Friends Can Spike Your Hormones and Fuel Your Sex Drive Says Leading Gynecologist C.W. Randolph, M.D.

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The relationship between friendship and hormone balance is particularly important for women.

A waning sex drive is a common concern for many women over 35 and men over 40 says best selling author C.W. Randolph, Jr, M.D., R.Ph. The loss of libido can often be tied back to a shift in hormone production, says Randolph. A primary culprit can be a decrease in the production of one or both of the sex hormones progesterone or testosterone as cited in his book, "From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well."

"When a patient come to see me complaining of a loss of sex drive or low libido," says Dr. Randolph, "I take a quantitative as well as a qualitative approach."

Quantitatively, he orders a saliva or blood serum test to analyze the levels of all their sex hormones. If the test results show that the patient is suffering from an underlying hormonal imbalance then he prescribes an individualized dosing of bio-identical hormone replacement.

The second part of his evaluation is more qualitative. Dr. Randolph asks his female patients to describe the stresses in their lives. After Dr. Randolph discusses the importance of making lifestyle changes to pro-actively reduce their stress levels, he then he asks his patients to expound on their friendships. The relationship between friendship and hormone balance has been shown to be particularly important for women.

"Busy women today too often forfeit their commitment to friendships because of their too long to-do lists. Gone are the days of housebound coffee clutches or even preschool pick up lunches. Women today are trying to expand careers, raise children, manage households and stay informed on national and international politics. Time for one-on-one friendships is fractioned to near non-existence."

Dr. Randolph continues, "When a woman is essentially functioning in an emotional vacuum void of positive social experiences with other women, I have found that her emotional isolation will also play havoc with her hormone levels and her sex drive."

Dr. Randolph cites Sandra Witelson, a cognitive neuroscientist at the McMaster University School of Medicine in Canada, to support his premise that the female brain is wired differently for sexual stimulation and response. "There are clear differences in the brain between men and women, both in the structure and anatomy and the chemistry, which includes hormones and neurotransmitters and what's connected to what," says Dr. Witelson.

According to Dr. Randolph, "Oxytocin is a hormone within the female body that is best known for its role in inducing uterine contractions during birth and milk ejection during lactation. What is not as generally recognized about this hormone is that, over the last several years, many significant medical studies have linked that elevated oxytocin levels with the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships."

What does Dr. Randolph recommend?

"Make a friend and be one. My theory is based on over a decade of treating tens of thousands of women who come to me complaining of loss of sexual desire," says Dr. Randolph. "I tell my female patients that, if they make time for more positive emotional experiences with one to two women friends, they will soon discover that they are more readily able to connect with and get turned on by their husband or partner."

"Actually, this is not just my professional opinion," Dr. Randolph continues. "In 1999, research studies out of the University of California in San Francisco that were designed to analyze differences in the female brain showed that married women who had close and regular contact with one or more women friends evidenced higher oxytocin levels than those who did not. The outcome of those studies indicated that married women with good women friends reported a higher sex drive and an increased incidence of orgasm -- as well as what they termed 'emotionally satisfying sex'- with their mate."

For more information on Dr. Randolph, go to or contact Nanette Noffsinger for media inquiries at 615-776-4230.


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