Low Libido? What Went Wrong and How to Fix it!

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You love your partner, but your libido is low. Between late nights, early mornings, work stress, family obligations, and a million other balls in the air, there is little time and energy left for sex. But relationships change, and sex drive softens as we age… so, it’s perfectly normal, right?

Not necessarily. In fact, some reports suggest that our best love-making years are the ones that may lie ahead of us. A recent survey of 5,000 singles of all ages, ethnicities and income levels across the U.S. revealed that the best sex happens at age 66 for women and at 64 for men. It is at this time that our youthful self-consciousness wears off, communication becomes more comfortable, and greater creativity is embraced. So, if others are having the best sex of their lives as they grow older, perhaps it’s worth considering why you’re not enjoying sex at all?

There are a number of factors for a low libido. One of the biggest influences is our hormones. Hormones affect so many different parts of the body that when one chemical is out of sync, it can cause a nasty brew of issues. Hormones that specifically have an impact on libido include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Estrogen & Progesterone

When our bodies slow down on progesterone production, it can lead to an estrogen dominance, which causes low libido in women. This can happen naturally during perimenopause, or it can also be brought on by stress.

Symptoms of a progesterone deficiency can include decreased clitoral sensitivity, vaginal dryness, loss of vaginal muscle tension, as well as more general mood killers like fatigue, weight gain, headaches, and depression. Interestingly, a lack of estrogen can also cause similar symptoms. If any combination of these issues sounds familiar to you, it might be your hormones blocking your path to pleasure.

As for stress, feeling stress can actually throw your hormonal balance out of whack. When we’re running top speed on life’s hamster wheel, we produce an excess of cortisol – our stress hormone. The spike in our cortisol levels can then end up blocking our progesterone receptors. The irony is that sex can usually be a huge stress buster.

Testosterone

If you’ve always thought testosterone was only important for men, think again. Reduced testosterone levels can have an impact on libido for both sexes.

In women, testosterone is what gives orgasms their oomph, heightening the sexual experience. As you can imagine, low testosterone is going to have the opposite effect, reducing sexual desire and satisfaction. Low testosterone levels in women can also result in lethargy, depression, and muscle weakness. In post-menopausal years, reduced ovarian function and hormone imbalances can reduce the amount of testosterone a woman produces.

Meanwhile, testosterone levels in men gradually decline with age. Testosterone deficiency in men not only diminishes libido and cause erectile dysfunction, but it can also result in a wide range of other symptoms including anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, poor memory, and reduced muscle and bone mass. Low testosterone levels can now be found in men of all ages.

Low Energy

Another one of the reasons people often associate a low libido with aging is due to the decrease in energy that comes with getting older. The same could be said about life after kids. As we age or when we become parents, our sleep patterns are interrupted with more frequent awakenings. The libido-crushing effects of a poor-quality sleep does not only impact seniors and parents, but feeling sleepy and irritable can happen to the best of us. Those who suffer from insomnia, irregular sleep patterns, or have sleep apnea may also relate.

In one study, sleep apnea was shown to have an impact on testosterone levels in men. And as mentioned before, fatigue and lethargy can also be a result of hormonal imbalances in women. You see, when it comes to our bodies, everything is connected, which is why it is so important to think of our health as a whole and not in separate parts. In order for us to get better, we need to identify and treat the cause, not the symptoms.

Solutions for a Low Libido

1. Get your diet checked out

You may not be eating a healthy whole foods diet, or a diet that matches your particular needs.  Having your diet evaluated by a naturopathic physician can ensure that your food is tailored specifically to maximize your health and libido.

2. Your Lifestyle Is Important

Some things can help increase your energy and libido.  Regular exercise, good sleep, time to relax, create, laugh, and have fun.  Keeping one’s life in proper balance can help it feel ready and look forward to intimacy.

3. Get Your Hormone Levels Checked

Our bodies are constantly changing, and the longer we ignore symptoms, the more out of balance we can get. When it comes to conditions brought on by our hormones, there is no reason why we have to “learn to live with it”. Start by getting your hormone levels tested properly in order to identify if an imbalance might be at play. Natural hormone replacement options exist and can help get you back on track to feeling like yourself again.

Hormone prescribing for women may include systemic, and also vaginal applications.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Sure, “mindfulness” might sound like a cure-all buzzword, but there is a lot of truth to its power. Mindfulness, whether practiced through meditation, yoga or other means, helps us to reduce stress. When we reduce stress, we lower our cortisol levels. And as we already know, when our cortisol levels spike, it has a way of messing a lot of things up inside our bodies.

A moment of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By starting each morning with a few minutes alone in quiet reflection, we can set the stage for a better day, and more easily ground ourselves when life begins to get busy.

Let’s not forget that a more mindful day can also help lead to a more restful night. According to the Journal of Sex and Medicine, getting just one more hour of sleep per night could increase your libido by 14 percent.

5. Dietary Supplements

A good multiple vitamin mineral products and fish oils

It’s hard to eat perfectly at every meal.  Living a busy life in a polluted world with less nutrients in our food than 50 years ago means that you should take a strong multiple vitamin mineral prescribed by your naturopathic physician.  Fish oils, which help every cell in your body function better, should also be added at a dose that is worthwhile and helpful.

Female Botanical Medicines:

Many botanicals are used to help stimulate libido and sexual functioning in men and women.  In women, Vitex agnes and Shatavari root, as well as others, are key balancing herbs for women.

In men, horney goat weed, tribulus fruit, Muira Puama bara, Yohimbe bark, Saw palmetto, wild oats milky seed, and Sarsaparilla are go to herbs.

Maca can be used for men and women but it has to be used gently and delicately.  It has a very high estrogen effect on women, which may or may not be safe for them, depending on their time of life.  There is a male version of maca as well.

Saffron

This pretty little herb has been proven to safely and effectively improve some sexual problems in women, including arousal, lubrication, and pain. Saffron has shown a positive effect on men with erectile dysfunction as well. In one study, men who took a 200mg tablet of saffron for only ten days showed an increased number and duration of erectile events.

Watermelon

Tasty, refreshing, and full of libido-boosting phytonutrients. A juicy slice of watermelon isn’t just nice to share on a romantic picnic, it also contains various beneficial compounds that have been shown to relax blood vessels and enhance your sex drive.

Are you worried that you’ve lost your mojo? Fear not. We can help you get it back. If you have been experiencing a low sex drive or suspect imbalanced hormones might be at play in other areas of your life, please do not hesitate to contact us at 480-284-8155. We can help rebalance your system naturally. A low libido can affect your enjoyment of life and your relationships. There is no reason you should have to settle for less.

 

Resources:

http://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/publications/testosterone-insufficiency-in-women-fact-or-fiction/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9766760

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/87/7/3394/2847341

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12472620

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18801111

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25954318

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27130118

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23280545

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19427775

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