Monday, July 9, 2018

OPP: Is testosterone the answer to a woman's lost libido?

Last week I came to the realization that my relationship with my wife hasn't really changed in the past 5 years and that the problems bugging me back in 2013 are still bugging me now (read here). Then I read this story and now I think I'm a step closer to better understanding our 'problem'. I now think my wife's low libido is due to a lack of testosterone. She hasn't gone through menopause yet but I'm pretty sure she's close ie pre-menopausal.

As I've mentioned previously on my blog, my wife is scared of going through menopause because she never wants to get old (her actual words). In her mind menopause means she's officially old, so she buries her head in the sand and refuses to discuss it. I think that avoidance also explains why she won't discuss our sexual problems (which are only that her libido is low and she doesn't want to have sex with me - which is common for many couples our age).
This is the article I saw on Facebook - maybe it's just a puff piece from the HRT lobby...? 
Opinion is divided over the ability of testosterone treatments to help women regain their vitality and libido. If you google the subject there will be many that say HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is not the answer. Some even say it's dangerous. Other say that the cause of most women's flagging libido is an overweight or inattentive husband who doesn't seem to care so why should she? 

For her 45th birthday, Lisa (not her real name) received a trip to Hawaii and a sex toy that came with seven settings and three pages of instructions. That vibrating toy saw a lot of action. As did its new owner.

"I've always loved sex and sex has always loved me back," says Lisa  a university professor.

There are many women who swear that a daily dose of wine
is all that is required to kickstart the libido!
"I've been with my husband for 10 years but for most of my adult life having sex two or even three times a day has been pretty standard." 

And real swinging-from-the-chandeliers-type sex, she adds, in the kind of voice that indicates she's neither joking nor exaggerating.

But almost a year after Lisa's 45th birthday, the bright red sex toy was languishing at the back of her bedside drawer.

"One morning I woke up and cringed not only at the thought of sex but at my husband's touch, which once electrified me," says Lisa. "I'd gone from having an incredibly high sex drive to feeling as though I never wanted to have sex ever again."

The cause of Lisa's sexual indifference? The onset of menopause or, as Lisa describes it, a "downhill slide of sex drive and dried-up hormones".

"It was as though someone had draped a curtain over me, thick as fog and heavy as cement, which drained my life-force. My libido completely disappeared, along with my energy and an ability to concentrate. I also fell into a deep depression."

Lisa's doctor prescribed HRT, medication that replaces female hormones the body no longer makes after menopause. It helped with the night sweats, hot flushes, weight gain and lack of focus, but did little for her libido. The change deeply affected Lisa and her marriage.

"It wasn't just about not having sex, menopause robbed me of a sense of being a woman, almost like a whole part of my life had been shut off. As for my poor husband, he had no idea what was going on."

At the gym one day, Lisa overheard a woman talking about how testosterone, the so-called male hormone, had changed her life.

"This woman was going on about how HRT replaced vanishing estrogen and progesterone, but didn't really address the issue of testosterone, which drops for women in their 40s and 50s. She said doctors won't tell you about it, but one of testosterone's many benefits is it gives you back your sex drive and zest for life."

There was no mention of the possible side effects of testosterone supplementation, such as facial and body hair, acne, deepening of the voice and abnormal enlargement of the clitoris. Nor of possible hair loss, an increased risk of breast cancer and heart attack.

So Lisa visited her GP who referred her to an endocrinologist, who handed her a tube of testosterone and a bill for $400.

It was worth every cent, she says, because within three weeks of applying the gel to her inner thigh every night, Lisa had re-joined the pack.

"It's impossible to talk about it without sounding evangelical, but that little tube gave me back my life. I had more energy and no longer felt sick and tired of life. My hair was glossy and I zipped through gym sessions. But best of all, my libido came back."

Just to be clear: I'm not a doctor and I have no idea if HRT is good or bad, I'm just giving you some info that set me thinking. I will be discussing this with my wife when we get home from our vacation. If you think this stuff might be relevant to you then see your doctor and check what s/he thinks. And if you have any thoughts on this subject, or perhaps some personal knowledge or experence then feel free to share in the comments section below...

1 comment:

  1. I'm a 66 y/o female and sex is extremely important to me. I started taking testosterone supplements a few years after menopause started and it has made a world of difference! The 'side effects' are wildly overstated, though. Women have about 1/10th the level of testosterone that men have. We would have to take a HUGE amount before any of the doom and gloom side effects would appear. The point is to take just enough to bring one back to a level of personal comfort. To 'be' 40 again sexually, not 20!! That generally is a very tiny amount and will not bring on hair growth (in fact, my hair, much to my dismay has continued to thin as I age), or acne or voice deepening or any of those things doctors use to scare women away from improving their sexual response.
    However, Nero.....I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I'm not sure your wife does have a low libido. The amount of porn she reads says to me that her libido is fine, but for whatever reason, she is choosing not to transfer that libido to actual sex acts.


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