hormone that causes low libido in females

Can Hormones Cause Low Libido? A Deep Dive into Female Sexuality

Over time, as women begin to age, their sex drive will gradually decline due to various conditions, often this may be due to fluctuating estrogen levels as they near the age of menopause. 

Other causes for a low sex drive in women may include big life-changing events, such as the end of a relationship, a traumatic experience, pregnancy, or interference caused by medication such as mood stabilizers. 

Multiple things may influence a person’s desire to have sex, and this tends to be different from person to person. 

Fortunately, there is no cause for concern if you’ve noticed that your sex drive or libido has declined over recent years. However, other conditions such as sexual interest/arousal disorder may cause distress in a person's relationship, yet any person who may be experiencing these conditions can seek attention from their healthcare provider. 

Link Between Hormones and Female Libido

Various hormones play a role in our sex drive, although experts suggest that estrogen and testosterone, a male androgen hormone, are the key hormones in female sexual desire.

Estrogen and Testosterone: Key Hormones in Female Sexual Desire

For us to better understand what may cause, or lead a person to have lower sexual desires, let’s explore two sex hormones that typically influence a healthy sex life and sexual response. 

Estrogen: The most important hormone of all - estrogen - never really remains constant during your life, and tends to ebb and flow along with your menstrual cycles. 

Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, and as one can imagine, as a person ages, and menstrual cycles become more irregular due to perimenopause and then later menopause, so will the production of estrogen come and go concerning menstrual periods. 

Many experts believe that there is a strong link between estrogen and a woman's sex drive. In one study, researchers noticed that hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) - a condition that may cause a recurrent absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity - was due to low levels or deficiency in estrogen hormone production. 

Before you wonder whether you may be experiencing HSDD, it’s important to note that this condition affects around 10% of women globally, and tends to be associated with symptoms of depression or having a constant negative emotional state. 

Overall, there seems to be a strong link between estrogen and libido, and the constant fluctuations women may experience throughout their life. More importantly, this becomes more prevalent as women age, and begin to enter menopause

Testosterone: Unlike in men, where testosterone levels begin to gradually decline around the age of 30, women may experience the opposite. While women may be aging, or perhaps entering menopause, their estrogen levels may decline, and their testosterone levels increase. 

However, this might not always be the case, as one study points out that women may begin to see declining testosterone levels around their mid-30s, and will continue to decline at a constant rate until they reach menopause, where they then will have roughly half of their highest levels of testosterone remaining. 

As with estrogen, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands, which are located on top of the kidneys. 

There has been some research conducted to better understand the near-term benefits and side effects of testosterone hormone therapies, however, very limited scientific analysis and data are available to prove the long-term efficacy and safety of testosterone hormone therapy for women. 

More specifically, there are some indications that these types of therapies may be dangerous for women who have blood vessels, liver, and heart disease. This may further include women who have had breast cancer or uterine cancer.

Recognizing Signs of Hormonal Imbalance Affecting Libido in Women

Low sex drive may become a more frequent occurrence among aging individuals - men and women - as important hormonal levels gradually begin to decline. While there might not be any physically visible indication of hormonal imbalance affecting libido in females, one can consider the following symptoms that may be more occurring than usual:

  • Decreased interest in any sort of sexual activity.
  • Prolonged periods of not having sexual desires, including masturbation. 
  • Having less frequent sexual fantasies or thoughts. 
  • Feeling concerned about the lack of sexual activity or fantasies. 
  • Turning down an invitation for sexual activity from your partner. 
  • Feeling uncomfortable or concerned about the lack of sexual activity. 

These and other related symptoms may vary from person to person. Additionally, it’s important to remember that other factors, such as health and mental well-being may also play a role in decreased libido in women. 

Take A Look At Are You Suffering From Hormonal Imbalance?

How Menstrual Irregularities Reflect Hormonal Fluctuations and Libido

Research tells us that hormonal fluctuations caused by menstrual cycles may potentially lead to irregular levels of sex drive, however, this is often more common among healthy ovulating women and takes place during the normal menstrual cycle. 

Additionally, hormones tend to fluctuate throughout the cycle period, and sex drive is thought to be cyclical, and tends to peak around the 14th day of a women’s cycle. Moreover, other studies show that when a woman has her period every 24 to 34 days, hormonal activity is working normally, and there is an absence of irregularities. 

However, in the case of irregular, infrequent, or absent periods, this could potentially be an indication of hormonal imbalance, such as estrogen. These fluctuations could further lead to a decreased sex drive or lower libido than usual. 

There may be additional factors that could be influencing sex drive, including things such as menopause, or certain medications, such as contraceptives that may be affecting regular menstrual cycles or causing an imbalance in normal hormone levels. 

