Q & A: Libido
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Libido after hysterectomy

Q: Would you please comment on research being conducted regarding increasing women's libido for women who have undergone hysterectomy?
   
A:

To everyone interested in a healthy libido:
While I'm not sure of the state of the art research to which you allude, I have used Dr. Elizabeth Vliet's ideas extensively. They consist of getting accurate hormone levels for estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone in addition to a full thyroid evaluation.

Interest in sex almost seems to be a final common measure of the overall health of the person. So, achieving good health, proper nutrition and exercise all are important as a base. Thyroid function needs to be adequate in men and in women for proper sexual function and optimal libido. Even declines in thyroid function which remain in the "normal range" can be serious enough to severely impair mood and libido.

A very common story is the thyroid inadequacy which comes with Post Partum Thyroiditis. Following delivery of a child, most often the second pregnancy, the woman "never quite bounces back." The mood becomes more depressive, there is often weight gain, and both partners are frustrated by the changes from the fun-loving person she used to be. Fatigue becomes chronic, PMS worsens, and periods are often markedly different with discomfort or irregularity. Interest in sex frequently declines during this time. While men like to think that they call the shots sexually, if she is not interested, many of us find it almost impossible to be.

Estrogen is important as a basic prerequisite, but testosterone plays a major role in the mediation of libido in women as well as men. Natural testosterone is, in my opinion, the best option. The hormones naturally found in people seem to be the safest and most predictable. I have seen major improvements in mood, assertiveness, and libido in men and women on testosterone. The return of confidence with the return of adequate testosterone levels is beautiful to see. People gain more vigor in life and overall improved sexual interest much of the time.

I actually think that while testosterone helps men a lot, the effects are much more impressive in women. Their estrogen/progesterone levels also appear to make them very sensitive to small doses of androgens like testosterone. While some might claim that it makes women "uppity," I prefer to think of it as "Right on, Sister."

Hope this helps,

Don Michael, MD

 

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  Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a physician-patient relationship. The information should not be considered as medical advice or as a substitute for a visit to your healthcare provider. You are strongly encouraged to seek the advice and supervision of a physician or other certified practitioner regarding any medical issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updated 09/29/2010