Believe it or not, testosterone is at the heart of Women’s Lib. That’s right, Women’s Lib. And by Women’s Lib, I mean of course, Women’s Libido.
According to a study in JAMA entitled “Sexual Dysfunction in the United States”, one third of women between the ages of 18-59 said that their number one problem was low libido. Why are so many women uninterested in sex?
There are of course a variety of reasons that could be causing low libido, such as libido-crushing birth control pills, low levels of progesterone or estrogen dominance and of course, the relationship itself may have desire-dampening issues. But there’s one thing that most folks don’t associate with a woman’s libido and that’s low testosterone.
If you’re wondering what testosterone has to do with a woman’s interest in sex, the answer is: everything. Testosterone is a natural female libido enhancer. Did you know that in women who are of reproductive age, levels of testosterone peak at ovulation, thus stimulating a woman’s desire for sex? Hmm…no wonder testosterone is crucial to a woman’s libido!
It’s true that women produce smaller amounts of testosterone than men, but this doesn’t mean that they’re spared the effects of the natural decline in testosterone that comes along with aging.
The millions of women who experience estrogen dominance suffer not only from a relative deficiency in progesterone, but also from low testosterone. When a woman becomes estrogen dominant, she begins to experience anovulatory cycles and thus misses out on the accompanying elevation in testosterone that normally comes with ovulation.
To make matters worse, estrogen dominance increases the liver’s production of sex-hormone binding globulins. You could rename these proteins, sex-hormone binding goblins, because they attach to the small amount of testosterone in circulation effectively preventing testosterone from entering the cells.
About one-half of a woman’s testosterone is produced in, you guessed it: her ovaries. If estrogen dominance wreaks havoc on a woman’s libido, imagine what happens after a hysterectomy? When women undergo a total hysterectomy, they immediately lose 50 percent of their circulating testosterone!
The key is to supplement with bioidentical testosterone to restore hormone levels to those of a healthy young woman. As with bioidentical progesterone and estrogen, the best form of testosterone is time-released micronized capsules. Because each woman is unique, this dose must be adjusted according to a woman’s symptoms while periodically measuring the level of free testosterone in the blood.
In addition to being a natural female libido enhancer, testosterone improves the tone of the vagina and bladder, decreases body fat, improves muscle strength and bone density, enhances thyroid hormone function, relieves anxiety and depression, promotes mental clarity, and just for effect again, decreases body fat. Not a bad list of side benefits!
So if you care about Women’s Lib, make sure you allow for a little peak in testosterone!