Testosterone is produced by men AND women, despite its reputation as a “male” hormone. It helps build muscle and maintain bone and brain health— and is also one of the top libido-boosting hormones we have.
When one has very high testosterone levels, it may present itself through aggression, acne, or hair growth. If testosterone is too low, an individual may have little to no desire for sex.
Low testosterone in menstruators is often caused by:
1. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
HRT is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of hormone therapies. For trans and nonbinary individuals undergoing physical transtioning, one type of HRT is known as transgender hormone therapy, or feminizing/masculinizing hormone therapy.
Feminizing hormone therapy involves the administration of the combination of testosterone blockers (T-blockers) and estrogen, which can cause testosterone levels to fluctuate drastically. The same goes for masculinizing hormone therapy, which involves the administration of testosterone. The fluctuation of hormones with HRT, particularly with estrogen and testosterone, can largely affect one's sex drive.
2. Elevated SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)
SHBG is a protein that binds to hormones to help them travel through the bloodstream. When the hormones are bound to SHBG, they become inactive. So, a high SHBG causes a lot of bound testosterone making our free or available testosterone non-existent.
3. Lack of exercise, especially resistance training
4. Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal birth control provides the body with synthetic hormones and can disrupt natural hormone production. Read more here.
Nutrition is a major factor in hormone balancing. Use this list of hormone balancing foods for your next grocery trip!
Low libido is not uncommon, and nothing to be ashamed of. It also involves a myriad of factors. Read more about other causes for low sex drive.