Sex is perfectly natural, as natural as eating or drinking. If love in life is a sundae with syrup, sauce, and crushed nuts, sexual intimacy is the cherry on top. Now, imagine you can no longer enjoy the mighty sexual drive in your life. It will indeed affect your personal life as well as your partner’s.
Most tend to consider a physiological issue or stress as its cause; seldom do you blame your thyroid for it. However, thyroid dysfunctionality is a significant cause of your poor sexual drive. Nevertheless, how thyroid and sex drive are related?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces two primary hormones that control almost everything in your body, including your sex hormones. When your body experiences thyroid disorder, it often causes sexual dysfunction issues like low sex drive, painful intercourse, erectile dysfunction, and so on.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid gland is an all-controlling hormones factory. From its abode, your neck, it regulates everything in your body- your temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, weight, characteristics of your nail, skin, and hair, and many more. The two major thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
The Pituitary releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) that stimulates the thyroid’s production and release T3 and T4 that to regulate the normal function of your body. Study shows that thyroid hormones are responsible for one-third of sexual problems people undergo that can gravely affect the quality of your sex life.
How are Thyroid and Sex Drive Related?
Though much research is needed, it is evident that thyroid disorder may severely affect your sexual life.
The two thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, usually control almost every cell, organ, and system in your body. They also influence several hormones (estrogen and testosterone levels) related to your sexual health and pleasure.
The two major thyroid disorders are Hypothyroidism ( low hormonal production) and Hyperthyroidism (high hormonal production). When your body suffers from any of these disorders, you may face several sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, low libido, delayed ejaculation, etc.
The researchers examined 12 studies that dealt with thyroid disease and sexual dysfunction in both males and females in a study. They found that 59% to 63% of men and 22% to 46% of women experienced sexual difficulties among patients with hypothyroidism.
For patients with hyperthyroidism, 48% to 77% of men and 44% to 60% of women encounter sexual dysfunction.
The study also suggests that decreasing estrogen and testosterone due to hypothyroidism may affect female fertility and reproduction. Low testosterone and estrogen affect your sexual desire, drive, and satisfaction too.
Another research shows that people with hypothyroidism might produce high levels of another hormone, prolactin. It can cause hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) – a condition where you no longer desire sex for an extended period.
Sexual Dysfunction Due to Thyroid Disorder
Sexual intimacy is crucial between partners. It’s a special bond that any relationship special. However, this bonding may suffer due to thyroid disorder—especially hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Due to thyroid disorder, both males and females encounter various sexual dysfunction. However, the common issues are-
- Low sex drive
There is preliminary research on this topic; however, both males and females with thyroid disorder recorded experiencing low sexual drive and several sexual dysfunctions.
Men with thyroid disorder are seen to encounter the following sexual dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (ED): It’s the disability or failure to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be the cause of this condition.
In 2008, a study found that among 71 men with thyroid problems, almost 79 percent had experienced erectile dysfunction.
Ejaculation Problems: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism both can cause ejaculation issues in men.
According to the Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA), men with hypothyroidism have an increased risk of delayed ejaculation. On the contrary, if you have an overactive thyroid, you may have an increased risk of premature ejaculation.
Decreasing Sex Drive: A thyroid disorder may cause low testosterone that can lower your libido. Research also has shown that both hypo and hyperthyroidism decrease the sex drive in males.
Females face various sexual dysfunctions due to thyroid that includes-
- Lack of Sex Drive: Research suggests that about 46% of women with a thyroid disorder experience sexual dysfunction. Especially lack or loss of sexual desire and drive.
- Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD): This condition of hypothyroidism and low sex drive where women no longer think or desire sex for several months. It happens due to the overproduction of prolactin, the lactation hormone. It may cause personal distress or difficulties in her relationship.
- Painful Sexual Intercourse: Low thyroid hormone levels may cause vaginal dryness, resulting in discomfort during intercourse and problems reaching orgasm.
How thyroid and sex drive are related, and how to solve this? Don’t be panicked. Most sexual problems go away with correct diagnosis and proper treatment. If you are experiencing a prolonged low sex drive or any sexual dysfunction, consult your doctor. Your doctor may suggest you a blood test to evaluate your thyroid hormonal level. Based on your result, the doctor will prescribe the medication best suited for you.
If thyroid disorder is causing your sexual dysfunction, your doctor may suggest thyroid medication. If you are already on thyroid medicine, your doctor may also recommend medication that you can take without affecting your thyroid doses.
Contact Hormone Replacement Therapy, Los Angeles, for a consultation. Dr. David Nazarian and his team of experts are eager to assist you to get back to your regular sex drive, living life to the fullest.
Your doctor or endocrinologist may prescribe thyroid hormone replacement medications to help regulate a thyroid imbalance. However, you must continue to meet with your doctor to customize the medicines to the best range for you.
Remember: don’t give up your medication if it’s not working, as it could take several months for it to be appropriately adjusted.
Phosphodiesterase-5 (PD-5) Inhibitors
If you are already on thyroid medication, your doctor may suggest Phosphodiesterase-5 (PD-5) inhibitors. They include Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil). They are effective for treating erectile dysfunction and do not interfere with your thyroid treatments.
It is a hormonal treatment for postmenopausal women. It usually targets vaginal changes that can cause dryness and painful intercourse. It’s safe for women with sexual dysfunction thyroid disease.
You can also manage your vaginal dryness with an over-the-counter lubricant like Replens.
To support your thyroid gland for its optimum function, change your lifestyle to a healthy living.
Try the Healthy Diet
The healthy fats from fish, nuts, olive oil, a variety of vegetables, some whole grains, and legumes help your overall health, decrease inflammation, and provide necessary vitamins and minerals.
Avoid Toxic Environment
Heavy metals, industrial chemicals, plastics, and pesticides can overtax your body, including your thyroid gland. Though every individual responds differently, it is prudent to avoid and eliminate contact with these toxins that can harm your health.
Avoid Stress and Apply Yoga
Stress can affect your thyroid function severely. Try yoga or other relaxing activities or meditation. They can help lower your stress levels.
Regular exercise keeps your body function normal and healthy. Men with low sex drive may practice Kegel exercise. It’s an effective way to fight your erectile dysfunction.
No to Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol and smoking can cause adverse effects on your thyroid function. So avoid drinking and smoking.
The low sexual drive can cause issues in the quality of your life; however, how the thyroid and sexual drive are related.
The thyroid hormones control almost every primary function of your body, including the level of estrogen and testosterone. When the sex hormones are imbalanced in your body, you encounter poor sexual drive and other sexual dysfunction.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. David Nazarian at Hormone Replacement Therapy, LA. He specializes in hormone replacement therapy and is one of the most trusted doctors in the area. He has extensive training and experience and is passionate about patient care and outcomes.