Mood Swings and Depression: Indicators of Hormonal Impact on Libido

Some evidence suggests that a decrease in testosterone among women may lead to feelings of depression, increased anxiety, and lower sex drive. Additionally, a person may experience reduced energy levels or increased irritability, affecting their day-to-day activity, and potentially causing further distress in their sex life. 

More than this, a decrease in other hormones may lead to reduced levels of serotonin - an important chemical for neurotransmitting information - which could lead to more elevated feelings of sadness, anxiety, and increased irritability. 

Another study has shown that hormonal contraception, such as birth control medication, may potentially contribute to depression in some women. This could be due to the level of progesterone present in some contraception medications. The imbalance between estrogen and progesterone may impact normal brain function, including things such as serotonin and dopamine. 

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance and Low Libido in Women

Aside from those causes already mentioned, including menopause, other things that can lead to hormonal imbalance include:


There have been numerous studies and research that have helped women better understand the adverse impact diet and the food they consume can have on their hormonal fluctuations. This is particularly true in cases of consuming specific foods or food groups that may have a larger, and more direct impact on hormones. 

This such as red meat, which is high in saturated fat and carbohydrates is considered among the biggest causes of hormone imbalance. Second to this are soy or soy-based products, which contain phytoestrogen, and act almost like an estrogen in the body. 

Other well-known foods, such as processed food that may contain a large quantity of sugar, sodium, and preservatives have been found to lead to hormonal fluctuations. Other things such as food with a high concentration of cholesterol may be another cause for hormonal imbalance. 

Additionally, some experts in women’s health have found that extreme dieting can affect the endocrine system, such as a low fat or keto diet, which is not sustainable over the long term.


Certain lifestyle choices and day-to-day activities may be another factor that can lead to hormonal imbalance. 

Large quantities of unhealthy food, including food that contains a lot of preservatives, irregular sleeping cycles, taking long naps during the day, and not getting enough exercise are among the few things that could be contributing to hormonal imbalance. 

Additionally, other things such as not having a balanced routine, including things such as drinking excessively, and the use of certain cookware that may contain Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and paraben chemicals. 

Genetics in Hormonal Health

While hormonal imbalance may be caused by things like menopause, stress, pregnancy, and steroid use, among other things, there is limited research that suggests hormonal imbalance may be genetic. Genetics tend to influence hormones, however, hormones may also influence genetics. 

However, some research would suggest women with a family history of certain conditions that may cause hormonal irregularities could be at bigger risk. 

In one 2014 study, researchers found that genetic factors did play a significant role in the variation in tissue responses to estrogens. This would help determine whether variation in estrogen responses could be based on different genetic backgrounds. 

Effective Strategies for Managing Hormonal Imbalance and Reviving Libido

Certain things can help to revive a woman’s sex drive, although this would largely be dependent on various factors, including whether a person may be pregnant, or experiencing menopause, among other things. 

Evaluating Hormone Replacement Therapy as a Solution for Low Libido

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be considered for the alleviation of certain menopausal symptoms, such as night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Other HRT treatments may also be used to help improve sex drive or libido for women, however, there is still more research needed to prove the efficacy thereof. 

In one specific study of 272 naturally menopausal women of which 73% were not receiving systemic estrogen treatment, many cited having 2-3 rewarding sexual experiences per month. This would indicate that without HRT treatment, women were still found to be sexually active or have a noticeable sex drive. 

Lifestyle Changes and Stress Management for Hormonal Equilibrium

Another beneficial change is effective stress management. Things such as getting enough sleep, creating a routine, or removing certain stressors from a person’s life could help to better combat stress or stress-related experiences. A healthy diet, meditation, and exercise are also recommended.


Why Is My Libido Suddenly Very Low?

The sudden change could be due to hormonal changes in the body. This might be influenced by things such as medication, experiencing a big life-changing event, or perhaps feeling stressed. Additionally, things such as pregnancy, menopause, anxiety, and depression may be contributing factors to feeling stressed. 

What Causes Loss of Libido in Females?

A decline in estrogen and testosterone levels may be the biggest reason for a decline in libido in women. Additionally, other things such as irregular periods, menopause, stress, depression, or anxiety may cause a woman’s libido to fluctuate. 

Final Considerations

There are many reasons why you might be experiencing a lower-than-usual sex drive. While the cause might not be menopause, unless otherwise indicated, some things such as irregular periods, new medication, and even stress may contribute to a feeling less sexually aroused. 

Fortunately, these things can be addressed, and with the necessary guidance you can gradually improve your sex drive. Ensure that you obtain a good amount of daily exercise, and have a balanced diet. Additionally, ensure that you effectively manage your stress levels, and if you begin to notice irregular periods, consult with an expert or healthcare provider. 

Low libido doesn’t mean that your sex drive is completely gone forever. There are multiple things you can do to get your drive back, and most importantly to remember, is that a low sex drive is normal, everyone has these experiences now and again in their life.

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