Dec 152012

Pouty EvoëI haven’t been feeling sexy. I just haven’t thought much about sex. I’ve been too tired and unhappy to be turned on. In theory, I have wanted to be sexual – I’ve had some good sex and enjoyed it, but my levels of desire have been low. Until a few weeks ago, I was wondering if I would ever really care about sex again. It’s painful to be such a sex-oriented person, whose identity is so involved in sex, and find that you don’t really care anymore.

Now, in the last few weeks, I realize that I’m feeling better than I have for a long time. I wake up earlier than normal with more energy than I’ve felt for a while. My overall mood is improved and I cope with things better. Best of all, I’m starting to feel that liquid flowing sexiness!

Turns out my thyroid function has been low. A simple blood test turned it up. No one ever told me how important the thyroid is! When it’s out of whack, high or low, all kinds of problems can ensue. Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is most common and these are a few of the possible symptoms:

  • fatigue and weakness
  • weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
  • intolerance to heat and/or cold
  • muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
  • constipation
  • depression and/or irritability
  • memory loss
  • abnormal menstrual cycles
  • sexual dysfunction

There’s not as much information as I’d like available on how low (hypo-) or  high (hyper-) thyroid function can affect your sex life. It does seem clear that the thyroid hormone acts on the smooth muscle cells of the erectile tissues of the genitalia for people of all genders. For men, thyroid imbalance can cause low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation. Women may notice significantly worse lubrication, difficulty achieving orgasm, and pain during sex. People with high thyroid function (hyperthyroidism) may experience a very strong sex drive.

I didn’t notice my thyroid deficiency coming on. It happened too gradually for me to point to when it started. I just know that at some point I was ready to start taking an antidepressant because my overall mood was so much lower than normal. I couldn’t make myself do the things I loved anymore. This thyroid stuff just kind of sneaks up on you, makes you believe that life has always been like this. Ironically, the medication I take to keep my moods balanced, Lithium, may be what caused my hypothyroidism.

I started taking Levothyroxine about 6 weeks ago and the difference is staggering. Within a week or two I was noticing that it felt great to be alive. Now the house is clean and organized again! I’m having fun with the children. I find communication easier. I’m almost ready to take on the world. My sex drive is not quite back to normal, but it’s way better than it was.

For a while, I could be talked into sex, but I wasn’t really feeling it. I didn’t get as wet as normal. I was able to orgasm, but I just didn’t have a lot of interest in sex. I think my husband and I went 3 months without any sexual interaction, which must be a new record. It’s a difficult situation for someone who blogs her sex life and a challenge for someone who dearly loves sex.

My libido is slowly picking up speed. Last week I had sex with Joel for the first time in months and Harold had to turn down my proposition because he was too tired. I’m even having sexy dreams. Still, I’m keeping in mind that my desire might need more of a pick-me-up. I know that other hormone levels are often also out of balance after a thyroid issue, and my practitioner says that it could take three months for the medication to work fully. I’m waiting to see!

So many people find themselves at some point in the sexual doldrums. There are a lot of possible reasons, but I can’t recommend enough getting your thyroid levels tested if you are experiencing any of the symptoms I listed above. Taking thyroid medication is easy, and I’m so happy to be lusting fabulously again!