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Effects of Thyroid Imbalance on Sexual Life


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You might constantly be thinking about sexual health and how to improve it. But are you thinking of thyroid issues? Not really! Then we suggest you start now as the two can be related. Several factors are included in sexual health along with those that have to do with sexual well-being and enjoyment. Therefore, it should not be surprising that thyroid abnormalities frequently lead to problems related to sexual dysfunction. Let us find out how.

What Is Thyroid Imbalance

A little butterfly-shaped gland known as the thyroid is found close to the front of your neck, around the windpipe. It’s shaped like a butterfly with two broad wings wrapped around the side of your throat and a smaller center. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that help the body in regulating numerous significant bodily processes.

It becomes apparent if your thyroid isn’t functioning properly as the entire body may be affected positively or negatively due to it. An ailment that stops the thyroid from producing the required amount of hormones is termed as a thyroid illness. When properly functioning, your thyroid produces the hormones which are essential for your body to function normally.

Types of Thyroid problems That Cause Thyroid Imbalance

The thyroid gland is intricate and serves a variety of purposes. Imagine that a thyroid issue was discovered in you. Whether you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, the effects won’t be the same.

In actuality, their symptoms and indicators are contrary to each other. Thyroid cancer and benign abnormalities like cysts are also possibilities. You won’t necessarily experience issues with the latter.

The most common types of thyroid diseases include:


In this condition thyroid gland is underactive. The thyroid is not functioning properly and hampering the production of hormones. Production of hormones is insufficient. The patient’s energy levels and other symptoms are affected by the body’s extremely sluggish metabolism.


In this instance, the thyroid gland is overactive. A surplus amount of thyroid hormone is being released. As a result, the body burns a lot of calories and the patients experience intense anxiety. This also leads to a sudden drop in weight.


It is an inflammation of the thyroid gland, as the name suggests. Thyroiditis affects the gland in many forms, but it is typically brought on by an autoimmune disorder.

Thyroid autoimmunity.

Antibodies from an autoimmune disorder attack the thyroid. The thyroid will either be turned off (resulting in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) or turned on (resulting in Graves’ disease) as soon as these antibodies get confused. When the patient’s immune system erroneously attacks thyroid proteins, the thyroid antibody develops. Tissue damage, persistent inflammation, and a poor quality of life are all consequences of this type of hormonal imbalance.

Thyroid cancer

Papillary thyroid carcinoma is one the most frequent types of cancer of the thyroid. Some cancers are nothing more than tissue growth. Others make thyroid hormones, which lead to secondary hyperthyroidism.

Sexual Life And Thyroid Imbalance 

One-third of people’s sexual issues are caused by hormonal imbalances. Your sex life’s quality is significantly influenced by thyroid hormones. Thyroid illness and sexual dysfunction are frequently associated. They significantly affect both the standard of living and sexual relations.

Every organ, system, and cell in the body is impacted by the hormones the thyroid gland generates. The effect also involves the effect on the potential for erotic enjoyment. A patient with a thyroid condition runs the risk of experiencing numerous forms of sexual dysfunction. Men who have either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism may experience erectile dysfunction and reduced libido.

A small portion of the population is affected by hyper- and hypothyroidism. According to research, men are more likely than women to suffer from certain thyroid conditions. They are known to lead to premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory, and reduced libido. According to the Cleveland Clinic, up to 43% of women and 31% of men are thought to have some form of sexual dysfunction.

Men and women may both discover that common hypothyroidism symptoms like fatigue and sadness have an impact on their desire for sex or even their ability to participate in it. Thyroid disease, however, can affect each sex differently. The body need lubrication, desire, and arousal in order to enjoy sex. 

However, it becomes challenging to feel pleasure when something interferes with these elements. Thyroid conditions including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism obstruct that process.

Sexual dysfunction in both male and female patients is linked to the thyroid through an intricate biological pathway. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the thyroid is more than competent to affect the hormone receptors in both the male and female genitalia.

Patients with thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, frequently have autonomic dysregulation that affects their ability to mate.

These are the problems that are most frequently linked to thyroid diseases, however it should be noted that little is known about the extent to which people’s overall sexual problems may be caused by a thyroid disorder.

Effects Of Thyroid Imbalance On the Sexual Life Of  Females

1. Pain During Intercourse 

The central and peripheral nervous systems are directly impacted by hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, both of which alter the sex hormones. Patients are experiencing severe sexual dysfunction as a result.

This has a fairly straightforward explanation. The vagina produces less lubricant as a result of thyroid dysfunction, making intercourse extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant. The vagina gets quite dry without the proper lubrication. As a result, penetration creates friction and irritation. Poor lubrication makes it difficult to rouse someone quickly. They become tense and self-conscious as a result.

  1. Loss of sex drive

Lower levels of testosterone may occur if you have a thyroid condition. When testosterone levels are low, it will diminish your libido and have an impact on your sex drive. Although testosterone is frequently thought of as a “male” hormone, it is also produced and needed by women. Reduced libido is frequently a side effect of hypothyroidism. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can contribute to conditions like fatigue and depression, both of which can result in a lack of sex drive.

For instance, the most prevalent form of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ Disease, is known to contribute to fatigue. Furthermore, hypothyroidism is linked to fatigue, sadness, and mood disorders, all of which may worsen sexual dysfunction.

  1. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD): 

Based on her own experiences and biological urge, every woman has a different level of “normal” sex drive. However, she may have a condition known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder which is characterized as a woman having a low libido or low sexual desire and is troubled by this loss of interest in sexual activity (HSDD).

