How long to get libido back?

I am currently investigating hypothyroidism as an explanation for non-existent libido accompanied by other sides. I can live with many of the other symptoms but no libido destroys my most intimate human relationships.

Can anyone report how long it typically takes to obtain restoration of libido after commencement of effective thyroid treatment? I have heard things like that it is the last thing to come back. But I would really appreciate a more specific sense of how long that's really talking about.

Can benefits be almost immediate like in a week or two? Or rather is one typically looking at waiting several months just to begin to know whether or not they might have found what the problem was?

Just looking for a better sense of what to expect on how long it takes to find out whether or not thyroid problems were the explanation for a low libido problem. Thanks ahead for your help.


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60 Replies

  • Are they testing your full hormones. As I had zero libedo but it was my hormone progesterone that was lacking. This has took five years to find it out for me

  • Did they replace it dawnuk and did it work and if so how long? Also did you ask your doctor to test for that xx

  • Bad news in my case - it has never come back. It actually went away completely on Levothyroxine and although I now feel well on NDT (not on Levo) my libido appears to have got up and gone for good. I have looked into it and can find no helpful info on what to do about it or how to get it back. A few people here seem to have this problem too. Hopefully others here can relate a happier tale. I was on Levo for two years and NDT for three. Why it went AFTER treatment I do not understand but it had become less strong over the year before that. I was severely overt before I got treatment (it was 'just the menopause') so may be that is significant. I found the antidepressants I was plied with by GPS was the first thing that interfered with it. I can't think it was coincidental but nothing like this asexual existence I have now ☹️

  • I know exactly what you mean, mine is none existent too.. it waned a bit over the years leading up to menopause, went and has not returned in the last 5 years..

  • Yep, me too. Mine departed about 10 years ago, just prior to my being diagnosed. It's one of the reasons I live on my own.

  • I have been on Levo for 3 years and it has improved most of my symptoms but not libido I m afraid. 🙁

  • I had an immediate menopause on receiving first dose.of levo and liibido went too

    That was 8 yeats ago.

  • vkg,

    Optimised thyroid hormones gave me my energy back but libido didn't return until sex hormones were balanced.

    I was/am menopausal & lacking in both oestrogen & progesterone. It took only a few months to raise levels after supplementing bioidentical HRT which I continue to take.

  • Morning! Can I ask where you are getting the supplements from, have looked it to this as I am Graves with Menapause! and NEED something! Please.

  • Seaside,

    My HRT is prescribed by endo.

  • Hi radd,

    I am also very interested in bioidentical HRT. My doctor wont prescribe the Wiley treatment cycle because I'm 5 years post menopausal but he's given me pregnelolone ( precursor for female sex hormones) and DHEA (DeHydroEpiAndrosterone) a precursor for testosterone but dont feel any libido coming on yet - its been almost 9 months!

  • did your dhea test results reach optimal levels after you supplemented

  • BHRT is available from Marion Gluck clinic and Harpal clinic in London but other functional clinics might prescribe as well (not many of them around but worth investigating as I just discovered one in my hometown is offering BHRT too)

  • Have you got your libido back now radd?

  • Yes.

  • Low tesosterone is the libido issue - females need it too.............

  • Mine has never gone away!

  • Bunnyjean

    Hooray! 😂🤣😂

  • Bunnyjean Lucky you! Or should I say, lucky Mr Bunnyjean...?

  • Lucky, lucky, lucky!!!!


  • My husband has hypothyroidism and he's been on Levothyroxine 50mcg for over 3 years. His Libido is non existent I'm sorry to say. So much so I feel like we are brother and sister.

  • Did you try NDT and/or anything else?

  • What's NDT? . He seems stable on Levo. I will get him to chat to his GP

  • No point asking GP about NDT as they are encourage not to prescribe it and have to take responsibility for the treatment. 50 is a very low dose to be on after several years - it is a starter dose. I'd take a look at hisi blood test results and make sure that he is not undermedicated - also get his sex hormones and blood sugar tested.

  • NDT is natural desiccated thyroid. I recommend reading the book stop the thyroid madness II and reading about non-Levo-only thyroid treatments.

  • I've been dealing with thyroid and testosterone issues for 6 years, working with my primary and a urologist but never experienced a full restoration of libido and erectile function. Very much hit and miss; mostly miss. That's part of the reason my wife and I don't sleep together.(The other part is my treatment resistant bipolar illness which causes sleep problems.) Don't feel like much of a man without sexual function. However, not giving up. My wife misses the intimacy, as do I. Sad.

