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Libido in relation to Estrogen

What science can tell us about sex.
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SeekingChange
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Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by SeekingChange »

I have had an interesting thought and some questions come to mind.... I have not done in outside research on this (yet).  I am wondering if anyone here may know some information, or if this might stir some of your own thoughts or questions?

 

In the past couple of months my husband was facing ED issues again and a major drop in libido.  When he finally talked to his NP, she said that a lack of libido with ED is often the case of too low of estrogen.  What? That seemed weird to us.   When he finally adjusted his estrogen blocker, his libido and erections came roaring back.  (Personally, he seems to be a case where he functions better with higher estrogen numbers, than other men.)

Here was the thought I had today..... if estrogen can affect a man in such a drastic way, what does it do to women?   Is a woman's estrogen level, in correlation to her testosterone level, a big reason why they are "responsive desire" vs "spontaneous desire"?  Is this why so many women struggle with their libido, even when they are "normal"?

Any thoughts?
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by hoosier52 »

Lots of YouTube videos on female hormones and libido. Testosterone is a precursor to estrogen.

 
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by hoosier52 »

Estrogen is formed or converted from testosterone and other things.

"What is the precursor of estrogen?




In short, androgens are precursors of estrogens; they are converted to estrogens through the action of an enzyme known as aromatase. The ovaries are the richest source of aromatase, although some aromatase is present in adipose tissue, which is also an important source of estrogen in postmenopausal women."



I've read that DHEA is also a precursor




http://www.pathophys.org/sexhormones/#:~:text=Estrogen%20precursor%3A%20testosterone%20and%20androstenedione,important%20role%20in%20normal%20physiology.

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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by Deleted User 1388 »

I agree. That sounds really weird.  I don't follow all this stuff and what certain numbers mean, etc.  so I don't have much to offer up here.  But, I am curious to hear other people's  thoughts on "responsive desire" and "spontaneous desire" as it might pertain to levels of estrogen. That  piqued my interest for sure.
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by SeekingChange »

@Hoosier, I may sound really stupid, but what do you mean by "testosterone is a precursor to estrogen"?
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by hoosier52 »

I answered above. Something weird going on with placement of comments.
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by Link+Zelda »

So I think it's pretty well accepted that estrogen increases female libido, testosterone increases it as well, and progesterone decreases. There should be plenty of references for that.

However, I have no idea how these tie to spontaneous vs. responsive desire, nor do I know if anyone has researched that. I find the concept fascinating though and may dig into what's been published to see if there's been an analysis on it.

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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by DoveGrey »

I would suspect there is a causal relation. I am very much spontaneous desire in the follicular, high estrogen phase, and very much responsive in the luteal phase. Sometimes I even forget that sex exists when I'm in the luteal phase. ("You want to have what, now?) By Day 2 of my period, sex is again very much at the front of my mind.

I've never had my hormones tested, but I strongly suspect there is a significant difference in estrogen levels between the two phases for there to be such a drastic difference in my desire.
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by MrEden »

Check this out:

Female Hormones and Exercise - Why Do I Have to Train Twice As Hard As Him? · Clean Lean Machine

About halfway down the page is a typical plot hormones, over the menstrual cycle.  But this chart is atypical in that it includes testosterone.  Look at the spike in testosterone during ovulation, when many women repost a spike in libido.  From a reproductive standpoint this makes sense.  What's the sense of ovulating if she doesn't want sex.

Some women, including my wife, also report a spike in  libido during menstruation.  The testosterone is not spiked -- it is at it's usual non-ovulating level.  But estrogen is at it's lowest. This supports the theory that the testosterone/estrogen ratio is what matters, not estrogen by itself.  It is possible that there are other factors at play such as low risk or pregnancy or relief of cramps.  But assuming the woman is not put off by the mess, there doesn't seem to any drop in libido during this time.
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Re: Libido in relation to Estrogen

Post by MrEden »

Testosterone is the primary libido hormone in men and women.  Libido rises and falls with testosterone.  Both sexes need estrogen and progesterone for normal sexual function, just as we need a lot of things,  glucose for instance.  But unless your estrogen is very low,  increasing it wouldn't be likely to improve libido.  As  you know from the fact that your husband takes an aromatase inhibitor, too much estrogen will actually lower libido. It does so in women as well.

Oftentimes a woman's libido will improve after menopause, even though she has less estrogen.  She will have less testosterone too, but the decrease in estrogen can more than makes up for it.  Another way to state this is to say that, within limits, having a higher testosterone/estrogen RATIO  improves libido.

I think it would be rare for a woman with her ovaries to have low estrogen.  I can find no research to support this, but it seems that if a woman with high-normal or higher estrogen levels were to take  nothing but an aromatase inhibitor, it seems her libido should improve.  She should have more testosterone and less estrogen as a result. (Don't try this without the OK and supervision of a bHRT professional!)

My thoughts, derived from our experiences, is that both men and women have responsive desire and spontaneous desire.  As is typical, I need orgasms more often than my wife does.  But she needs her orgasms also.  The physical changes in her when she needs one is obvious. Since I need sex more often, she often has the opportunity to experiences responsive desire.  She can get into it and enjoy it even though she is experiencing no desire.

I am capable of responsive desire.  However,  I don't get to experience it very often. When she wants sex my spontaneous desire is usually in effect. But there are times where I have had an orgasm recently, busy doing something else, or upset at my wife, when I do not want to seek out sex.  But I do it for her, and I usually get into it.

Heck, any time you seduce someone,  all you are really doing is taking advantage of their responsive desire.

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