Low sex drive? It could be a hormone thing

Jamaica Observer

Here’s to your Health

With Dr Jacqueline E. Campbell

HORMONE levels may begin to change in your 30s, as you enter perimenopause, the interval in which your body begins its transition into menopause. In the years leading up to menopause, small hormonal imbalances can exist, so by the time menopause begins, you may have already experienced close to 20 years of hormonal imbalance.

Perimenopause and menopause hormone imbalance can be marked by a variety of symptoms — weight gain, hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety, depression, foggy thinking, memory changes, headaches, menstrual irregularities, vaginal dryness, decreased libido, dry skin, and fatigue.

These symptoms of hormone imbalance are caused primarily by an incorrect relationship between the two main female hormones — progesterone and oestrogen — in the body. They, along with other hormones, DHEA and testosterone, exist in a delicate balance, each performing a unique biological function. Variations in that balance can have a dramatic effect on your health, resulting in symptoms of hormone imbalance. The amounts of these hormones produced by your body can vary depending on factors such as stress, nutrition, exercise and ovulation.

When the balance between oestrogen and progesterone is thrown off in favour of oestrogen, a woman may become “oestrogen dominant”. This condition is associated with a number of conditions, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovaries, and breast cancer. Oestrogen dominance can occur in any woman, but perimenopausal women, who typically experience a more rapid decline in progesterone than in oestrogen, are especially at risk.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.