Thyroid UK
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Low libido

I'm hoping that someone can help with this. I have hashis. I've been on levothyroxine for nearly 3 months.

Over the past 4 years I have really struggled with many symptoms but as they are starting to get better one of the main remaining ones is low libido....practically non existent in fact. Is this a related symptom to thyroid (and possibly adrenal issues) or is it something else?

I feel like it's certainly hormone related. Is there another hormone issue I should be looking into?

8 Replies

Low libido is one of the 300+ clinical symptoms. It's a pity doctors don't at least know some of them.

You are just newly on levothyroxine and it will take several months for your body to settle down as dosage cannot be rushed. It is slow and gradual about every 6 to 8 weeks blood test plus increase.

Some doctors stop increasing once the TSH is anywhere 'in range' when it should be on the lower part, i.e. 1 or lower and some need TSH to be suppressed but doctors believe (wrongly) that it can cause bone problems.

We have to read and learn if we want relief of symptoms and a normal life.

Your blood tests should be the earliest possible and don't eat before but you can drink water.

About 24 hours should elapse between your last dose of levo and the blood test and take it afterwards. This helps keep the TSH higher than would be if we'd eaten or had it later in the day. Doctors shouldn't adjust doses according to the TSH but many do, with the result the patient is on a merry-go-round ( not so merry) of increases/decreases of levo.

Always get a print-out of your blood tests for your own records and the ranges should also be shown. If you've not had B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate tested ask for these as we can be deficient - also causing symptoms and ill-health.

Levo should be taken on an empty stomach (usually morning but some prefer bedtime dosing) with one 8oz glass of water and wait about an hour before eating. Food interferes with the uptake of levothyroxine or any other thyroid hormones which are prescribed.

Also because hypo is a serious condition, you are then entitled to (if in UK) free prescriptions for any other medical condition you may have or develop.

(I am not medically qualified just have had the experience of finding my way ou)t through - of which you can become a member and have quarterly magazine and updates etc.)


Thank you this is all helpful. I have had side increased already to 75mcg and am going to be taking another blood test tomorrow. I have asked for ft3 and ft4 to be tested as well. My doctor is very good at doing what I've asked but she said that she requested ft3 on the original test and the lab wouldn't do it for some reason. This also happened with vit d testing and she had to argue it.

I am just wondering about libido specifically I guess because a lot of the other symptoms have improved a bit but the libido hasn't changed at all.


Libido will change, I am sure. T3 is the active hormone required in our billions of receptor cells (the brain contains the most but every part of our body needs it). T4 (levothyroxine) has to convert to sufficient T3 but doesn't always particularly if dose is too low or kept on it due to the blood tests alone.

Even though GPs ask for FT4 and FT3's many labs wont do these if TSH is within range. You can get a private blood test if you wish from one of our recommended labs and you get a small discount if giving Thyroiduk's code number.

It probably takes years for our thyroid gland to not work efficiently, so it also takes some months to get to a dose which relieves all symptoms.


It takes a lot longervthan 3 months to recover from 4 yrs of the damage done by untreated hashimotos

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Yes thanks, I'm not expecting full recovery but I would expect some change, given that other symptoms have started to improve?


I can think of a lot more body systems that are rather more important but hey ho each to their own point of view do need to be thankfull that you are feeling somewhat better in such a short space of time for many people its years of going nowhere


Don't get me wrong, I still have lots of issues and yes, they are far more important. But when you go from feeling suicidal most of the time to being able to feel occasional happiness. I feel like I would like to maximise on this improvement and enjoy life!!


Understand all of that as watched and fought for 4 members of my family to get diagnosed and correct treatment my husband suffered your hell for over 12 yrs 6 of which were undiagnosed after thyroidectomy another 8 on levothyroxine a couple more on t3

And even on NDT it took 2 yrs for him to feel really well

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