Sex & your thyroid: hormones of desire

Did you know that thyroid hormone excess may have a direct effect on the brain chemicals that regulate sexual interest?

Hyperthyroidism can cause a hypomanic state and increase sexuality in women. A hyperthyroid man, on the other hand, loses the patience to engage in foreplay to excite his partner. Conversely, there is a lack of sexual interest during hypothyroidism in women due to the lower estrogen levels. And during hypothyroidism in men the low sex drive story is the same. Moreover, both sexes can be affected by fatigue, making them too tired to engage in sex. If hypothyroidism occurs with depression it is possible that all sexual drive disappears!

Therefore, optimal thyroid hormone levels are crucial for having normal libido and normal physical responses that lead to sexual fulfillment. An overactive thyroid can cause painful intercourse and a loss of interest in sex, or can result in raging libido. An underactive thyroid often results in blunted sexual appetite, lack of lubrication, and painful sex.

Sexual problems may persist after correction of a thyroid imbalance, therefore you and your partner must learn about these effects, discuss them openly, and seek help from a sex therapist if psychological problems and distancing persist.

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