“The greater the stress load on your body – caused by too much bad stuff and not enough good stuff being in there – the more likely you are to experience health challenges relating to your sexual and reproductive function.”
- Have you noticed your sex drive dipping in recent months?
- Men – are you experiencing erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation?
- Women – do you have problems relating to your menstrual cycle, including mood swings, headaches, water retention, period pains, oily and spotty skin or painful and lumpy breasts?
- Women – do you experience vaginal itchiness or discharge, or do you find sexual intercourse painful due to a dry or sore vagina?
- Are you struggling to conceive, despite the advice of experienced medical professionals?
- Do you tend to struggle with urinary tract infections?
If so, there’s a very high chance you’ll experience improvements by following Hompes Method principles.
I don’t mind telling you that I had some problems with low sex-drive and erectile dysfunction in addition to my digestive symptoms, fatigue, sleep and mood problems back in 2006-7.
I’ll tell you now, erectile dysfunction doesn’t do much for self-confidence in a 32 year-old guy. Fortunately, my struggles in the sex department were relatively short-lived and resolved fully when I fixed my digestive and hormone systems.
In a man, sexual dysfunction symptoms can range from low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, to premature ejaculation, low sperm counts and infertility.
If you’re struggling with any these symptoms, I feel your pain.
But don’t worry – you should be able to overcome your challenges relatively quickly if you’re prepared to take the necessary actions to offload bad stuff from your body and replace the good stuff.
The information on this page will help you realize why sex function goes wrong, and at the bottom of the page you’ll find a link to click on for more specific information on “men’s issues”.
In a woman, sexual dysfunction can be a little more complex as a result of that amazing thing we call “menstrual cycle”.
As a woman, of course, you may experience low sex-drive, difficulty in reaching orgasm and infertility as part of their sexual challenges in similar ways to men.
You may also experience changes in vaginal health, especially during and after menopause.
You might also be plagued by menstrual symptoms such as period cramps, painful and lumpy breasts, heavy bleeding or no periods at all.
Other cyclical symptoms might include headaches or migraines, bloating, water retention and mood swings such as irritability, anxiety and depression.
These symptoms are often muddled together and labeled “PMS” or PMDD (“premenstrual syndrome” and “premenstrual dysphoric disorder”, respectively).
If you experience these symptoms, I feel your pain – I actually built my consulting practice helping women understand and overcome many of these confusing symptoms.
I guarantee that once you understand why they develop, your sex or menstrual –related symptoms can be conquered.
There’s a link at the bottom of this page taking you to “female-specific” information, once you’ve learned why sexual and reproductive symptoms develop in general.
How and why Sexual Function get Messed up
It’s pretty simple and is all about imbalances in your body’s key Olympic Ring systems that result from too much bad stuff being in there, combined with adequate levels of good stuff.
As mentioned above, there are two links at the bottom of this page – one for women and one for men – that specifically discuss sex-related symptoms for each gender.
The info I’m about to share is generalized, with the purpose of providing an overview of what can go wrong in the body of either a man or woman.
Stress Beats Sex, Every Time
“Stress beats sex, every time” is one of my favourite little catchphrases.
Your body has a built-in mechanism to help it cope with and adapt to “stress”.
When your nervous system senses or perceives threat, danger or “stress” in your external or internal environments, your “stress response” is automatically switched on.
This stress response is designed to get you away from whatever stress or threat you’re perceiving.
In the wild – or if you can imagine being a caveman 10,000 years ago – the stress response would only switch on periodically, perhaps in response to temperature extremes, a food shortage, an attack by another tribe, a bereavement within the tribe, or coming face to face with a saber toothed tiger.
Let’s take the latter as an example.
Coming face to face with a large predator would have been about as stressful as it got. You’d need to either “fight” the beast or run away (“flight”) otherwise you’d be eaten.
This is where the term “fight or flight” comes from.
So let’s imagine you decide to run away from this salivating, huge-toothed beast.
In order to accomplish your escape-act, you’d need to charge-up your heart, lungs, nerves and muscles to make a run for it (or to fight).
Non-essential functions would be switched off, namely:
- Fighting infections and other immune functions like growth and repair
Let’s face it, if you’re running away from a predator, the last things on your mind are eating a meal, having a nap or making love!