  • Just been doing some research and progesterone makes tesosterone for would say go for the progesterone like the others are saying.

  • In my case it never came back

  • Well these results are not encouraging. I guess there might be some hope for me in that I am male and won't have menopause as a factor, though I am not young at 40. The first thing I have tried is TRT and it has not done anything for my libido. It does presumably eliminate the primary sex hormone as a probable cause, however.

  • Are you taking statins?

  • No I'm not taking anything except TRT (which has made my T and DHT good) and lots of vitamins such as D3, B12, methylfolate, zinc, magnesium, iodine, eating Brazil nuts for selenium, etc.

    The libido was low for a couple years but my hormones were all within range and TSH was a little elevated but technically "normal" so the doctor sent me home without an answer.

    Fast forward couple more years, I go through an extremely stressful event, and suddenly I have basically absolutely no libido at all. Been this way for 3 years now hoping it's just psychological but it's not. Seen psychotherapist etc.

  • Why are you taking iodine? Did you test deficient for it? If not, taking it can be making you more hypo.

  • Well, I've only been taking a small amount of it for a couple months. But thanks for the advice. I'll look into discontinuing it and then getting a blood test. My impression was that for most people it is helpful.

  • Well, we're all different. But, in the beginning it can stimulate the gland, so that you feel better, but the effect doesn't last.

  • Sounds like me. Every time I resumed TRT, though my numbers improved, I gained ten pounds around the waist, though my estradiol was within range(20-30pg). Frustrating isn't even an apt term. Tried NDT, titrating up to 5 grains. That DID ignite my libido & erectile function but it also produced agitation, irritability, feeling hot and a 2 day migraine. We moved to Florida in April and I'm still searching for a primary who will either work with me or refer me to a urologist or endo.

  • No idea, but you may want to have your prolactin & testosterone checked, to rule excess of one or lack of the other as a cause.

  • My prolactin is in the higher area of normal, which endocrinologist and sexologist have said would need to be much high to be explanation. My T and DHT are middle of range from TRT.

  • Is prolactin over 500ppl? If so, it might be worth asking for an MRI. I recently met someone else with a pituitary tumour who has the side effect of low testosterone rather than a thyroid hormone imbalance. I also know someone who developed low testosterone after taking anti-depressants. David Healey's website has some information on this, & other medication side effects.

  • Is there anyone here who has actually seen any improvements in their libido?

    I suppose most people who get better don't have much reason to stick around forums. But perhaps someone has heard of how other peoples' recoveries have gone.

  • I lost my libido in the months up to being diagnosed hypothyroid. The year was 2006 and I haven't found it yet. I keep looking.

    Jo xx

  • Can you tell me what things you have tried? T4 only? NDT, etc?

  • Hi, I was on t4 for about 5 years and then on t3 since then. I am through the menopause since I was diagnosed. Think that I must see about it.

    Jo xx

  • I've had a shakey libido for all of my illness. I had a big boost to it when I took DHEA, along with increased body hair and teenage-type spots.

  • Did you have blood tests that showed any hormonal irregularities prior to starting DHEA?

  • I had low adrenal results shown by a 24hr saliva test. I was given the DHEA in a package of adrenal support supplements by a private doctor.

    Since then other private doctors have said I shouldn't have been on it, and it was a hammer to crack a nut kind of overreaction. But none of them have actually made me well, so who knows ;)

  • My libido was gone for about 8 years. Too low dose of levothyroxine during that time. New endo prescribed increase in levothyroxine Ali g with cytomel (T3) and it's back! Currently my tsh is .03, my t4 is mid range and my T3 hovers a bit above the middle and I feel pretty good. When T3 goes towards top of range (4.0) libido gets real much so my last relationship did not work because of intimacy issue. Did notice as my tsh fell below range my cycle disappeared. Doctor and I are trying to work that out...if it isn't one thing with thyroid it's another. But, other than this small hiccup, I feel very well. T3 maybe worth a try.

  • What a relief to find a success story! Do you know what your T3 levels were while on the Levo only? Sorry to hear you were TOO horny, though it's great news for me that that might at all be possible :)

  • If stopped after stress maybe its adrenals related low cortisol or high or a mixture

  • Yes I will be investigating adrenals as well, though according to my understanding it's best to get thyroid in good function first.

