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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Low Libido In Women

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Author Topic: Low Libido In Women
maidodie
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I hope this question is okay and it's not offensive, as I don't mean it to be.

Ever since getting ill around 05-06, my libido has slowly been dying. It would have made little difference as I'd been single for so long anyway, except it just so happened as Lyme entered into my life, so did the man I'm marrying this summer.

But I've no libido at all to speak of! Each time I see one of those many male helpful pill commercials, I get annoyed. Where's my pill? [Mad]

Before Lyme I had a very healthy libido, though I did nothing with it.

Does anything out there help women? Are there any other women (or men) with Lyme & Co. that have also seen a loss in libido? Any hints or tips?

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sparkle7
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This is an awful & painful issue. I'm glad you brought it up.

I don't have any advice to offer at the moment but you aren't alone with this.

It's very hard on relationships.

I have physical pain with sex as well as low libido. It makes things very difficult. It's hard to talk about it for me, emotionally, & it does alot of damage to intimacy in a relationship.

I never imagined I would have a problem with this before this whole Lyme & Fibromyalgia situation... I've been ill for about 12 years.

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disturbedme
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I have this issue as well.

Hardly have any libido and I was just married two years ago, and fell ill right before I was married... so that came at an awful time for sure!

I have no idea what to take to help it...

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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Lymeorsomething
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It's not limited to women. The infections affect the entire endocrine system in general. Low libido has been a central symptom for me.

Since sex is not necessary for survival, it seems the body puts it on the back burner and turns its energies towards essential functions.

I feel like my body is in the computer equivalent of safe-mode.

--------------------
"Whatever can go wrong will go wrong."

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Keebler
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-

Lymeorsomething is very wise:

"The infections affect the entire endocrine system in general . . ." and

"Since sex is not necessary for survival, it seems the body puts it on the back burner and turns its energies towards essential functions."

-------------

This is what I think, too. But, I'm lucky in that I do not have to deal with this affecting anyone but myself.


Although intimacy is important in a relationship, your health may have to have you both finding a variety of ways to address that without overtaxing your body.

I know this is difficult but it won't be forever. Still, I hope you and your fiance can talk about this so that you won't feel even more stress that damages the endocrine system further.

And, yet, it might be that you may find help with some endocrine support (not boosting by any means).

Those "male helpful pills" are not a good idea for guys, either, if they have any other health conditions (which they likely do).


While "sexual dysfunction" is only on the list of lyme symptoms, and "libido" is not in the index, this book discusses what you can do to safely help the endocrine system while treating lyme:


This book, by an ILADS member LLMD, holds great information about treatments options and support measures:


http://tinyurl.com/6lq3pb (through Amazon)


THE LYME DISEASE SOLUTION (2008)

- by Kenneth B. Singleton , MD; James A. Duke. Ph.D. (Foreword)

You can read more about it here and see customer reviews.

Web site: www.lymedoctor.com


===========

You did not mention your age so, in case, it's in this range, some of the material at this link may help:


http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/77129


Topic: Women over 35: Hormones (Oprah's recent programs)

=====

(Even with the Rx bio-identical hormone replacements, they contain petroleum products).

Here's a site that has petroleum-free products for women.


http://www.emerita.com


-

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Geneal
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My labido comes and goes (no pun intended).

It directly relates to how stressed or fatigued I am.

It also relates to how little my husband does to help me.

Nothing, and I mean nothing can turn me on like watching my husband do laundry. [Big Grin]

I think when I have really good days, I find my labido better too.

When I feel good, I want to share it.

Too bad it isn't that often.

Hormonal levels have all been normal.

However, since they can change daily, it is really hard to get accurate over all levels.

Hugs,

Geneal

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Judy G.
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True for me too! -- Just nada in the libido department. It is hard for both my husband and I since it is not the same for him, of course. It is definitely an issue, but understanding and the hope that this won't last forever really helps.

--------------------
Judy G.

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sparkle7
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I think this is very true! I've often thought about this.

Lymeorsomething - "Since sex is not necessary for survival, it seems the body puts it on the back burner and turns its energies towards essential functions."

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Bugg
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Repeating what many of you know already but here's a list of contributers to low libido: hormones out-of-balance (especially not enough testosterone for women and men); low magnesium levels; low vitamin D levels; imbalance of DHEA (precurser to estrogen and testosterone); thyroid issues
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TerryK
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Yes, bugg is right on. Get tested for hormones and get anything corrected that is out of balance.

Of course there is more to a relationship than sex but I think it is important to do what you can to make sure that your partner's needs are met. I think this is partly why it is hard for people with lyme to maintain an intimate relationship.