And that’s exactly what your body does when it’s under stress – it diverts its resources into dealing with stress, which shuts down other functions that are not deemed important.
To use another example, if you were making love with your partner and you heard a window smash in the room next door, you’d soon forget about the sex as your instinctive fight or flight stress response kicked in.
Chronic Stress Ravages Sex and Reproductive Function
In modern life, we still have extremely stressful, acute situations, including:
- Physical trauma
- Severe infections
- Children getting ill
- Very heavy exercise
Indeed, I often trace back the onset of my clients’ symptoms to a specific, stressful event. It’s uncanny how stressful events can trigger symptoms.
But more often than not, it’s the accumulation of chronic stress over a period of time that cause changes in your body that ultimately lead to sexual dysfunction.
Chronic stress can be mental and emotional, often relating to finances, relationships, family, job, overwork, and others. Anger, jealousy, frustration and fear are all emotions associated with stress.
In the context of our basic Hompes Method work, we look at stressors in terms of the bad things that can get into your body and cause problems, and the good things that be displaced and become inadequate.
Diet and lifestyle-related stressors:
- Skipping meals or leaving long gaps between meals, which causes blood sugar levels to drop too low.
- Inadequate protein, fat and carbohydrate intake.
- Nutrient deficiencies.
- Eating foods that cause inflammation in the gut – gluten, for example.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Excessive or inadequate exercise.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
Digestive and detoxification system stressors:
- Inflammation caused by too many bad foods, alcohol, etc.
- Bad bugs in your gut (bacteria, parasites and fungi).
- A lack of stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
- Environmental toxins, which lead to inflammation in your body; these include heavy metals, PCBs, pesticides, plastics and others.
- Medical and recreational drugs.
You have your own individual “bad stuff & good stuff” stress profile, and you also have your own day-to-day stressors such as feeling lonely, disliking your job or boss, worrying about money or job security, your kids or parents, and that kind of thing.
Your individual stress load alters your body’s mode of operation, leading to symptoms in all Seven Areas of Health.
Stress Hormones beat Sex Hormones, Every Time
So we’ve established a few, well a lot of, important “stressors”, but what actually happens in your body when you’re “stressed”?
Well, in response to stress of any kind, your brain sends signals to little glands atop your kidneys called adrenal glands.
These glands told to make more stress hormones – the most noteworthy being cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones enable your body to adapt to whatever stress load it’s under, but at the expense of other important, day-to-day functions.
- Suppress thyroid gland and thyroid hormone function.
- Reduce digestive efficiency.
- Impair detoxification.
- Alter the way your body uses fat and sugar for energy production.
- Suppress – by design – reproductive and sexual function.
Chronic elevations in cortisol and adrenaline may lead to a gradual suppression, or decline, in the following hormones:
- Estrogens (“oestrogens” in England; plural, as there are several oestrogen hormones)
I call progesterone, estrogen and testosterone your PETs. They’re the hormones that largely control your sexual function, whether you’re male or female.
I encourage you to look after your PETs – they’re your friends!
Stress is your PET’s worst enemy.
In terms of balance between the genders, men have relatively more testosterone, and women have more estrogen and progesterone.
Imbalances in levels of these hormones can alter sexual function, leading to any or every symptom listed at the top of this article.
- It’s common to see inadequate levels of progesterone in women who have PMS, period pains and other symptoms related to menstruation.
- It’s common to see low DHEA and/or testosterone in men with low sex drive.
- Without adequate T3 thyroid hormone, progesterone, testosterone and other hormones can’t be made properly.
- Estrogen levels can be way too high relative to progesterone in women, which may again lead to menstrual and sexual dysfunction.
- Estrogen can also drop too low in women, leading to all manner of common symptoms.
It’s possible to make real progress in rebalancing these hormones using simple nutrition and lifestyle changes and strategies.
Furthermore, the Hompes Method Testing Toolkit enables you to identify your own specific hormone imbalances, facilitating the creation a bespoke fine-tuning plan to help you get your hormones back into balance.
More on these test shortly.
Depending on whose information you read, there are some 80,000-125,000 manmade chemicals registered for use, with approximately 4,000 of these classified as “high use” by organizations such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It’s important to understand that some of the common chemicals amidst this huge list may cause sexual and reproductive dysfunction.
In simple terms, some of these chemicals are “estrogenic” – they can act like, or amplify the effects of, estrogen in your body, thereby altering your hormone balance significantly.