  • While on Levo only T3 was around 2 - 2.3. On t4 and T3 combined it's around 3.3 -3.6 (top of range is 4.2). Anything too close to 4 for me and I start to have trouble breathing and gain weight...I think I'm the only person who loses weight when hypo and gains weight when "optimal". But again I feel very well, all my vitals are good. Initially when I spoke with my doctor about this issue he was thinking we may have to try testosterone but adding slight T3 I'm on 7.5 mcg daily worked for me. Also my doctor makes sure my vitamin d and b's are within range - he's not too picky about where in range and let's me manage those. If d is less than 30 I feel very unwell. I do believe it probably took me about two years to feel this way so keep on pressing. Let's hope the weight will now start to come off

  • Thanks so much for sharing your details. Do I have it correct that you started on Levo only and then simply added 7.5 mcg T3 without considering NDT to obtain your optimal? I'm not clear on what the stage was where your doctor considered T.

    By the way, I know all this is very individual specific, just trying to get sense of what kind of stuff is involved in getting things honed in.

  • Hi no problem. Had bad doctor before. Switch to an endo who is great. First got my tsh around 1 and monitored free t4 and T3 with levothyroxine only that took almost a year. I still wasn't feeling well with tsh around a 1 and he noted T3 was low side of normal so he added 5 mcg of T3. Felt a little better but not good so he added 2.5 mcg more and I noticed I felt really good here. I wanted to try 10 mcg but that made him nervous. He mentioned testosterone use only if my libido did not come back once I was optimal on thyroid meds. As libido came back we don't see a need for testosterone right now. and my doctor and I both agree that optimal for me is almost having a suppressed tsh and a little higher than mid range free t4 (higher than 1.50) and most especially a free T3. Above 3.0. From what I recall libido came back full force after adding the T3 and range getting 3.0 or higher.

  • Forgot to mention. My doctor like most is hesitant to prescribe ndt but will if Other protocols don't work He explained to me we could try it if combination therapy didn't work. Right now everything all my vitals are excellent...blood pressure is perfect 120-128/ 70- 80; cholesterol was reall bad befor thyroid optimisation now total is 167 with hdl 57 and ldl 91. Triglycerides 95. (Used to be over 300) and blood glucose is 80 (used to be over 100 ). Numbers were real bad before getting thyroid optimal. These numbers are without any medications other than thyroid. Now, except for the weight, I'm in very great health so doctor suggests, and I agree, no need to investigate ndt at this point. Again my doctor does stress the importance of vitamin d and all of the b vitamins to ensure thyroid treatment works. He also suggests limiting refined carbs (anything white). When I follow his eating tips I feel really good...when I don't I do feel a bit more sluggish.

  • Nope! About to investigate Marion Gluck as mine went awol about 8 years ago and hasn't been seen since. I'll probably do a hormone check before any appt. as no idea of levels at the moment. Started menopause about 10 years ago and the pause became a full stop quite quickly.

  • Does anyone else have lots of nasty facial hair? (Ladies that is) If that is down to testosterone I ought to be a nymphomaniac... like I was in the old days 😂🤣😂

  • As I've read this thread I've been thinking that, while I wasn't really "a bit of a girl", I definitely have had my moments! On which subject I shall say no more ;) :D

  • Mine went to zero after chemo in '94--long time to fake it! Got a week of daily b12 inj--11,000mcg hydroxycobalamin in 2013. Within two weeks was randy as a teenage boy. Lasted almost a year before zeroing out again. Drs no help. Now working my way up naturethroid but nothing yet. Si b12 daily but can't get those big doses. About given up on libido, but working on all the other symptoms of hypo and b12, and getting some improvement.

  • Sorry to hear that. Interesting that B12 injections can do something like that. Why can't you just inject the same amount again?

  • My prescription for methyl covers one daily at the usual dose. I need two a day to control the numbness and tingling in my hands and feet or I'd save it up. Insurance doesn't cover "vitamins" so we're already spending about $300 a month US, not including all the other vitamins (my husband also uses these). Always comes down to the money here.

  • I am very fluctuating with my libido and have been since diagnosed with eds or me as some know it then low oestrogen and then hypo underactive all this started in 2003 and I am now 54 hysterectomy at 36 still fluctuates. I am taking 100 Lego and oestrogen gel which does help. I found it quite random and just enjoy it when I can, my husband is very understanding and supportive but only after about 8 years of misunderstanding and now I have to prove my health is so bad to the DWP my libido will probably leave again just with the stress. Try to be positive it can come back.

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