Sex is something you might think about all the time. Thyroid problems? Not so much.
But one can connect to the other. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that controls the way each cell in your body uses energy. When it’s not functioning properly, the effects can be noticeable in the bedroom.
Why is this true? Sexual desire and function can take a hit when you have thyroid problems, particularly hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Here are five ways that thyroid issues can make their way into your bedroom.
Thyroid Problems = Painful Sex?
Thyroid disease can lower vaginal lubrication, which makes sex uncomfortable, painful, or unsatisfying, says the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). And if it’s not satisfying, you might not get that excited.
Vaginal lubrication is important for female sexual pleasure. If the vagina is too dry, it can be difficult for the penis to enter, causing friction or irritation.
If you have noticed vaginal dryness, make an appointment with your physician so that she can screen you for thyroid problems and other potential health issues.
Low T, Low Drive
When you have a thyroid disorder, you might have low testosterone. This also can lower your libido.
While testosterone is often thought of as a “man’s” hormone, women actually produce it, too. It’s also responsible for varying degrees of sex drive in men and women.
Not Feelin’ It
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can contribute to issues like depression and fatigue, and both of these issues can lead to low sex drive.
For example, Graves’ Disease—the most common type of hyperthyroidism—is known to cause fatigue. And hypothyroidism is associated with fatigue, depression, and mood disorders, which might contribute to sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
Early Or Late, Never On Time
Whether premature or delayed, ejaculation problems can be frustrating for both men and women. Both of these issues can be brought on by problems with the thyroid.
Delayed ejaculation occurs when a man cannot ejaculate or can only do so after having sex for a long time, e.g., 30 to 40 minutes.
Premature ejaculation, on the other hand, occurs when a man ejaculates earlier than desired.
The Sexual Medicine Society of North America (SMSNA) reports that hypothyroidism increases the chance of delayed ejaculation, while hyperthyroidism increases the chance of premature ejaculation.
Thyroid Dysfunction = Erectile Dysfunction
You’ve laughed at the cheesy commercials, but when it’s happening to you and your partner—erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter.
Thyroid problems can create a hormonal imbalance, causing men to have trouble getting or keeping an erection, according to the SMSNA. It’s fairly common, especially among men with hypothyroidism.
And now, some good news
Fortunately, most sexual problems go away when a thyroid disorder is treated.
For many thyroid problems, you can take medication. Meeting with a specialist and discussing your symptoms can help find the treatment that is right for you.