Everything You Wanted To Know About Libido
Hormone replacement therapy for low libido has been around for decades, yet in the past fifteen years it has become more commonplace for both men and women to explore their options. Those options are more wide-ranging than ever before and it’s important to understand how hormones impact your libido and overall health before entering into hormone replacement therapy.
At the core, humans are designed to be intimate with a partner. Libido is the term given to a man or a woman’s urge for intimacy and sexual desire. As we grow older, our sex drive decreases because our hormones are decreasing. While the affection for the person we love remains, the sexual drive to be intimate diminishes. Healthy relationships depend on relational intimacy as well as sexual intimacy as a way to demonstrate love.
Testosterone Is The Hormone Responsible for Low Libido
There are a lot of hormones at work inside your body, each one playing a major and distinct role. When your libido decreases (and everyone’s does), it’s largely because your testosterone has decreased.
It’s a common misconception that testosterone is only present in men, thus only men experience decreased levels of the hormone. However, that conclusion is untrue. Women also produce testosterone, and women, the amount your body will produce decreases with age, just like estrogen and progesterone. In men, testosterone drops 1%-3% a year after age 20. Women experience testosterone reduction as well, but since the female body does not produce as much testosterone as men the reduction comes at a less dramatic rate.
What Should My Testosterone Level Be To Be Considered Normal?
There is a very important distinction that you need to be aware of when it comes to testosterone ranges. There is a normal range of testosterone for both men and women that shifts over a lifespan, and there is an optimal range which is why treatments such as hormone replacement therapy exist.
Normal and optimal are not the same thing.
When speaking about normal levels of testosterone, those numbers are based on X number of people who have their hormone levels checked; their bell curve will set the normal range.
When speaking about optimal levels of testosterone, these numbers articulate the best or most favorable amount of testosterone for an individual.
For women, the normal range is 15-70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The optimal range is the top half of that which is 40-70 ng/dL. For men, the normal range is much higher, 300-1100 ng/dL. The optimal range is 900-1100 ng/dL.
Studies have been done that show the benefits to men at various levels of testosterone. For example, libido in men is improved at about 250-260 ng/dL. All causes of dying for any reason are improved if testosterone is above 600 ng/dL. Alzheimer’s is improved in males if testosterone is above 900 ng/dL.
Every human is different. When analyzing the optimal number for your testosterone count, any recommendation must be based upon your specific situation.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Low Libido
You already know what libido is. You already know that your testosterone count is directly linked to your libido. What you may not know is that hormone replacement therapy not only restores your testosterone count to optimal levels, but it also balances out your overall hormonal system and produces a higher overall quality of life – along with sickness and disease prevention.
Recommended treatments as hormone replacement therapy for low libido vary. At Warner Family Practice, we have sought a treatment that allows our doctors to know exactly how much testosterone your body needs.
When it comes to measuring your current testosterone count or overall hormone levels, you may be surprised to find out that many practices offering hormone replacement therapy for low libido do not have a test in place. No responsible practice should ever ask the question, “how much testosterone do you want today?”
Our practice has decided to administer breakthrough treatment: hormone pellets. Hormone pellets offer bioidentical hormones, not synthetic reproductions, and represent the most natural way to deliver hormone replacement for both men and women. Each pellet is implanted under the skin and consistently releases small doses of bioidentical hormones, providing optimal therapy.
How Long Does the Impact of Pellet Therapy Last?
Pellets for women last three-four months; the insertion process should be repeated three-four times a year. For women, our therapy includes both testosterone and estradiol pellets.
For men, each pellet treatment last four-six months and should be repeated two-three times a year. For men, we use testosterone pellets.
There are no age restrictions and no time frame when you need to stop using the pellets – optimal levels of hormones exist throughout your entire lifespan. To illustrate, the oldest woman treated with hormone pellet therapy was 98-years-old. The oldest person that Dr. Turner has treated with pellet therapy is an 84-year-old man.
If you are interested in learning more about Hormone Optimization Therapy to discover if it’s a fit for you, please call our Live Well Center at 480-752-7600. The Live Well Center is located in suite #25 at Warner Family Practice. Patients can enter that suite on the south side of the building.
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