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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 February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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