Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

10 Comics About Periods That Only Women Would Understand A Mindset That All Likeable People Share Still Focusing On To-Do Lists? Steve Jobs Focused On A Stop-Doing List To Persuade People, The Key Is To Make Them Feel Good 3 Tricks To Become Much More Productive And Motivated

Trending in Communication

1 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 2 How to Use the 5 Minute Journal to Invest in Your Happiness 3 What’s the Purpose of Life? A Guide to Live with Meaning 4 Why Happiness is a Choice (And a Smart One to Make) 5 How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (The Definitive Guide for Men)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

Advertising

Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

Advertising

Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

Advertising

7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

Advertising

Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next