Libido is your sex-drive or your feeling of sexual desire. It varies from person to person and can alter throughout your adult lifetime. Although low libido is not necessarily a problem, for some, it can negatively affect relationships with romantic partners and overall quality of life. Learning about what alters your sex-drive and how you can naturally give it a boost is a positive way to take charge of your libido for the better.
CAUSES FOR DECREASE IN LIBIDO
Sex-drive often decreases as we age due to hormone levels naturally lowering. Reduced testosterone levels in men, and estrogen levels in women, can be one of the major causes of reduced libido. Both men and women experience changes in sex drive. However, libido can also be affected by several other factors.
Causes of low sex-drive can include:
- Hormone imbalance: low testosterone or estrogen levels can cause reduced libido. These hormones naturally lower as we age, and estrogen levels can drop significantly when a woman is experiencing menopause. If hormone levels are imbalanced, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can increase hormone levels, leading to improved libido, among other positive effects.
- Stress, anxiety, or depression: can all lead to low sex drive. Talking therapies, individual counseling, sex-therapy, or relationship counseling can help deal with stress and mental health problems affecting your libido.
- Medical conditions: Several medical conditions can also impact libido. For example, obstructive sleep apnoea can cause low testosterone levels. Other conditions known to affect libido include; obesity, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, diabetes, prostate cancer, and heart disease.
- Medication: if you are taking medication and experiencing low libido, it is worth speaking to your doctor. Specific medicines can affect libido and hormone levels; however, there may be an alternative that your doctor can suggest.
- Alcohol or substance abuse: can both have a significant effect on sex-drive and sexual performance.
If you feel your sex drive is low and it’s having a negative impact on your life, there are many natural ways you can help give your libido a boost.
SEVEN WAYS TO NATURALLY INCREASE LIBIDO
- Eat libido-boosting foods: Figs, bananas, avocados, dark chocolate, and oysters are all known to increase libido levels naturally.
- Quit smoking: Cigarette smoking has been linked to reducing sexual desire since cigarette smoke can decrease the secretion of testosterone. Many people experience an increase in sex-drive after quitting smoking.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise produces feel-good hormones and lowers cortisol levels. This helps to reduce stress and, in turn, helps maintain a healthy libido.
- Get a good night’s sleep: Fatigue can be all-consuming and majorly impact your sex-drive. Ensuring you adopt a positive sleep hygiene routine to promote regular good sleep can help improve your libido levels.
- Try a herbal remedy: Although data is limited, some studies suggest that taking herbs such as goji, tribulus, ginkgo biloba, and ginseng can help improve libido and sexual function. You should always consult a doctor before starting a new herbal remedy, especially if you have any health conditions or take medication.
- Get your stress under control: As discussed, stress, anxiety, and depression can negatively affect your sexual desire. If you are struggling to deal with stress in your life, counseling can help you get to the bottom of stress causes. Introducing relaxation and meditation techniques can also help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved libido.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Although a few alcoholic drinks may seem to increase your sexual desire, too much alcohol can have the opposite effect and lower your sex drive.
If the natural approach is not helping improve your sex drive, then there are other options. It’s good to speak to your family doctor about problems with your libido, as they can help you pinpoint the cause. A doctor can establish if there are any underlying health problems or medications causing symptoms of decreased sex-drive.
Another option is to get your hormone levels checked. A simple blood test can establish if your hormone levels are imbalanced. If an imbalance is found, BHRT can alleviate symptoms caused by lower hormone levels in the body – including decreased libido.