More and more women are becoming aware of PCOS and are talking openly about PCOS struggles. PCOS is a hormonal condition that affects women of childbearing age. With PCOS, the ovaries create fluid-filled sacs that contain immature eggs that do not trigger ovulation. A thick capsule covers the ovaries, preventing follicle growth. The result is a reduction in hormones produced by the ovaries like estrogen, LH, FSH, and progesterone. There is also a significant spike in androgens, the male hormones. These changes can result in several unwanted symptoms and signs.
Signs and symptoms you can’t ignore
The overproduction of androgens due to PCOS can create internal and external signs. Many women have unexplained weight gain that does not improve with diet and exercise. Others experience dry skin and hormonal acne along the jawline, chest, and back. A standard, unwanted symptom is hirsutism, which is hair growth on the face and body. Some even experience male pattern baldness and prediabetes. Finally, there are several reproductive symptoms, including missed periods, irregular periods, infertility, and even cancer.
PCOS affects your image and sex life
Unfortunately, women with PCOS can feel like the condition is attacking from all angles, and sex drive is no exception. In a study of 130 women with PCOS, almost 60% reported little to no arousal or sexual desire. The result can lead to a reduced quality of life, depression, and fewer sexual partners. The overproduction of androgens can also affect a woman’s natural sex drive, lubrication, and satisfaction.
Infertility and sex drive
PCOS ultimately reduces the ability to produce and release mature eggs. For women wanting to start a family, emotional stress can take a toll on sexual health. For some, sex can also be painful, further reducing the desire for sex. Irregular periods can also restrict sexual activity, especially for women without birth control. PCOS can be challenging to manage. However, there may be a treatment option for low libido.
Treating low libido with medication
Doctors may suggest taking medications to regulate hormones, which can in turn help with low libido. Based on blood tests and symptoms, the doctor may suggest birth control pills. The medication may contain estrogen, progesterone and help reduce androgens. Other treatment options include micronized progesterone and progestin, which can improve symptoms and positively impact libido.
Lifestyle changes to improve libido
While medication to balance hormones help, there are still social and psychological issues affecting libido. Effectively dealing with depression is paramount, and getting the right mental health support can help. Exercise can not only decrease depression but can increase serotonin and endorphins, which may increase libido. Exercise with dietary changes can also help manage insulin, weight, and ultimately hormones. Speak with a nutritionist, therapist, or doctor to tackle these issues.
Take your low libido seriously
PCOS can cause a range of unwanted symptoms, from acne and weight gain to infertility. For many women, low libido is a challenge that affects the quality of life. If missed periods, pelvic pain, and painful sex were not enough, women also face physical issues that affect sex drive. A combination of medication and lifestyle changes can help. However, a doctor should complete a medical check to make sure current medication does not affect treatment. Get the right help today.