So....How's Your Sexual Health?
Our male and female hormones are produced for many reasons. One...procreation...we all know that one. However we also need these special hormones for energy, healthy moods, clear thinking, compassion as well as a healthy sex drive. Men and women both produce the 3 main hormones: Progesterone, Estrogen & Testosterone, only at different levels from the ovaries, testes and adrenal glands.
Testosterone helps both genders to build muscle and provides motivation and endurance to tackle tough jobs. When this hormone is higher than normal in either sex it can cause us to become more aggressive than what would be considered normal. At healthy levels for men it helps them to do the tough jobs that require more muscles, strength and endurance. Of course it does the same for women, but to a lesser extent when our hormones are in balance.
With men, testosterone will begin to rise in the early morning hours in preparation for taking on the challenges of the day. That is why there is often a spontaneous erection in the morning. It is also a good barometer of a mans over all health. When men begin to see a decline in the morning erections, that can be an indication of dropping testosterone levels or other health issues. Low T-levels can also cause the male to be depressed and have low motivation. It can also be the reason that they put on extra fat and greater difficulty maintaining muscle.
Testosterone in women is also necessary for a healthy sex drive, stamina and to build muscle, but generally at much lower levels. When the female testosterone is higher than normal we can become a royal B**ch, have hair loss on the scalp and grow hair where we don't want it, such as the face. Women also need testosterone for energy and stamina, but again at lower levels.
Estrogen is also produced by both genders at different levels. Estrogen gives women the curves and breasts that begin to develop at puberty. At healthy levels we tend to be more calm, gentle, nurturing. If estrogen levels are higher that normal then we can become unusually emotional and weepy. An excess of estrogen can cause us to put on more fat and building muscle becomes more difficult and can contribute to mood swings. Men who have an excess production of estrogen can also put on more fat than muscle and it can affect their moods as well even contributing to depression. Having testosterone and estrogen at healthy levels and ratios for our gender is critical for both mind and body.
Women produce more progesterone than men. We will produce more progesterone the closer we get to ovulation. Progesterone prevents the shedding of the uterine lining in case the egg that is released becomes fertilized. Once fertilized then the progesterone will stay at the higher levels until giving birth. If the egg is not fertilized then progesterone drops and that is when we shed the uterine lining and have our "periods".
A loss of either of these hormones affects our mind and body. Therefore as we age and these three hormones are produced less and less that is when these major changes begin to occur. Men's testosterone production can remain robust as they age but eventually a decline in morning erections will occur. Their stamina and ability to build and maintain muscle will also begin a slow decline.
The woman's sex drive will decline a little sooner as our T-levels are lower to start with. Progesterone declines as we are no longer producing egg follicles for procreation and we can become estrogen dominate which can also cause us to retain more fat. For both genders, a loss of these hormones can also affect our brain function.
Thanks to modern technology we can slow down the aging process a little by our diet, have an active lifestyle, stress reduction, targeted nutritional supplementation and for a short time period supplementing with bio-identical hormones based on laboratory testing (this can require a prescription). (see below).
There is much more that can be said about our hormones' and how they affect our minds and body, but I think you get the general idea. There is a resource (listed below) to test your hormones without going through your medical doctor, and in my experience, its more inclusive. A simple blood test doesn't always tell the complete picture, such as the health of the adrenal glands which is closely associated with our sex hormones.
The regular metabolic demands on the body, a poor diet, demands of work, children and even poor sleep can have an impact on our quality of life and the quality of our sexual well-being. With prolonged high stress, both physical and emotional, the adrenal glands are always impacted. We can lose our ovaries and testicles and not die, but the loss of the adrenals can cause death without intervention. So when undergoing major stress the adrenal glands can use the hormones produced by the ovaries and testicles and convert them into the survival hormones such as cortisol and DHEA.
Sabre Sciences Inc., a lab located in Carlsbad CA is a specialized lab with a focus on the adrenals and hormones. If you are concerned about your sexual and adrenal health, you might want to check them out. (It's ok to tell them I sent you)
Listed below are some supplements that may help you to maintain healthy hormone levels naturally. However, keep in mind that they are supportive and may not be the whole solution for most people considering the stress levels we are under these days. A healthy diet and lifestyle is also a major part of the picture.
OPC-3 - Botanical supplement. Increases blood flow, crosses the blood-brain barrier and increases blood flow to the sex organs. Best when used daily.
Sexual Health - Powder Isotonic Botanical supplements. Benefits both men and women.
Prime-Time Performance for Men only. Botanical supplement.