There are many concerning symptoms that can occur with thyroid disease but one of the more concerning ones is loss of libido or a decreased sex drive. One reason this particular symptom can be so concerning is because of the possible strain it can put on the marriage of a thyroid patient. I know this concern to be a very real one because I have corresponded with both male and female patients with this problem and concern on thyroid forums, repeatedly over the past several years. It is such a great concern to some of them, that it causes them increased depression symptoms as well.
Patients with more of a problem with loss of libido are those with hypothyroidism. Those with hyperthyroidism can also experience this symptom but they can also experience episodes of increased sex drive, due to the sped up metabolism hyperthyroidism can cause. With hypothyroidism, the metabolism is slowed down, which means the reproductive organs are slowed down as well. The adrenal glands that produce hormones that convert into the sex hormones are also slowed down and both men and women can see decreased testosterone and estrogen levels. Both sexes have both of these sex hormones but in different balance for each.
The good news is that when thyroid hormone imbalances of either type are corrected, the result is a normalizing of all bodily functions, including the sex drive. Many thyroid patients report that they regain a certain degree of their libido back although many, report that it is not back to 100%, as it was before thyroid disease. To regain a significant percentage however is far better than to remain in an almost void state of libido.
There are also prescription drugs that can help men in this area and the reason this is slightly more of a need for men, is due to the fact that they rely upon a bodily function that if not operating properly, prevents intimacy with their partner from taking place. This fact is also the reason lack of libido can seriously affect some men psychologically because they feel lack of ability to perform sexually, brings into question, their masculinity and ability to satisfy their partner. This then leads them to worry about their marriage in general. Certainly this is also a concern to women who also have problems with being responsive to their husbands, due to decreased libido. In addition to drugs that can help, there are also hormone therapies that can be administered by a treating Doctor, if the sex hormones are found to be low and in need of additional hormone therapies to correct them.
Thyroid hormone therapy must sometimes be given several months time to help in areas such as libido because it can take this much time to see all bodily organs regain a significant degree of their pre-disease functions. If libido is not adequately restored with thyroid hormone replacement, patients should remember that their Doctors may be able to suggest additional drug or hormone therapies as described above, that can help in this area.