Those Frisky Hormones and Your Sex Drive

Holy Hormones Honey! I am always floored that money is spent on research when any woman – at any age –  could have told men that our sex drive fluctuates with our changing hormones.  Why do you think women do not want to have sex for half of their cycle?  We are not the same flat-lining testosterone ‘lets have sex everyday – twice a day’ beings that men are. Women have one head not two.  Serious?

On the other hand…. the study does make a good point in showing how important hormone levels are for a healthy libido.

Hormone Levels and Sexual Motivation Among Young Women

frisky-sexApr. 25, 2013 — Feeling frisky? If so, chances are greater your estrogen level — and, perhaps, fertility — are hitting their monthly peak. If not, you’re more likely experiencing a profusion of desire-deadening progesterone, and the less fertile time in your cycle. Oh, the power of hormones.

Researchers have long suspected a correlation between hormone levels and libido, but now scientists at UC Santa Barbara, led by James Roney, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, have actually demonstrated hormonal predictors for sexual desire. Their findings appear in the current issue of the journal Hormones and Behavior.

“We found two hormonal signals that had opposite effects on sexual motivation,” said Roney, the article’s lead author. “Estrogen was having a positive effect, but with a two-day lag. Progesterone was having a persistent negative effect, both for current day, day before, and two days earlier.” When hormone levels and sexual desire were factored against the menstrual cycles of test subjects — in this case, undergraduate students — the researchers saw a measurable increase in progesterone levels at the same time the subjects noted decreases in sexual motivation. Progesterone, the researchers say, is mediating this drop in desire from the fertile window to the luteal phase — the second half of the menstrual cycle.

“Progesterone acting as a potential stop signal within cycles is a novel finding in humans,” noted Roney. “We know in rhesus monkeys there is a strong negative correlation with progesterone and a positive correlation with estrogen. The patterns are actually comparable to what you see in non-human primates, but hadn’t been shown in humans.

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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.