Lost That Loving Feeling? Boost Your Libido Naturally
If your response to sex is more often, “Ugh…” than “Oh Yeah!” you may be suffering from a diminishing libido.
While it may be disheartening to admit this to even yourself, don’t think you are alone.
Low libido is more common in women than in men.
In fact, over 40 percent of the women complain of lack of sex drive whereas men who suffer from sexual dysfunction are about 30 percent.
But where does this difference come from? Why is this problem more common in women than in men?
The reason is that female libido is much more complex than male libido. While male libido is mainly physically rooted, female sex drive can be influenced by a number of factors – both physical and emotional.
Symptoms of Low Sexual Desire in Women
Following are some of the symptoms of low libido in women:
- Low or complete lack of interest in sex or any kind of sexual activity
- Lack of interest or reluctance in initiating sex with your partner
- A weaker sex drive than what is normal for you
- Sexual thoughts or fantasies have decreased or almost absent
- You go without any sex for days, weeks, or even months, something which is not normal for you
Although these symptoms are usually signs of low sex drive in women, there are no hard and fast rules for diagnosing this problem. The symptoms may vary from one woman to the other.
For example, you may not have had sex with your partner for days, but your relationship may be strong and both of you may not be bothered with the lack of sex. Similarly, you may have been having regular sex, but you are not happy with the pleasure that you derive from it.
This basically means that if you are not happy with your sex drive, do not consider your sexual activities to be pleasurable for you, or are just not happy with your sex life, you should think about investigating further.
Causes of Low Libido in Women
Your desire for sex can be affected by a combination of various factors. Anything that affects your physical and emotional well-being can have an impact on your sex drive.
The causes can be either physical or psychological and can vary from one woman to the other. Here are some reasons your va-voom may have left the room.
Illnesses – A lot of illnesses can lead to low libido, such as kidney disease, neurological diseases, coronary artery disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.
Medications – Many prescription medications are known to influence negatively sex drive, such as blood pressure medications, antidepressants, hormone contraceptives, antipsychotic drugs and chemotherapy drugs.
Emerging research is showing that hormonal contraception methods like “the pill” (which rely on oestrogen and progesterone together) are causing low libido in females by elevating levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).
SHBG binds to sex hormones, including testosterone, rendering them unavailable. Research is showing that even after ending a hormonal contraceptive method, SHBG levels remain elevated and no reliable data exists to predict when this phenomenon will diminish.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse – Too much alcohol or taking street drugs can also kill your libido.
Obesity or Anorexia – Women who are medically obese or suffer from anorexia (or are severely underweight) may be deficient in certain sex hormones and experience lack of sexual interest.
Surgery – Surgeries related to breasts or genitals can affect desire for sex.
Fatigue – Exhaustion can really suppress any interest in sex.
Pain or Discomfort During Sex – If a woman experiences pain during sex (dyspareunia) or is unable to achieve orgasm (anorgasmia), this may kill her desire for sex.
Hormone Changes – Changes in hormone levels also change libido. This is particularly true for certain periods in a woman’s life:
- Peri-menopause and menopause
- Poor body image and/or low self-esteem
- Relationship issues
- Past or current physical or emotional abuse
What Should You Do About Low Libido?
The first step a woman should take if she is not interested in sex as she would like to be is to talk to her health care practitioner. This may be your Doctor, Naturopath or Integrative Medicine Practitioner.
This is needed in order to ensure that a medical problem is not the cause for the low libido.
If no medical problem is found, it may be a good decision to seek the advice of a psychologist or therapist.
They may help you examine and resolve underlying problems in your life. A sex therapist may also be able to provide support to improve sexual communication and intimacy.
Don’t despair, here are some tips that you can start today to bring back your mojo:
1. Increase Libido-Friendly Nutrients
Refined, junk, sugary and processed foods negatively affect your hormones, glands and organs and deprive your body of libido-friendly nutrients and can put sex off the menu.
