When we think of our health as a holistic whole that includes mental and emotional as well as physical well-being, it’s important to not overlook sexual health. Sexuality is a part of being human, and the ability to share intimacy is crucial for healthy relationships and for our own well-being. Sexual health is a catch-all phrase that refers to factors that affect reproduction and sexual function. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t prioritize sexual health, and few still discuss how weight and hormones can affect it.
Hormone balance and sexual health
From puberty onwards, hormones play a vital role in our sexual functioning and development. While it’s normal for hormone levels to decrease as we age, imbalances in hormones linked to sexality can cause sexual issues such as decreased desire, performance problems, sensitivity, vaginal dryness, or infertility. The following hormones can affect sexual health:
- Estrogen: Low estrogen levels can cause vaginal dryness, irregular menstrual cycles, and affect reproductive health.
- Progesterone: Produced in the ovaries, progesterone helps regulate thyroid hormones, and reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause.
- Testosterone: Low levels of testosterone can reduce sexual desire and performance in both men and women.
- DHEA: As DHEA affects your body’s ability to produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, it is an important hormone for sexual vitality.
Hormones needed for weight management
In addition to affecting sexual health, sufficient levels of the hormones above help promote weight loss and muscle growth. In addition, balanced levels of these other hormones can help you obtain and maintain a healthy weight:
- Thyroid hormones: Low levels of thyroid hormones, or hypothyroidism, can increase your levels of body fat and cholesterol and cause fatigue.
- Cortisol: Excessive levels of cortisol can disrupt blood sugar, making it difficult to lose weight.
How taking care of sexual health improves your mind and body
Sex is an important part of buiding and maintaining intimate relationships. Not only are these close and healthy relationships an important component for our emotional well-being, the act of sex itself also provides exercise and relases hormones that make us happier:
- Dopamine: Also known as the “feel-good” hormone, dopamine is associated with pleasure and rewards.
- Oxytocin: Also known as the “love” hormone, oxytocin is associated with forming social bonds.
Eating right and exercising balances hormones
Eating well so that your body has optimal nutrients helps with overall functioning, including hormonal balance. To help bring your hormones into balance, eat plenty of plant proteins (excluding soy), fresh fruits and vegetables, probiotic-rich foods, and organic meats. Moderate exercise is also a powerful tool for balancing hormones, but overtraining can actually make your hormonal imbalances worse. Proper hormone balance will increase your energy levels and help you maintain a healthy weight and sex life.
Benefits of hormone balancing
When your hormones are in balance, your mood, energy, and self-confidence levels are improved. All of these in turn promote good sexual health. You will feel better in your own body, and will likely be happier with the way you look as well. If you’re trying to meet people for sexual relationships, looking and feeling your best will go a long way.
Hormone therapy at WildBerryMD
Sometimes hormones are so out of whack that diet and exercise alone are not enough to bring them back into balance. In these cases, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can replenish the hormones that have been depleted. At WildBerryMD, our team of doctors and health coaches can provide detailed testing and assessment of your hormone levels, and make recommendations for treatment. For more information, call us at (520) 762-1557 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.