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Estrogen and Testosterone Hormones


Hormones

Aging, illness and certain cancer treatments can affect our bodies' delicate hormonal balance, causing changes in sexual interest and functioning. Familiar to most are the changes that occur when a woman goes through menopause. Estrogen production drops throughout this process as a woman exits her child-bearing years.

The major sexual impact of decreased estrogen is a shrinking of the vagina and thinning of the vaginal walls, along with a loss of elasticity and decreased vaginal lubrication during sexual arousal. Some women experience only slight changes in sexual functioning, while others have dryness and pain with intercourse, or genital soreness for a few days after sexual activity, if they don't use a vaginal lubricant or take some form of hormone replacement.

Researchers investigating the effects of hormone replacement therapy on women's sexual functioning have shown that taking estrogen often allows sexual functioning to return to normal. In addition, androgens have been prescribed for postmenopausal women to enhance their sexual desire.


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