I take low dose testosterone. It helps with energy as well as libido. It may be a treatment for fibromyalgia.
http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?id=5322&t=CFIDS_FM

There are herbal libido products that you might consider but you would want to be very careful not to cause yourself other problems by using them. Some you take a few hours before. I think some are made from amino acids and there are others made from herbs. This is an area that you would need to research for effectiveness and safety. Consider seeing a Naturopathic Doctor for help.

You can also purchase topical stimulants that might be helpful. Again, be careful with these and check the ingredients carefully for safety.

You may want to consider reading a sexy novel with your partner or by yourself or watching movies that are a little racey together.

Just throwing all the options out there.

Terry

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Ocean
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Geneal,

I'm with ya!! When hubby tries to actively help with housework, it makes me want to 'give in'!

I generally have no libido though, since I've had Lyme since I was 17 (and a virgin) I don't know what it would be like to not be sick and have sex.

At least hubby now knows why I never want to do anything, he used to think it was 'him'.

Take care,
Ocean

--------------------
http://www.healingfromlymedisease.blogspot.com/

Sick since 1996...Diagnosed 10/2008

IgM:23-25 IND, 31+++, 39 IND, 41 +++
IgG: 31 IND, 41++, 58+

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hurtingramma
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I also have non-existant libido. My gyn offered me testosterone and I check with my LLMD to make sure it was OK.

He said that he would give it to me if I wanted, it would help make me feel better, but was not a solution to the problem.

His advice was to spend more time "dating" in order to get in the mood, and yes, having a hubby who helps out once in a while would be a good thing!

--------------------
"Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love". Mother Theresa

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1629665573&ref=name

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TerryK
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Those with a rife machine might want to consider some of the sexual dysfunction frequencies or using muscle testing to glean what frequencies might help with libido without causing any other difficulties.

For those with pain, I sometimes take an ibuprofen or some other pain med a little beforehand. Not to get too graphic here but it also helps if your partner is aware of your pain and you can work together to find positions that aren't as painful.

hurting said:
He said that he would give it to me if I wanted, it would help make me feel better, but was not a solution to the problem.

That's interesting. Did he say why it was not a solution? Does he mean not a good long term solution or not a good solution even in the short term? If so, why not? Also, did he say what is a good solution besides waiting for years for treatment to straighten out the hormones?

Terry

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Marnie
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As you likely already know...the level of testosterone is directly related to our libido...and there is a strong "eye" connection. Men are more "visual". (We have hormone receptors in our eyes.)

Both men and women have testosterone and estrogen and their receptors...just in different levels.

Our steroid hormones come FROM cholesterol and Bb follows the "cholesterol pathway" too.

Testosterone -> estrogen.

Estrogen is very neuroprotective. Keep that in mind.

Bb is counting on that. By virue of an inhibitor that Bb has, it looks to "attract"/trigger our most abundant form of estrogen.

Bb has a PKC inhibitor. PKC = a calcium (C) activated protein kinase. Kinases help transfer phosphates.

So, by virtue of having a PKC inhbitor, Bb is preventing phosphate transfer (to an amino acid)...which one?

It looks like Bb's PKC inhibitor is PKCd..delta subform.

Guess what activates PKCd...

"17 beta-Estradiol directly *stimulated the activity of both PKC delta* and PKC alpha (but not PKC epsilon or PKC zeta) in a cell-free assay system."

Why?

"Protein kinase C delta is a critical regulator of CD1d-mediated antigen presentation."


17 beta-estradiol/estradiol is our most abundant "estrogen".

Go here for a general explanation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estradiol

What happens if estradiol is too high?


``High doses of estradiol enhance LPS-induced IL-1 B expression in an estrogen receptor-dependent manner.''

TNF alpha and IL 1B if high for a LONG TIME will damage our pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin which activates PFK.

Bb is PFK dependent.

Normally, I would not tell all, but

I don't have lyme (my sis does). However, I tried the following:

Mg citrate, 100mg (I cut the pills in half) + B complex + lecithin every 2 hours for 5 doses per day for several days.

My libido increased. Honest. I don't know why. I suspect it might be due to the choline (lecithin). Lecithin is a fat emulsifier. It is present in chocolate to make it "smooth".

That said, one of Bb's outer cell walls is phosphatidylcholine.

http://www.livonlabs.com/cgi-bin/start.cgi/LypoC/phosphatidylcholine.html

And when you have linked the above, search for the word, libido.

It appears we need phosphatidylcholine, but so does Bb.

