In the past we’ve written about your hormonal cycle week by week- now, we’re going to mix it up a bit. Sex drive is majorly impacted by hormone levels in your body, but the question remains: how do the two correlate?
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara discovered a relationship between estrogen and progesterone levels and how sexually motivated young women become. The catch? The study was only conducted with healthy, young women. James Roney, the leading professor, believes disparity in age, health, and the presence of a spouse might impact some findings. For instance, women in their 30’s tend to secrete more hormones and have more regulated cycles than those in their 20’s (1).
It doesn't take much to put your hormones out of whack. Stress, big life changes, a bad gut, etc. Next thing you know, your period is irregular or you don't have the usual sex drive. Before you worry about hormone replacement therapy or anything drastic, consider taking daily supplements tailored for your health needs.
BINTO incorporates antioxidants specifically to help give you back a regular cycle. We also use vitamin B6 and magnesium to support mood swings along with our probiotic.
The basics: estrogen & progesterone
Estrogen levels are key to escalated sex drive. This has been further supported by tests in perimenopausal and menopausal women. Low estrogen = decreased sex drive and vaginal dryness. Roney also noted that it took the positive increase in sex drive two days to kick in after estrogen levels rose (1).
Progesterone? Well, this hormone drops your sexual desire. It could occur up to two days before peak progesterone levels and is very apparent on the day of. Researchers say progesterone causes that drop in desire as you exit your fertile period and head into the second half of your menstrual cycle (1). For some women, progesterone may potentially act like a stop sign, saying:
“hey, you’re no longer fertile, you should stop having sex.”
Let’s break it down:
Week 1: Your period
Hormones: levels of estrogen and progesterone are low
Sex drive: this is a mixed bag hormonally, considering both levels have dropped. Some women report having decreased sex drive, which may be attributed to the cramps, discomfort, and blues that can come with your period (2). Others have reported increased sex drive, which is especially likely for women who are on hormonal birth control (their bodies don’t follow a natural cycle).
Week 2: The follicular phase
Hormones: estrogen and testosterone levels rise, the follicle stimulating hormone is released by your brain
Sex drive: you may notice stronger libido as these hormone levels are on the rise.
Week 3: Ovulation
Hormones: estrogen and testosterone levels are at their peak
Sex drive: many women report their greatest sex drive around this time. It makes sense from a evolutionary standpoint, too- this is the time you’re most likely to get pregnant.
Week 4: The luteal phase
Hormones: estrogen and testosterone levels decline, progesterone levels increase
Sex drive: this is commonly a week of low libido for a lot of ladies. Your progesterone levels are up, and your other hormone levels are down. This could be your lull in your sex life.
Hormone levels & the future of medicine
Female sexual dysfunction is the medical definition for recurrent problems with sexual desire, response, orgasm or pain. This can definitely put a damper on your life and cause relationship strain. For women going through menopause, tiny testosterone pellets implanted under the skin have been used as a way to improve symptoms (3) Scientists are continuing to do research to see if estrogen therapy may be more promising for women who are still in their peak reproductive years.