Loss of libido in women not linked to hormone status

09/16/2009 - News

Loss of libido in women not linked to hormone status

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


A study shows that deficiencies in male or female sex hormones do not account for a loss of sexual drive in women.

Hormones - especially the male hormone testosterone - are known to play an important role in sexuality. Researchers in Swansea and London have been looking at whether they could find reduced levels of various hormones in premenopausal women who reported a loss of libido.

Levels of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA - a hormone whose lack has been linked to aging) were measured in a group of 29 women with reduced libido and in 12 healthy controls. Interviews with a psychosexual counselor revealed that the first group did, indeed, score much lower on standard ratings of sexual desire. But there were no significant differences in hormonal levels between the two groups.

However, counseling showed a link between lack of libido and low income, depression, minor illness and sexual problems in the partner (all the women were in a stable heterosexual relationship). The study suggests that where a woman suffers from lack of desire, the psychological approach may be more useful than looking to hormone treatment.



Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy January 2005 Volume 31 pages 73-80

Created on: 01/27/2005
Reviewed on: 09/16/2009

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