Many chemicals are capable of triggering inflammation in your body, leading to increases in cortisol and adrenaline and all the resulting hormone imbalances that go along with that scenario.
Specific foods Can Cause Imbalances in your PETs
Certain foods – some of which are incorrectly promoted as “health foods” – are estrogenic (either contain, act like or amplify the effects of estrogen).
These include soy (all forms – oil, flour, protein, tofu, etc.), most vegetable oils, tahini (sesame), flax seed oil and even multigrain bread.
Excessive consumption of these foods can have a significant impact on sexual function by creating too much estrogen in your body.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Imbalances
Studies have shown nutrient deficiencies can lead to increased stress hormone levels and, as I showed above, elevations in stress hormones can have a detrimental impact on sexual and reproductive function.
Furthermore, when key nutrients are inadequate, hormone pathways won’t work properly. In other words, you won’t be able to make key sex hormones if you’re nutritionally depleted.
Poor Liver Function
Your liver is the workhorse of detoxification. Part of its workload is to remove unwanted (or unused) hormones from your body.
If your liver is nutritionally depleted, or your body is overloaded with toxins (or both), you may have a hard time eliminating hormones, especially estrogen.
This is yet another mechanism – on top of environmental toxins and foods – by which your estrogen levels can elevate relative to other hormones, thus causing imbalances.
The use of chemical contraceptives such as the pill and injection are of great concern, and are discussed in the section specifically written for women, a link for which you can find at the bottom of this page.
I recognize there’s a lot of information here. Let’s simplify:
First, remember this: whether you’re a man or a woman, your sexual function is dependent on having a nutritional status and hormone balance (your PETs).
Second: stress beats sex, every time. Reducing stress levels on your body nearly always leads to improvements in symptoms related to sex and reproduction and sometimes these improvements can happen quickly.
Reducing your stress load depends on removing bad stuff from your body, and putting good stuff back, which is the main Hompes Method principle.
How can Hompes Method Help Improve Sexual Function?
As mentioned previously, the first place to start is with your food intake, eating habits and digestive health. You might find that some very simple strategies work well.
Don’t underestimate the power of simple changes to your eating and lifestyle habits as a means of improving sexual health. Diet and lifestyle can modulate your hormone system quickly and effectively.
The Hompes Method Basics online Nutrition and Lifestyle plan is a simple, but very powerful step-by-step programme to help you:
- Remove all the bad foods from your diet that contain estrogens and amplify the effects of this hormone, such as soy and vegetable oils.
- Remove foods that cause inflammation and raise stress hormones.
- Use simple foods to detoxify your gut by removing estrogens and toxins.
- Learn dozens of simple yet tasty recipes and ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are packed with nutrients to support your hormone system.
- Improve your liver’s ability to process toxins, which helps to keep your hormone system in balance.
- Avoid exposure to environmental toxins that can create inflammation, stress and hormone imbalances in your body.
- Learn how to choose foods that contain specific nutrients that support hormone production, such as vitamin B5, vitamin C and zinc.
Hompes Method Basics is my way of sharing fifteen years’ education and experience with you in a single, online programme that’s delivered to you on your computer, wherever you are.
In essence, it’s a plan to help you overcome tricky health challenges and elevate your energy levels without the requirement for lab testing and consulting.
Click here to get started on the Hompes Method Basics health rejuvenation plan today and supercharge your sex drive and reproductive function.
Try the Hompes Method Basics programme and if it does not improve your energy inside 3-4 weeks of following the plan closely, consider that something over and above your diet and lifestyle may be draining your energy.
Looking for Deeper Causes of Sexual & Reproductive Symptoms
Comprehensive Digestive Health Check
If you have bad bugs in your digestive system, they’ll cause inflammation that your body views as “stress”. Your stress hormone levels may increase, robbing your body of its sex hormones.
Furthermore, if you are not effectively digesting food and absorbing nutrients, you may develop nutrient deficiencies that affect your reproductive system.
Toxins from both good and bad digestive bugs can leak through your delicate digestive lining. These toxins interfere with hormone function and can mimic the effects of estrogen in your body.
The Comprehensive Digestive Health Check involves providing a single stool sample, which is then sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Vitamin and Mineral Status
Certain vitamins and minerals are essential for hormone production and reproductive health. Of these, zinc, copper, B vitamins, folic acid and several others are important.
