Hormone Therapy: The Adventure Begins

I’ve done it before…and it didn’t have much of an impact, but I’m trying it again, years later, and I’m hoping for a different outcome (is this the definition of insanity? doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results?).

Yesterday, I went to the gynecologist suggested by our sex therapist, who seems to think getting my hormones under control and getting me off Prozac is going to bring my libido back. The problem is, I only just started taking Prozac (a super low dose) in September. Which really means, that’s not the problem. And the gynecologist didn’t seem to think that was having any impact at all, since I still have the ability to climax, and orgasms still feel just fine (I didn’t know Prozac had the ability to mess with this, but apparently it does).

She suggested using Addyi, but since it’s a drug meant to improve libido (a luxury drug), it’s not covered by insurance, and we’d have to pay $100 out of pocket each month. Also, she didn’t feel that I had any type of sexual disfunction that would require its use yet. Still…much like Viagra, it’s an option down the road, if necessary.

And while we wait for my testosterone level results, she put me on progesterone and estrogen. Her claim is that progesterone will decrease my anxiety and help me sleep, while the estrogen will help with my new, fabulous hot flashes. However, neither are really intended to help my libido.

Basically, she didn’t tell me anything new. “It’s both an effect of a long-term relationship, and age, libido simply naturally decreases for women.” She also said that, “Most women I talk to aren’t going to just naturally want sex, but if they are prompted, they’re into it.” Her most disturbing analogy was, “You have to think about sex like exercise. You may not want to do it at first, but you get something out of it, so it’s worth pursuing.” Ouch. That’s not very sexy.

I told her my Husband wasn’t going to like hearing all of what she told me, because basically she was repeating what every other doctor had said, that this libido issue is just natural, and there’s not a whole helluva lot one can do about it…that I’m just going to have to work at it, and put the effort in because He needs it and wants it, not because my body naturally feels the need for it or wants it all the time.

She said, “Maybe He needs to hear it from someone else.” But honestly, who would tell Him, and how would it make things any easier or better? I mean, seriously, I told Him over the phone after the appointment, and I could feel His body deflate with disappointment through the phone.

So here’s what frustrates me…

Every doctor says the same thing, so it’s probably true.

My Husband wants it to not be true because my lack of desire fucks with his sense of well being.

And I’m stuck in the middle of that. I can’t live up to what my husband wants and needs (so I feel guilty), but, according to what I’m being told, my body just can’t live up to what he wants and needs.

So where does that leave me? Well, it leaves me with prioritizing our sex life and working for it because He needs it, and when His needs are met in that way, it brings us closer. Likewise, when my needs are met in the ways that I need them met, it brings us closer. And it means that He has to accept that. If I’m working for it and initiating occasionally, that has to be enough.

There’s no magic pill. There’s no special libido fairy dust. There’s simply making sure I don’t lose the libido I already have, and doing the things I know already work to keep it up: getting plenty of sleep, exercising, keeping my diet healthy, having sex (because that actually does make me want more), keeping my stress at bay, getting some quality time with my Husband, reading and watching things that keep my head in the game…

Sometimes there’s something to be said for just accepting yourself the way you are. Not trying to live up to anyone’s expectation. I realize we are a D/s couple, and as a submissive, I’m supposed to do what He says, but if I can’t do what He says, then, well…He’s going to have to re-evaluate what He’s asking me to do. Simply saying, “Want me,” isn’t going to get us anywhere. But actions that make Him feel wanted? Those things I can do. And they won’t be done hollowly. They’ll be done with love and respect, because our connection is important.

It’s a shift in perspective, really…not the end of the world.

It’s important to note that my desire is not all dried up and gone. There are days and weeks that my desire is still high. It’s just not consistent, and I can’t tie it to one or another thing completely. Surely my mental health affects it, and no doubt the state of our relationship has something to do with it. At times of great stress, it disappears, and when I am tired, ill, or having a self-esteem or body image issues, it takes a vacation. But it’s not gone. And I don’t have other reproductive health issues causing trouble.

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  • David Mei

    My wife as she approached menopause lost her libido. It sounds like you are in a good head space.
    Other good thing is you are talking about the issue. It sounds like you are sharing your mutual frustrations. That’s important and it’s important that compromise comes from both sides and not one.
    If he feels
    Like he is hearing no every time he wants sex he may stop asking. But that doesn’t sound like what you have been writing about.
    It is frustrating for both of you. But I can tell you that your libido will come back. Your mileage will vary compared to others but it will return.
    Keep it fun
    Keep it loving and it should be hood.

    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks, David. I feel as long as two people keep working, it’s still good. And we will probably never quit working for each other.

  • Mrs Fever

    I took hormones for a while — though for a different reason — and honestly, I hated it. They made me psycho. I ended up back on birth control as a result of that nightmare experience because without some kind of regulation, my headaches were debilitating. But seriously, if you’re trying to kick up your libido, estrogen is the last thing you need; testosterone is what drives the sexual impulses and the ability to climax (which is why, pre-menopause, when my testosterone levels were sky-high due to my PCOS, my libido was a constant and my orgasms were intense) so I’d highly recommend doing your research around that.

    [Not trying to give unsolicited advice. Just… I don’t want anyone to go through the shit that I did. Hormones are chemicals and they totally fuck you up. There’s a reason mental health diagnoses happen most commonly with the onset of puberty; hormones jack up your system in ways that are crazy-making.]

    FYI, my No Good Very Very Bad medicine was called medroxyprogesterone.

    Also: if, for any reason, any medical person recommends taking spironolactone — DON’T.

    : shudder :

    Good luck.
    Mrs Fever recently posted…Saturday Night Fever: Get Me {Gifts}My Profile

    • Brigit Delaney

      I did hormones awhile back, too, Feve. And they actually did nothing for me. But it was a few years ago, and I’m willing to give things another go. We are having my testosterone levels checked, so we may add that if necessary. The estrogen is a low dose to deal with hot flashes. But I will keep in mind the names of those drugs. Hormones are a pain in the ass. And I’m young to be on this track already, but my hysterectomy sort of set this course for me. I appreciate your input. Other people’s experiences help us to understand our own and make thoughtful decisions.

  • Missy

    I can feel similar to you at points. Although HL would like me to be at the same point as him, my sexuality works in a different way. He is very much switched on by physical touch and the visual aspects whereas for me it is much more cerebral. I would say that our actual libidos are probably similar but they definitely work in different ways. As your doctor said, usually when I do it I get into it but prior there might not be the excitement that he wants me to have. That is what he creates in me. He makes me want him. He makes me want what he is doing. And increasingly for me that is the way is works best because that is what triggers my submissive headspace, that is what means that I let go and give up control. I am not sure if any of this is helpful or even if it makes sense but that is how things work for us. His Dominance of me turns me on. Missy x

    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks for your comment, Missy. I agree…my libido is much more tied to my brain, though physical touch does have a lot to do with instigating it. Breath on just the right part, a massage. I think that is common for a lot of female types. And I do feel we need to work on the level of input both of us are giving in our role. His dominance does turn me on and put me in the right space, but we were “off” for so long I think he is not sure when or if it is welcome. It’s a conversation for sure, as we get back on our feet. We are actually headed to our sex therapist today, so this may very well be part of our conversation.

  • Lisa Stone

    If you think and talk about it, then this is already part of the solution to the problem. The fact that your husband understands you and is ready to cooperate is also a positive moment. And the rest: Stop worrying and start living.

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