Effect of Thyroid Hormone on Sexual Function For normal sexual function thyroid secretion needs to be

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approximately normal. In men, lack of thyroid hormone is likely to cause loss of libido; great excesses of the hormone, however, sometimes cause impotence.

In women, lack of thyroid hormone often causes menorrhagia and polymenorrhea— that is, respectively, excessive and frequent menstrual bleeding. Yet, strangely enough, in other women thyroid lack may cause irregular periods and occasionally even amenorrhea.

A hypothyroid woman, like a man, is likely to have greatly decreased libido. To make the picture still more confusing, in the hyperthyroid woman, oligomenor-rhea, which means greatly reduced bleeding, is common, and occasionally amenorrhea results.

The action of thyroid hormone on the gonads cannot be pinpointed to a specific function but probably results from a combination of direct metabolic effects on the gonads as well as excitatory and inhibitory feedback effects operating through the anterior pituitary hormones that control the sexual functions.

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