Hormone Imbalance Side Effect: A lack of a sex drive
We usually associate testosterone with stimulating a man's sexual appetite, but this hormone affects a woman's desire, too. Levels remain fairly even all month long, but there is a slight peak around ovulation, says Nanette Santoro, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. (Call it nature's nudge for making babies.) But many women start to lose this mid- cycle peak in their mid-30s, which may explain a lower- than-usual libido. Oral contraceptives may also put a damper on your sex drive. "The synthetic hormones in some birth-control pills can indirectly lower your body's production of testosterone," she says.
What to do about a low libido caused by hormone imbalance:
Switching birth-control pills may help. "Just don't forget that sex does have a strong emotional component," says Santoro. "Finding ways to make it more exciting or meaningful can significantly boost your desire." Even a seemingly minor change—a bikini wax or sexy new lingerie, for example—can reignite that spark.