Which hormones play a role in sexual desire pregnancy?
Many individual hormones interact to affect how much sexual desire we experience, although how this works is not yet fully understood. The hormones oestrogen and testosterone play a key part but other hormones are also important to our sexual well-being.
Oestrogen This is produced in the ovaries and is important for vaginal lubrication and sexual pleasure. Oestrogen levels are significandy higher in women of reproductive age. This is one reason why post-menopausal women experience decreased vaginal lubrication and reduced libido. Some women report that their maximum sexual desire coincides with the most fertile time of the cycle when there is an abundance of oestrogenic secretions, which is favourable to sperm survival.
Testosterone This hormone, produced in the testes in men and in the ovaries in women, is responsible for sex drive in both men and women. Men’s levels of testosterone start to drop as they get older, leading to a drop in their desire for sex. Similarly, women’s levels of testosterone are highest before the age of 20 and drop thereafter.
Serotonin The gut secretes over 95 per cent of the body’s serotonin. This chemical plays a vital role in the regulation of mood, including anger, and also regulates sleep, temperature, and sexuality. Women need serotonin in order to experience feelings of comfort, sexual satisfaction, and relaxation.
Dopamine This is a chemical released by the hypothalamus. Its main function is to inhibit the release of the hormone prolactin from the pituitary gland. Dopamine is commonly associated with the pleasure system of the brain because it provides feelings of enjoyment from experiences such as eating or having sex.
Oxytocin This hormone is made in the hypothalamus and is secreted from the pituitary gland. It is involved in social recognition and bonding. It also has an antistress function in that it reduces blood pressure and
levels of the stress hormone cortisol, therefore reducing anxiety and increasing tolerance of pain (84).
Both men and women release oxytocin during orgasm. In women, oxytocin is secreted as a result of massage and touch, stimulation of the nipples, and contractions of the uterus during orgasm. Oxytocin effects are linked to the production of oestrogen: as oestrogen levels rise, the effects of oxytocin also increase. It’s no surprise that women are often extremely sensitive to touch and can be aroused much more quickly when they at their most fertile and their oestrogen levels are at their highest, compared to other times of the month when they are less fertile and have lower oestrogen and oxytocin levels.
Women and men who are not touched much by their partners have lower levels of oxytocin and this can result in higher levels of cortisol in the body. It can also lead to a gradual deterioration of their relationship because the bonding role that oxytocin plays is gradually reduced.
Preserve some mystique in your relationship by not telling your man every detail about your cycle. He doesn’t need to know it all!
this emotional connection with your partner, this eventually leads to you being less open and communicative with each other. The result is that your relationship ends up suffering. Talking to each other about your feelings is often the key to resolving these issues (68).