The Hompes Method Testing Toolkit has several mineral tests, which we use in different situations, depending on each person’s individual situation and requirements.
Hair mineral analysis, blood tests and even a very basic liquid zinc challenge test can be very helpful in determining whether you might have mineral deficiencies.
A simple urine test done first thing in the morning can tell you whether your liver is over-burdened with toxins. If this is the case, you won’t be detoxifying hormones effectively and this can lead to symptoms in your reproductive system.
B vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, amino acids and other nutrients are critical for detoxifying hormones, as well as hormone production/function and energy production.
The Organic Acids urine test also provides a lot of information about digestive health and whether toxins are leaking through your intestinal wall.
All these factors can affect your hormone system and ultimately, your sex drive, menstrual health and reproductive function.
People with low thyroid hormone levels, or poor thyroid hormone can experience low libido and menstrual problems.
Thyroid hormones, stress hormones and sex/reproductive hormones work together and influence each other significantly.
For example, progesterone supports thyroid function, but excess estrogen suppresses thyroid function and hormone activity.
Unfortunately, doctors often look at a hormone called TSH, but this is inadequate. In Hompes Method, we look at TSH, but also add in markers called free T4 and free T3, plus another marker called TPO.
We feel it’s impossible to accurately assess your thyroid function without a bare minimum of these four test markers, and we always place these results against your symptoms, your temperature and pulse measurements and other lab results to make sure we gain as much understanding as possible regarding what’s going on in your body.
In Hompes Method we test thyroid hormone levels using a simple finger prick blood test that can be performed at home.
Your adrenal glands sit atop each kidney and produce many hormones, most notably cortisol, adrenaline and DHEA. Known as “stress hormones”, they primarily help your body adapt to stress
Adrenal health plays an important role in sexual function. As discussed earlier, the more your body needs to make hormones to deal with stress, the fewer sex hormones it will generally make.
In fact, cortisol is made from progesterone, so the more cortisol your body needs, the less progesterone there will be.
DHEA, another important adrenal hormone, can be converted into both estrogens and testosterone.
Using a simple saliva test you can gain an excellent understanding of cortisol and DHEA levels.
When we combine this analysis with thyroid hormones and sex hormones – as described below – you can get a complete hormonal picture and gain a firm understanding of how your hormone imbalances may be contributing to your reproductive and sexual symptoms.
Sex and Reproductive Hormones
Your sex hormones can be assessed in the same saliva test we use for the adrenal hormones, above. Saliva samples are collected in exactly the same way as they are for the adrenal test, but we ask the lab to analyze the samples for progesterone, estrogens and testosterone (your PETs) as well as the stress hormones.
This is especially helpful if you are a man because, of course, you don’t have a menstrual cycle!
The test can be used in women when samples taken around days 19-22 of the menstrual cycle. We know roughly what the hormone levels should be at that time of the month and we’re especially interested in looking at the relationship between progesterone and estradiol, which is one of your estrogen hormones.
We can also run a month-long hormone panel, which take longer to complete, but is a far more accurate way of assessing hormone balance.
Saliva samples are taken every 2-3 days throughout your menstrual cycle and mapped out across the entire cycle to help pinpoint imbalances in your hormone system. It’s a great test.
Specific Information for Men and Women
As promised at the start of this article, I’ve created specific pages to provide information that’s specific for each gender.
For specific information on men’s sexual and reproductive health, click here.
For specific information on women’s sexual and reproductive health, click here.
Book Your Hompes Method Health Assessment & Initial Consultation
Should you change your diet and lifestyle according to Hompes Method Basics and not experience any improvements, I recommend you seek professional help.
Many different factors can affect your hormones, nutrient status and sex/reproductive function, so I recommend you complete the Hompes Method Initial Assessment forms and schedule an initial consultation with one of our practitioners.
We will create for you a bespoke package and hold your hand through the process of:
- Optimizing your Nutrition and Lifestyle.
- Running the right lab tests to determine why your energy is low (what bad stuff is in your body, and what good stuff is missing?).
- Designing specific, individualized supplement protocols to address the lab findings.
- Supporting you with weekly one-to-one consultations for the initial 90-days of your programme.
To get started right away, click here and instantly download your Hompes Method Initial Assessment Pack.