According to the definition of HSDD by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA)  HSDD can be described as “the lack of sexual thoughts and ideas, or a lack of desire for or receptivity to, sexual activity that causes personal distress or issues in her relationship”. This distress is a crucial element. After all, some women who are thought to have low libidos may not experience any stress or issues with a partner as a result. Keep in mind that this is distinct from a low libido.

Effects Of Thyroid Imbalance On the Sexual Life Of  Males

1.  Delayed or Premature Ejaculation

According to one NHS research on average ejaculation time conducted on 500 couples, the average ejaculation time was five and a half minutes from the start of the intercourse.

It took one minute when the ejaculation was early. According to reports, this kind of problem frequently causes distress. The issue is that not everyone was aware that thyroid issues might possibly result in similar outcomes.

While hyperthyroidism increases the likelihood of premature ejaculation, men with hypothyroidism frequently suffer from delayed ejaculation. The body has weak sex desire, mood swings, and weariness with hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism..

The body struggles to sustain an erection as a result. In extreme circumstances, a person’s ability to produce testosterone may suffer. According to studies, hypothyroidism mostly affects one’s sexual drive and ejaculatory response.

Thyroid troubles can be a serious problem and significantly reduce erectile function and sexual desire when combined with other endocrine illnesses (pituitary gland issues). The low testosterone levels must therefore be stabilized as soon as feasible.

2.  Decline in Sex Drive

Low testosterone is present in men with thyroid illnesses. The likelihood of having low libido increases when testosterone levels decline. Patients with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism frequently experience fatigue and depression. Poor sex drive might also result from one of these issues.

Take Graves’ illness as an instance. The most prevalent type of hyperthyroidism is this one. Extreme tiredness brought on by it may cause libido loss, uneasiness, anxiety, and physical weakness. Additionally, about 10% of Graves disease patients may gain weight, further stressing their mental health.

Thyroid nodules are another example. They have the potential to get big enough to interfere with breathing, swallowing, and neck swelling. Nodules can occasionally produce abnormally high levels of thyroid hormone and have an impact on the bloodstream. It is exceedingly difficult to enjoy any sexual activity when one has a lump in one’s throat. Additionally, the bump may occasionally be a symptom of thyroid cancer.

Erectile Dysfunction

ED and thyroid issues are major issues. Researchers from the International Journal of Impotence examined erectile dysfunction in thyroid patients as part of a study to see how common it is among those who have thyroid issues. They investigated the impact of thyroid on ED patients who had diabetes, obesity, and hypothyroidism as comorbidities. According to their research data, 42% of obese people had erectile dysfunction. However, it was more common (59% of cases) in people with thyroid disease. Although type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with erectile dysfunction had a high rate of reporting (81%), patients with thyroid issues had a substantially higher rate of reporting. But greater analysis of endothelial function in people with thyroid problems is required.

Sperm Count

Changes in testicular function can result from either a thyroid hormone deficiency or overproduction. Semen anomalies are included in this. Studies show that poor semen density, volume, and motility are frequently associated with hyperthyroidism. While hypothyroidism can alter sperm size and morphology.

These conditions may eventually lower semen quality and impact fertility rates. Scientists advise guys who are having trouble getting pregnant to evaluate their thyroid.


  • What Happens If Thyroid Imbalance is Left Untreated?

Don’t underestimate thyroid-related complications. Patients with untreated hyperthyroidism could experience a thyroid storm, a potentially fatal medical condition. Blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate can all be impacted by the illness. Infertility, joint discomfort, heart problems, and obesity are among the conditions that some people can face. If you are experiencing any symptoms of thyroid imbalance then consult with your doctor who will guide you to the proper course of treatment.

  • Are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism the same as hypothyroidism?

The symptoms of an overactive and underactive thyroid are the reverse of one another. All hypothyroidism symptoms are linked to slowed-down bodily processes. The alternative is hyperthyroidism. Fatigue, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold temperatures are signs of thyroid disease. In contrast, anxiety, weight loss, and hot flashes are signs of an overactive thyroid gland. Swollen glands and occasionally alterations in thyroid function are brought on by other thyroid issues. Early diagnosis and treatment of thyroid illness warning signals are crucial. If done incorrectly, they might have long-term effects.

  • What are the early warning signs of thyroid problems?

Weight fluctuations, lethargy, exhaustion, or brain fog are some of the warning indications of thyroid issues that result in hormonal abnormalities. irregular menstrual cycles, palpitations, brittle nails, and dry skin. Sleep issues are another one of the thyroid condition’s prominent warning signals. With hypothyroidism, you might feel drowsy and worn out, whereas, with hyperthyroidism, you might have trouble sleeping. Evening sweats, jerks, and skin pigmentation changes are possible additional symptoms.


Although symptoms can sometimes arise with hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is the most common cause of sexual dysfunction in people. The good news is that the symptoms go away after a few weeks of taking thyroid medication. You might need to routinely check your thyroid levels, though.

A healthy lifestyle should also be prioritized in addition to taking thyroid medication. The ability to properly control one’s sex drive depends on a number of things, including weight loss, exercise, and eating a diet rich in nutritional foods. A few pounds lost can help to balance sex hormones, enhancing libido.

It is advised that you discuss sexual issues with your doctor in order to determine the true cause of your symptoms and receive prompt medical attention. This inquiry can be answered in under two minutes, and a doctor will need even less time to determine whether there is a problem.

Srujana Mohanty
She is the Managing Editor of Cogito137, one of India’s leading student-run science communication magazines. She's been working in scientific and medical writing and editing since 2018, also associated with the quality assurance team of scientific journal editing. Majored in Chemistry with a minor in Biology at IISER Kolkata, Srujana loves doodling and watching series.


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