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Have Low Sexual Desire? It Can Be Due To Your Hormonal Changes

Have Low Sexual Desire? It Can Be Due To Your Hormonal Changes

Have you ever felt that your sexual desire sometimes declines? Do you try to look for reasons why you’re just not in the mood? The good news is, some of the reasons why sexual desire in women fluctuates is natural. That means that the cause of it is something that we cannot control, like the natural hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle. There are also, however, lifestyle choices that contribute to hormonal changes, such as using birth control pills. Read on to find out how a change in hormones contributes to the level of sexual desire in women.

Menstrual Cycle

During ovulation, which is the fertile part of a woman’s menstrual cycle, is when women feel the most sexual desire. This phase is called the ovulatory phase,[1] and the increased sexual desire is due to a surge in luteinizing[2] and follicle-stimulating hormones. These hormones stimulate the release of an egg. And when the hormone levels go down during the other parts of the menstrual cycle, the levels of sexual desire also go down. This pattern does not apply to all women though, as some researchers[3] have found that some women do not experience the same level of high sexual desire during ovulation.

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The Pill

Birth control pills,[4] are made of the hormones estrogen and progesterone,[5] which ready the body for pregnancy. These hormones work by stopping the egg from leaving the ovaries so that pregnancy cannot happen. It also thickens the cervical mucus so that the sperm will have a hard time getting to the egg. However, these hormones may cause low sexual desire for some women. This varies from one woman to another, as research says[6] that some women have reported increased sexual desire during use of birth control pills.

Pregnancy

Sexual desire during pregnancy[7] may spike during the second trimester, and during the period after right after conception, due to an increase in hormones. However, a decreased sexual desire[8] can also happen during pregnancy. This is due to feeling exhausted during pregnancy, and the symptoms that come with it such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

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Nursing

According to Susan Kellogg-Spadt, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Drexel University, estrogen levels drop[9] during breastfeeding. This causes a reduction in sexual desire.

Estrogen maintains the lubrication and flexibility of the vaginal lining. The production of the hormone prolactin is also increased during breastfeeding, and this hormone reduces sexual desire. Additionally, testosterone levels also drop during breastfeeding, and this hormone contributes to a woman’s low sexual desire, as testosterone[10] contributes to the release of estrogen and maintains libido.

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Perimenopause/Menopause

During the transition to menopause,[11] estrogen levels fall. During this period, women also experience symptoms leading to menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness which can all affect levels of sexual desire.

After menopause, a decline in sexual desire[12] may also be caused, aside from hormone changes, by a woman’s overall health, cultural and religious beliefs, issues in relationships, perception of self-image, and lifestyle and stress issues.

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Ovary Removal

After an ovary removal, some women[13] may experience depression or anxiety about losing their fertility. Other effects of ovary removal include decreased sex drive and vaginal dryness. Ovary removal moves the body directly into menopause. This leads to an abrupt drop in both estrogen and testosterone, which in turn affects a woman’s sexual drive.

Yes, changes in hormone levels that affect sexual drive are unavoidable. So do not blame yourself if your sexual drive goes down and hormone changes are the cause of it. The good thing is, there are still some ways,[14] to help with a declining sexual desire, such as seeking counseling, using vaginal lubricants, and yoga. Consult your doctor if low sexual desire is affecting your overall health and lifestyle.

Reference

[1]Merck Manual: Menstrual Cycle
[2]WebMD: Luteinizing Hormone
[3]Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality: Female Sexual Desire
[4]Planned Parenthood: Birth Control Pills
[5]Menopause.org: Midlife Hormone Changes
[6]NCBI: Oral Contraceptives and Libido
[7]Countdown to Pregnancy: Early Pregnancy Symptoms
[8]Sex and Pregnancy: Sex Drive
[9]Healthywomen.org: Breastfeeding and Sexual Desire
[10]Menopause.org: Midlife Hormone Changes
[11]Menopause.org: Midlife Sexual Problems
[12]Menopause.org: Causes of Sexual Problems
[13]Breastcancer.org: Ovary Surgery Risks
[14]Menopause.org: Treatments for Sexual Problems

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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