What is the pituitary? Pituitary is a small sized gland that in the lower side of the brain and sits as an extension of hypothalamus. It looks like branched thread full of blood vessels. It is directly linked to the nervous system and because of its influence over many body organs, it is full of nerves.
What role does it play? The pituitary glands control the hormones in the human body. These are hormones that are directly responsible for key functions in the body such as metabolism, growth, response to stimuli such as fear and even sexual functions. It controls secretion of these hormones from other organs such as thyroid glands, ovaries, testes and adrenal gland.
How is it related to libido? As mentioned in above paragraph, the pituitary glands are responsible for the release of various hormones including the sexual hormones. These are broadly referred to as androgens. They include the estrogen and testosterone.
Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for female sexual functions. In younger girls, it is responsible for the development of sexual characteristic such as development of breasts and hips. In adult women, it is responsible for development of female sexual organs including thickening of the vaginal wall and secretion of vaginal fluids. In the absence of the hormone as happens in menopause of illness, the sexual functions are compromised.
Testosterone is mainly a male hormone that is also responsible for development of sexual characteristics. It is also available in women in lower quantities. It has been shown that women with a higher level of testosterone would have higher libido than their colleagues.
There an imbalance in the blood levels of these sex hormones due to pituitary tumor would lead to sexual dysfunction or poor libido.
What are effects of the pituitary tumor on libido? Pituitary tumor refers to abnormal growth of the cells in the pituitary. Most of these tumors or abnormal cell growth is caused by the genetic disposition, lifestyle and type of diet that one eats. Exposure to radioactive materials may also lead to the tumor. The good news is that most of these tumors are often benign and therefore would not spread to other parts of the brain.
They however lead to massive production of the hormones in the body due to the increased number of the responsible cells. In the case of sexual hormones, there would be an imbalance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This imbalance may lead to either excessive activities or completely lack of activity. The most common is loss of sexual function because all the three hormones and other sexual hormones need to be balance for effective functions. This can lead to production of breast milk due to production of progesterone even in absence of pregnancy and loss of male sperm count and sex drive.