 6-14 of the menstrual cycle) when their estrogen levels are the highest.
Many bodily changes occur during pregnancy. The increases in estrogen and progesterone levels, plus increased blood flow, may result in a higher sex drive toward the end of the first trimester and into the second trimester for some women.
Age & Lifestyle Factors
Libido is composed of a complex network of triggers that result in the desire to engage in sexual activity. It’s part psychological, part physical, and includes a range of factors and activities that can either increase or decrease your sex drive. Among the most impactful are:
- Age. Women between about 30 and 45 years of age reported higher libido than younger women.
- More Exercise. Physical activity, especially cardiovascular exercise, is associated with a higher sex drive in women.
- Less Stress. When stress levels are lowered - meaning there is less cortisol (the fight or flight hormone) coursing through the bodies veins - women may be more likely to experience improved libido.
Women, Boost Your Libido Levels Now!
The hormone fluctuations women experience play an important role when it comes to sex drive, or libido. One of the most common causes of low libido among women is menopause. If you’re experiencing a lowered sex drive due to menopause, you have treatment options.