Hormones are a key part of our lives, whether we like it or not. They are responsible for sending signals and commands from the brain to the body, as well as in the reverse direction. Women are especially affected by them, because a lot of hormones are a part of the reproductive system, and they tend to fluctuate more drastically, causing everything from added stress, to weight gain and even high and low sexual desire. We're talking about the influence of hormones on the latter today.
Progesterone is quite important as far as female hormones go. Progesterone is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus to receive sperm so that it can adapt accordingly. Levels of this hormone vary wildly during the menstrual cycle, causing women to feel sleepy and depressive at their peak and helping them maintain energy and focus when levels are normal.
Progesterone levels also decrease with age, as a woman is less likely to get pregnant and thus need the effects of the hormone. The problem is the effect of progesterone on sexual desire is somewhat unclear, as some studies seem to suggest it reduces sexual drive, while others say it may help.
Estrogen, for its part, has a clearly positive influence on sexual activity and drive for women. This is the main female hormone, and it is responsible for just about every aspect of sexual and reproductive activity. Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle, helps form and maintain the female organs and is also responsible for preparing the womb’s lining for pregnancy. Like with other female hormones, levels of estrogen decrease towards menopause, since the uterus doesn’t need a thick lining anymore if the woman can't procreate.
This reduction of estrogen can cause vaginal dryness and decrease libido, which is one of the reasons hormonal therapy is usually suggested to post-menopausal women.
Finally, testosterone, the “male hormone”, also plays a big part in a woman’s sexual health and drive. This hormone is actually present in big quantities as it is made by the uterus to be converted into estrogen.
Testosterone is believed to be closely linked to sexual drive, for both men and women, so it is always something to be taken into account when discussing women's libido. In fact, young, healthy women, who are usually at the peak of their sexual drive, actually have quite high levels of testosterone in their bodies, while those who are experiencing menopause have much lower levels, supporting the theory that this is the main hormone responsible for arousal.
Hormonal imbalance can have catastrophic effects on a woman's physical health, so it is important to check their levels through blood tests in order to improve your sex life and health.