The best foods for increasing sex drive include chilies, almonds, oysters, avocados, dates, liquorice, mangoes, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cardamom, chives, oats, nutmeg, pomegranates, strawberries, sauerkraut and wild salmon.
These foods are high in antioxidants, essential fatty acids and B vitamins.
Essential fatty acids are the building blocks for the production of sex hormones. They also help the body store the vitamins that keep us sexually active and full of desire.
Researchers from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago found women’s sexual desire increased after smelling liquorice, cucumber or banana-nut bread. While cherries and barbecued meat were turn-offs in the bedroom department.
2. Keep Fit
Moderate regular exercise will help improve blood flow to the sexual organs. In addition, exercise helps you feel good about yourself.
Both men and women report increased interest in, and enjoyment of sex, when they regularly engage in vigorous exercise that results in the building of muscle which stimulates the production of testosterone.
Often, a spike in testosterone and sex drive can be noticed immediately during or after a workout.
For many couples, working out together can become a stimulating experience that gets them in the mood.
Keeping fit will also help to keep your weight within a healthy range. Being overweight can affect not only your self-esteem and your feelings of sexuality but you’re likely to suffer from narrowing of the arteries which can reduce essential blood flow to the genitals.
3. Herbal Help
Taking herbs such as Maca, Horny Goat Weed, Damiana, gingko biloba and Tribulus may help improve a women’s libido.
Maca was used by the ancient Incans to increase libido and improve stamina. Tribulus terrestris is used to support healthy hormone function especially during menopause.
Tribulus Reproductive Support & Oriental Botanicals Libidolift contains Tribulus, Damiana, Horny Goat Weed and Lotus seed to improve sex drive, maintain healthy testosterone levels and support fertility.
Gingko Biloba is known to improve blood flow to the brain and sexual organs. It also has an enhancing effect on sexual desire, excitement and orgasm. MediHerb Ginkgo Forte provides 2g per dose.
Shatavari Ovarian Support combines Shatavari, Dang Giu and Rehmannia to support ovarian function and healthy fertility and libido.
The herb Shatavari is also very beneficial for vaginal dryness – as common symptom during the menopause years.
For more advice on which herbal help and dosage is best suited to you, talk to your Emed Practitioner.
4. Have Sex in The Morning
Men’s testosterone levels naturally peak in the early morning hours, so if you and your partner have been experiencing difficulty having sex – or if your male partner’s interest in having sex has been waning lately – try having sex in the morning.
Make sure you have enough time before work to enjoy yourselves, though, since thoughts of being late to work could dampen the mood.
Both men and women’s natural testosterone production tends to naturally decline with age, but the decline can be accelerated by smoking, heavy drinking, and gaining excess amounts of body fat while being physically inactive.
The Emed Male and Female Hormone Profile tests for hormonal imbalances including testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone, DHEA and cortisol. By testing for these hormones, your Emed Practitioner can tailor a treatment plan for you.
5. Stop Smoking
It’s well known that smoking can have a terrible affect on blood flow to the sexual organs as it causes the blood vessels to narrow.
It also zaps your stamina and most people don’t like kissing an ashtray.
6. Drink in Moderation
One alcoholic drink can lubricate a nervous first-date situation. By reducing anxiety and stress one drink can help get you in the mood for sex.
But beware, alcohol is a depressant, too much booze and you can end up with quite the opposite problem.
8. Get in the Mood
Massage techniques can do wonders for sexual arousal particularly if you’re stressed, worried or angry.
Prepare the room with soft lighting and soothing music then start with a back massage.
Let some fresh air into your room and use incense, essential oils, or lightly scented candles to create pleasant smells (go for subtle smells – spraying cologne or perfume into the air can sometimes be too intense and overpowering).
9. Feel Good About Yourself
Nothing reduces your interest in sex more than low self-esteem. Spoil yourself when you’re feeling down and take some time to relax or do an activity that makes you feel better within yourself.
Communicating with your partner in an attempt to improve your relationship and your sexual intimacy can go a long way in bringing a positive change in your sex drive.