One thing I love about being a woman is that our sex drive increases as we age and often peaks in our 30s and 40s. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself “Ugh, I do not want sex,” then you might have a low libido. Luckily, there are a handful of natural ways to help increase it. Many women say they just don’t want sex. It is something I hear often, from both clients and friends, and have experienced it myself after having my children.
Sex has many health benefits, and in a relationship, a healthy sex life can be extremely important. Having sex enhances our immune system, can improve bladder control, lowers systolic blood pressure, eases stress, improves sleep, can even count as exercise, and of course, feels incredible. So let’s go over why you might be wanting to roll over and sleep instead of have sex, and things you can do to help boost your libido and enjoy all the amazing benefits sex has to offer.
Why you might not crave sex:
While there are many reasons why you might not prioritize getting busy in the bedroom, let’s go over some of the common reasons. Some medications can greatly alter your libido, leaving you wanting to do anything other than have sex.
-Birth control pills can alter our hormones, causing a reduction in estrogen and/or testosterone. These two hormones play a big part in how high or low our libido is. For some women, birth control pills can lower sex drive.
-Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which are also used for fibromyalgia, are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, and both have been shown to lower libido.
-Other medications widely prescribed that can also lower your sex drive include beta blockers, antihistamines, and some anti-seizure drugs.
Now that we covered medications, let’s look at a few other things that can contribute to a low sex desire.
-Psychological factors including a lack of connection to partner, past sexual trauma, depression, low self-esteem, stress, and anxiety.
-With blood sugar issues, the DHEA hormone will often be managing the blood sugar problem instead of our estrogen levels.
-Foods and beverages can zap our sex drive too. The most common culprits are sugar, dairy, processed foods, aspartame (found in many sugar-free products and gums), trans fats, and even alcohol, with the exception of a moderate amount of red wine, which can actually increase your libido.
What you can do about it:
If you suspect your birth control is the cause, you can speak with your doctor about progestin-only pills and whether they are a good fit for you. Other forms of birth control such as condoms and non-hormonal IUDs will not lower your libido. For other medications, there are often alternatives that are not shown to lower libido, so it is best to speak with your doctor about possible alternatives and not stop or change any medication without consulting your doctor.
If you think your low sex drive is from the psychological factors discussed, you can see a qualified therapist, pray/meditate to help relieve anxiety, exercise (especially pelvic floor exercises and getting in touch with your own body), and for some, have an open and honest discussion with your partner about any issues at hand. Getting sufficient sleep and adequate sunlight exposure can help as well.
Diet is a great way to boost your libido naturally. Here are some foods that can help.
-Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, arugula, bok choy, and radishes)
– Dark chocolate—my favorite way
-Proteins such as eggs, wild-caught fatty fish, and red meat
-Green tea, which improves blood flow and may even prevent cell damage
-Fruits (bananas, figs, strawberries, black raspberries, watermelon, and avocado)
As women, we will experience many fluctuations in our hormones from age, lifestyle, and different situations. Being aware of how to naturally help our libido when we need it is important for our sexual health and satisfaction. Whether you are in a sex slump or not, incorporating some of the above changes into your life can help you increase your libido and ultimately reach the Big O.
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Courtney Virden has been a fitness trainer for nearly 20 years and specializes in women’s health and wellness. Being a mom of two and experiencing many issues from her own pregnancies led her to focus on women’s pelvic floors. With her passion for helping others, Courtney created an online program to share the tools and resources she uses with her private clients.
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