How To Naturally Increase Estrogen In Women – As a mother of a 16 month old and someone who has had her fair share of hormone imbalances (hypothyroidism, dysmenorrhea, etc.) let’s just say my libido has been through the ringer!
Although I’m not alone in this (in a recent study 36% of women in the US reported low sexual desire while 60% said they were not satisfied with sex) I’m not worried either. Just because a symptom is common does not mean it is normal. A healthy libido is a sign of healthy hormone balance, and when it feels like it is our body’s way of telling us something bigger isn’t either.
- 1 How To Naturally Increase Estrogen In Women
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How To Naturally Increase Estrogen In Women
So I thought it was time to dive into this topic, because embracing our female sexuality is incredibly empowering and natural. All women deserve to have great sex, intimacy and connection, no matter where you are in life, and I hope this post can be used as a resource to help you get there!
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Okay, I think it’s pretty obvious when your libido is low and you’re rarely tired, but there are still other symptoms that can be indicators. These include:
You can also try taking this free test to discover whether or not you have a hormone imbalance that could be affecting your libido. HOW YOUR HORMONES AFFECT YOUR LIBIDO
Your hormones are intricately tied to your libido, and low libido can be a symptom of a more complex hormone imbalance at play. Here’s how your hormones affect your libido + vice versa.
This sex hormone is necessary for a normal sex drive in both women and men. Although it is considered a male dominant sex hormone, our ovaries make it, and we also make DHEA, DHEA-S and androstenedione into testosterone in our fat and skin. Testosterone is mainly responsible for increasing libido. Specifically in women, it works to enlarge the clitoris. Low testosterone can cause weight gain and fatigue, which tend to interfere with sex drive, causing a domino effect of challenges. Bottom line, low testosterone is directly related to a low sex drive.
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Although estrogen does not directly affect sexual desire like testosterone, it plays an important supportive role by helping to keep the vulva and vagina lubricated and elastic and the clitoris sensitive. Without estrogen, clitoral stimulation has almost no effect, however too much estrogen can inhibit testosterone production, so there needs to be a balance between the two. Estrogen dominance is a leading cause of low sex drive.
This is your calming, feel good sex hormone that promotes relaxation and happiness. It is also a precursor to testosterone, so a healthy level of it is key, especially since low progesterone is also commonly associated with estrogen dominance. Too little progesterone can also affect sleep, mood, thinking and desire for sex (which can also increase PMS symptoms).
Sex and orgasm release oxytocin in both women and men. It has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels and contributes to an overall sense of well-being. Seriously, orgasm is one of the BEST stress relievers. Women with low oxytocin levels are more likely to develop postpartum depression, so it’s especially important for new moms to find a way to carve out regular time for fun and intimacy (it doesn’t have to be be it sex, hugs, touching/hugging etc. . all induce oxytocin).
If any of these symptoms ring true for you, try taking this free test to discover whether or not you have a hormone imbalance that could be affecting your libido.
How To Increase Estrogen Naturally
You now know the symptoms and hormones that are directly related to low libido, but what are the root causes of your hormone imbalance and leading to low libido in the first place? Let’s examine some of the most common causes:
When your body overproduces cortisol, which it does during chronic stress, it directly interferes with the production of sex hormones. This happens in a few different ways, but the main reason is known as “pregnenolone steal.” Pregnenolone is a precursor to both progesterone and cortisol, so when the body demands too much cortisol output, it steals the pregnenolone progesterone that is used as the body prioritizes survival (aka stress response) over your menstrual cycle and fertility. This leads to low progesterone production, which can cause estrogen dominance and low testosterone, both of which affect your libido.
In addition to body image issues, being overweight can also have a real impact on a person’s libido. For both women and men, high body fat can cause an increase in estrogen, which can decrease testosterone production. This is because DHEA is converted to estrogen in your body’s fat cells. Both estrogen dominance and low testosterone cause a low sex drive, which can greatly compound any body image issues that may already exist.
Chronic inflammation suppresses normal sex hormone and neurotransmitter production, causing the body to stress more on healing rather than reproduction. This makes sense on a basic, fundamental level as a body in poor health is not viable for supporting a healthy pregnancy, and thus will not focus its energy or resources on reproduction. A person’s sex drive naturally decreases so that the body conserves its energy.
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Additionally, excess cortisol as a result of inflammation directly decreases the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. When the levels of these hormones are low, it can result in depression and anxiety. Not only does it directly affect the sex drive, but the drugs used to treat it can also have a significant effect, causing a decrease in libido and a decrease in the ability to be aroused and achieve orgasm.
When leaky gut is associated with inflammation, the gut releases lipopolysaccharides, which have a direct and toxic effect on the brain, causing fatigue, brain fog and decreased sex drive. It can also result in metabolic syndrome where the body is unable to maintain its blood sugar within strict levels. This, in turn, affects the production of both neurotransmitters and sex hormones.
When the body is afraid of starvation, which can happen with significant fat loss, a diet too low in fat, or excessive exercise, it doesn’t seem to have sex. Instead the body conserves energy to keep itself alive.
Sex hormone production, especially testosterone, decreases when body fat levels are below 15% in women. Cholesterol is broken down from fat and forms the backbone of sex hormones, so if body fat is low, there is not enough cholesterol to produce these hormones, which can prevent a woman from having a full period.
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Excessive exercise, such as marathon training or intense bodybuilding, can cause body fat levels to drop so low that the body stops producing enough sex hormones. The stress of over-exercising can also increase cortisol levels, which as you learned earlier prevent the body from producing sex hormones.
Oral contraceptives are known for lowering the levels of natural sex hormones, especially testosterone, which can harm a woman’s libido, mood and energy. Birth control pills are also a major cause of estrogen dominance in women because they contain a powerful synthetic form of estrogen that prevents the body from making its own.
+ Depression — it causes a person to be disinterested in most anything in life, including sexual activity
+ PCOS — can cause weight gain, body hair growth, acne, irregular periods and dampen your sex drive
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+ Diabetes — can affect the nerves of the vulva, reducing sensation and reducing the ability to lubricate and have an orgasm. In men, it can affect erections and ejaculation
+ Low Estrogen — associated with decreased clitoral sensitivity, vaginal dryness, decreased genital blood flow and difficulty achieving orgasm
HOW TO NATURALLY BALANCE YOUR HORMONES TO IMPROVE YOUR LIBIDO + DUTCH Hormone Testing To Address Root Cause
The Dutch Hormone Test is simple, easy to administer, relatively inexpensive and highly comprehensive. It measures a range of hormone metabolites from a dried urine sample, including cortisol, cortisone, estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and melatonin, many of which as you read above can have significant effects. to your libido. Look to work with a medicine practitioner who will have in-depth knowledge of true biomarkers for hormone balance.
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Maca is an adaptogen that has been shown to increase sexual desire and libido, while Ashwagandha works to increase orgasms, arousal, lubrication and sexual satisfaction. Try adding a teaspoon of the adaptogen herb to your morning smoothie, coffee or oats.
As you learned earlier, stress is a MAJOR contributor to low libido and general hormone imbalance. Although we cannot avoid stressors, we can create more calm in our lives. Try gentle yoga, meditation, walking, being in nature (especially barefoot), reading a good book, taking a hot shower or bath, cuddling or having sex (more on that later).
This is especially important if you have any kind of pelvic pain or inflammation, which can cause pain during intercourse and thus greatly affect your libido. Make sure you monitor your symptoms and work with a specialist who can address the root cause of the pain and treat it accordingly. PS — I did this after giving birth and it helped a lot, because at first I already had a lot of scar tissue
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