How hormones can affect your relationships
Hormones not only influence the physical symptoms, but also have a major
impact on the psyche and consequently relationships. Have you ever wondered
why on some days you feel super-attached to your romantic partner, yet on other
days you feel completely disconnected. You can blame these fluctuations in
feelings on your hormones.
The hormone system is fascinating yet complex. Many times, Our hormones can
get us into trouble, a classic example is mood swings during pregnancy or before
periods(PMS) or during menopause in women. Men too are affected with
hormone imbalances which can affect their relationships. However, hormonal
balance is not just about managing pre-menstrual syndrome, post-partum
depression, menopause or andropause but is essential for the betterment of all
The main hormones that affect our relationships are oxytocin, testosterone,
oestrogen, and progesterone. Rising and falling of these hormone levels impact
mood, libido, a desire to bond and other factors that go into how you view your
partner. These are needed by men and women differently and changes in their
levels can have an impact on our health and relationships both. Therefore, it is
crucial to discuss about these hormones and their effects.
Oxytocin is commonly called the love hormone or cuddle hormone. It is related
to sexual arousal, recognition, trust, romantic attachment and parent-infant
bonding, thus helps to have better connectivity in our relations. It stimulates
uterine contractions during childbirth.
It manages aspects of labour, delivery and lactation. It is a feel-good hormone
that would give you pleasure and satisfaction. Inadequate oxytocin causes
irritability, feeling of disconnect, sleep problems and unsatisfactory intimate
relations. Normal oxytocin levels can allow you to enjoy long term stable
relations with your partner and family.
Men are also regularly affected by hormonal fluctuations, but unlike women,
these occur as daily fluctuations. Mostly, male testosterone levels are highest
early in the morning and drop after waking up. Testosterone not only affects
sexual desire, but also triggers aggression. Testosterone defines masculinity in
males. Low testosterone in men can cause mood problems, irritability, self-
esteem issues and lower sex drive.
These negative emotions and low sex drive can affect relationships negatively
and can lead to frequent arguments, lack of understanding and ultimately
disturbed families. Aging, stress, trauma, chronic ailments could be causes of
low testosterone in men. Low testosterone in men is termed as andropause. This
can also affect sexual relationships and fertility in men. It is observed in many
men above the age of 50 years.
Oestrogen, the female hormone increases during puberty and promotes sexual
activity and fertility. Oestrogen drops during menopause in females. The
hormone levels vary throughout the month according to the phase of ovulation in
female body. Oestrogen starts at its lowest point when menstrual cycle begins. It
continues to rise and is maximum at the end of second week. It dips again next
week and rises again mid-week. Oestrogen plunges again in 4th week of cycle
followed by menstruation.
When oestrogen level is normal, women have sexual desire and can enjoy good
relations with their partners whereas low oestrogen levels can cause low interest
in sex and irritability. This can be seen during PMS. In peri-menopausal and
menopausal women oestrogen level drops causing vaginal dryness and low sex
On the other hand excess of oestrogen can also be a problem for health and
relationships. It leads to problems like water retention, hair loss, headache and
fatigue, which indirectly affects relationships too. Some men, with an excess of
oestrogen have increased feminine features affecting their whole personality and
Progesterone hormone is at its peak during pregnancy and early motherhood. It
gets uterus ready for pregnancy and thickens the lining of uterus every month
after ovulation to prepare for fertilized egg. If no fertilization happens,
progesterone level drops and menstrual cycle begins. If fertilization happens
progesterone increases till childbirth to prepare the body further. This hormone
boosts the motherly instincts of the new mother and helps in bonding with the
baby. Many new mothers experience lower sex drive during initial few years
after the baby’s birth and changed hormone levels could be one of the reasons.
Oestrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall throughout the reproductive cycle
but not in unison. Their proportions change in accordance with reproductive
Many people report a positive mood between days 6 and 14 of their monthly
cycle. Some report that their confidence grows slightly between days 6 and 13 of
their cycle due to increased oestrogen and testosterone levels. This is usually a
good time for relationships as you generally feel happy and positive.
Hormone levels on days 6–14 of the cycle can affect the skin’s scent, which can
affect personal chemistry.
If you’re in a new relationship, rising oestrogen and testosterone are going to
increase your romantic feelings about a thousand notches. That’s because
these hormones signals the brain to produce a greater amount of feel-good
chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins in response to exciting new
Hormones vary based on your gender, age, situations and phases of life. Most of
these affect your health and ultimately impacting your relations. This balance of
hormones is a complex science and is still evolving.
For healthy body, mind and relationships you must have a healthy balance of
hormones. So, for better relations, you can focus on having a sound hormone
balance. A nutritious, balanced diet, healthy weight management, regular
exercises, breathing exercises and stress management can help you maintain
In case of any doubts and warning signs, consult a doctor and get your hormone
levels checked. Hormone therapies are available these days to help people with
hormonal imbalance. Its important to take right treatment and communicate with
your partner about your feelings for better understanding and healthy