A woman’s interest in sex isn’t completely hormonal, as is often the case with men, a new study reveals. In fact, the research suggests that a woman’s sexual desire is more complicated than originally thought.
Conducted in Michigan and six other clinical locations across the United States, the study concluded that naturally occurring reproductive hormones, including testosterone, play a much smaller role than previously thought in influencing menopausal women’s sexual desire and function. Though testosterone is the main sex hormone in men, a woman’s ovaries naturally produce small amounts of it.
The objective of the study was to explore the relationship between menopause and sexual function. Menopausal women still want sex; however, their desire is not influenced by hormones or the innate drive to reproduce, as younger women’s sex drives are. In fact, relationship satisfaction and other psychological factors play a larger role in a menopausal woman’s sexual desire than hormones do.
According to study leader John Randolph of the University of Michigan Medical School, testosterone and sex hormones play a secondary role compared to a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of her intimate relationship. The study’s researchers examined data from 3,302 female participants in order to determine the relationship between hormones and sexual function during menopause.
Participants weren’t only asked about their desire for sex; they also had their blood drawn to measure testosterone and other sex hormone levels. It was determined that women who had higher levels of sex hormones reported having more sexual desire as opposed to women with lower levels. Most surprising was that women who reported having higher levels of relationship satisfaction and fewer sad moods also had higher levels of sexual desire. The study recommends that menopausal women lacking sexual desire should consider other factors besides hormones.
It’s often been said that body’s largest sex organ is the brain. Though the average woman begins experiencing perimenopausal and menopausal systems between the ages of 40 and 58, many women find greater sexual confidence, desire, and satisfaction with age. This is due to both emotional maturity and confidence. While post-menopausal sex serves no reproductive or biological function, sex is an integral part our well-being as humans.