The other major lipoprotein in Bb's cell walls is:

Phosphatidylglycerol

"***``Phospholipids are an important component of bacterial membranes. Borrelia burgdorferi differs from many other bacteria in that it contains only two major membrane phospholipids: phosphatidylglycerol (PG) and phosphatidylcholine (PC).''***

NORMALLY the goal to destroy a gram negative pathogen is to destroy it's cell wall or prevent it from forming in the first place. That is step one. Then osmotic pressure changes/ultrasound can sorta "finish the job". I suspect so does barometric pressure changes (impact CWD forms).

Preventing Bb from forming its cell walls is the basis of using cholesterol lowering drugs (Example: Benicar)...in high doses...which can damage our kidneys.

Bb is able to rebuild its cell walls if the next steps don't kick in right away.

Mg, BTW...*inactivates* an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase and halts cholesterol formation.

And B6 - must be sublingual = P5P - works with Mg. B6 helps control Na levels too. It has the most functions of any vitamin.

Bb looks to need Ca and Na. Na for quorum sensing i.e., "communicating with his co-horts".

Aldosterone also helps control Na levels.

BTW...in a jam, if Na is low, Li can substitute thought it is really hard to regulate that mineral and we need very very little of it.

As you can see...this is an incredibly complex pathogen.

INCREDIBLE.

Bb is taking from us many nutrients we need.

Our body is trying hard to figure out how to prolong our lives. It is looking for alternative routes to destroy Bb.

We need enough Mg to make antibodies to Bb's OspB (outer surface protein..b).

Unfortunately, Mg levels dive at the outset of lyme and continue to spiral down.

Restoring the levels is NOT EASY!

I think we need a 2 step process:

1. Tame down the immune system (control TNF alpha and IL 1B) = control inflammation AND
2. Give the right treatment/Rx? to destroy this pathogen.

IMO...targeting the infected cells is vital. We don't want a lot of "collateral damage".

http://women.webmd.com/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women?page=2

See the impact of tetracycline.

As I said, in many respects estrogen is neuroprotective...esp. with relationship to glutamate excess.

Bb looks to be metabolizing glutamate and alanine.

Complex? Oh, yes!

Ancora Imparo...translation: I am still learning.

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hurtingramma
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When my LLMD said that testosterone was not a solution, he suggested that my husband and I make an effort to be more romantic - like getting away, having special dates.....

He even admitted that he was no longer sexually attracted to his wife - until they set time aside. It's the mindset, I guess is what he was trying to say.

--------------------
"Few of us can do great things, but all of us can do small things with great love". Mother Theresa

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tanzi2u
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My suggestion is to find a good reproductive endocrinologist and have all your sex hormones followed for a few months. Then you will get a good idea of what is going on.

My daughter was told her hormonal pattern was caused by 1 of 2 things: menopause, or hypothallamic dysfunction. Since she is a teenager we know it isn't the former, and explains other H-P-A axis problems she has.

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Starfall1969
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I can't give you any answers either, but I can say that yes, I share your misery in thsi (or maybe I should say my husband shares your misery since he's the one who wants it).

As for what someone said about romancing and dating your spouse, that's part of our problem.

We haven't really had any time alone together since my 5 year old was 4 months old.

We just can't find babysitters. His family (for whom he babysat endlessly when their kids were young and he was unmarried) are all too busy or just can't be bothered.

It's hard to get friends to watch the kids even for necessities like doctor visits (I can't count how many times I've had one or both kids in with me during a gyno visit--oh what fun), let alone for a date night.

I just had my hormones tested, and I'm waiting for the doctor to get back from vacation to see what her findings were.

So you're not alone.

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Munch
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I've tried many things to restore my libido. So far, B-HRT was somewhat helpful. Because so many of the doctors put me on an "adequate" dose or one that works for most patients. Since they never didn't follow up to see that my hormone levels were in the normal ranges.

Growth hormone was the missing key indgredient in the hormone area. Without it, I was just peeing out all of the hormones without making use of them. My LLMD thinks it's critical to replace this if you are low so the rest of the hormones can be utilized properly since it's the master hormone.

The thing that helped me the most is B-HRT pellets that are implanted under the skin. They provide a continual release like my own ovaries used to do. I had the best response with these.

A few weeks ago on the TV show the doctors they had a guest speaker -- one of the sex therapy Berman sisters. She suggested an Oxytocin nasal spray to help woman cross the "finish line."

I'm thinking of asking my doctors to prescribe this for me because almost all of my HPA axis hormones are kaput. Her explanation about this hormone being the hormone of love and emotional attachment made a lot of sense.

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