It amazes us how many people settle for health problems like a low libido because they think it’s normal or they are just getting older. Just because something is common doesn’t make it normal, and, besides, it can be a sign of an underlying medical problem, such as reduced hormone levels, as discussed in a 2020 NHS (UK) “Loss of Libido (Reduced Sex Drive)” research. The purpose of this discussion is to get to the root cause of specific health problems like a low sex drive or libido, and find natural effective solutions on how to naturally Increase Sex Drive in both men and woman, and implement corrective measures.
According to the National Institutes Of Health in reviewing a 2008 Psychiatry (Edgemont) study, there are 2 sexual desire disorders that are typically often not addressed by healthcare providers and patients due their private and awkward nature, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and sexual aversion disorder (SAD).
According to a 2009 Stanford University Medical Center “Sex Is In The Brain, Whether It Be Lack Of Sexual Interest Or Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder” study, more than 40 percent of women ages 18-59 experience sexual dysfunction, with lack of sexual interest, either hypoactive sexual desire disorder (SAD), or hyperactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), being the most commonly reported complaint, finding the brain, rather than peripheral organs, may play the key role in female sexual dysfunction.
Correlation is not cause and effect. The study could be showing how paying too much attention causes inhibition of sexual desire, or how the lack of desire in a sexually charged situation causes heightened self-consciousness.
Some women with low levels of sexual desire, are often as a result of experiencing menopause, who are more likely to be depressed and to suffer physical symptoms such as back pain and memory problems than women who report higher levels of desire, according to a 2009 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill “Postmenopausal Women’s Loss Of Sexual Desire Affects Health, Quality Of Life” study.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) may be a result of having little or no desire for sexual activities, or, absence of sexual fantasies that causes you serious distress, or, it could be a mental health issue like postmenopausal depression, according to a 2018 Sexual Medicine study reviewed by the NIH.
This condition is commonly also known as “female sexual interests/arousal disorder”, according to Longdom 2013 research “DSM-5 Changes in Diagnostic Criteria of Sexual Dysfunctions”. That simply means many under-recognized, under-treated disorders leading to a great deal of morbidity in relationships, per a 2008 Psychiatry (Edgemont) study reviewed by the NIH. According to NHS (UK) 2020 research “Loss of libido (reduced sex drive)”, it’s not unusual for a woman to be embarrassed to admit that she wants to improve her libido.
Many women also assume there are no treatments available for a waning libido, and that older people shouldn’t, can’t, and wouldn’t want to have sex, anyway, right? Why bother? Well, according to a Harvard Health 2009 “Attitudes About Sexuality and Aging” research, older people not desiring or enjoying sex is simply a myth. So, instead of just taking another pill that most likely won’t help, why don’t we actually find out why you have the problem in the first place? Novel idea, I know.
If you’re experiencing a dry spell, or been worried sick about your waning libido, don’t fear, you are probably looking in the wrong place for a solution, and there might be a reason for it that’s simple to repair. It could be as simple as a chat holding hands, a non-sexual massage, or “go Courtin”, what you put on your plate, or, it could be other simple factors that are fairly easy to correct, as discussed in a AARP “How to Resurrect Your Sex Life” article.
Mayo Clinic, in a “Low Sex Drive in Women” study, addressed the various causes of low libido in women in their article “Low Sex Drive In Women”, such as pregnancy, menopause, illness, anti-depressant medications, surgery, chronic stress and fatigue, depression, self-esteem, lack of communication and trust issues in a relationship, and others.
If you’re not feeling as enticed or sexual for a while, it could be due to surprising factors that are decreasing your libido, and causing you to spend less time between the sheets with your better half. A good example of this, as confirmed in a 2007 Indian Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (NIH) study, is prevalence of sexual dysfunction in male subjects with alcohol dependence. Not only can this interfere with a current or potential, future relationship down the road, but it can also take away some quality aspects of life that should be enjoyable.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Libido,
is a person’s overall sexual drive, or desire for sexual activity. Libido is influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors. Biologically, the sex hormones such as testosterone and dopamine, and the neurotransmitters, regulate the libido in humans. Social factors such as work and family, and internal factors, such as personality, stress, anxiety, and depression, can effect libido. Libido can also be affected by medical conditions, medications, relationship issues, and age.
” For more infomation from Wikipedia on libido, read here.
Often when self-esteem is dwindling, sexual desire plummets, found a 2014 NIH study “Sexuality, Self-Esteem and Partnership Quality in Infertile Women and Men”. Likewise, not finding time for sex or self-pleasure can also create a disconnect with your body and make you feel less frisky, in general.
There are incredible benefits to sex or “me time,” such as lowering stress levels, promoting self-love, and boosting oxytocin, the love hormone, with whomever you’re doing the deed with, according to a 2011 Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reviewed by the NIH.
Getting to the bottom of a low sex drive can really improve your quality of life. Here are some various reasons why your libido is down and a few key tips on how to properly get it back up in no time.
Is It Depression?
Depression is a condition that causes a person to experience depressed mood, lack of enjoyment in everyday life, or both. Everyone experiences slumps from time to time, but depression generally lasts longer. Some of the symptoms of depression include: feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and low energy levels. Another symptom associated with depression is a change in sex drive, according to a 2008 American Health and Drug Benefits study reviewed by the NIH.
If you’re depressed, you may feel like you don’t have enough energy for any physical activity or for sex, or anything else. Actually the reverse is true. Exercise can benefit health and improve mood, and now new 2013 University of Texas at Austin “Exercise Alleviates Sexual Side-Effects of Antidepressants in Women” research shows that it has the potential to restore sexual desire and function in women adversely affected by sexual side effects related to antidepressant use.
Since depression can also cause you to enjoy activities less, you may find that you don’t enjoy sex the way you once did. The process can also work in reverse. It’s possible for a low libido to trigger feelings of depression, determined a John Hopkins study “Low Sex Drive — Could It Be a Sign of Depression?”. What even complicates it even more, it’s possible for a person with HSDD to experience low mood related to sexual activities, but to feel positive about other aspects of life.
Sexual disorders and depression in women go hand in hand in many cases, according to an 2009 “Distressing Sexual Problems in United States Women Revisited: Prevalence After Accounting for Depression” study published in The Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry. 40 percent of women with a sexual disorder also experience depression. The researchers found that an estimated 10 percent of U.S. women experience a “desire disorder.”
An estimated 3.7 percent have problems with both desire and depression. Stressful life events, such as a divorce or a lost job or any major life transitions, whether positive, negative, or neutral, may also be a trigger for low libido and depression, according to a 2000 article in American Family Physician “Depression and Sexual Desire”. The study also cited ongoing relationship stressors and substance abuse. One 2009 Psychosomatic Medicine study, reviewed by the NIH, found that women who were depressed and had HSDD were less happy in their relationships.
They also had sex with their partner less frequently. Plus, they had greater difficulty forming and maintaining relationships. Additionally, one-third of premenopausal women with HSDD also experienced depression. According to Jennifer Payne, MD, and Director of the Mood Disorder Center at John Hopkins, in a “Low Sex Drive — Could It Be a Sign of Depression?” study, as many as 21 percent of women will experience major depression at some point. And lack of libido can be a tipoff. Quoting Dr. Payne:
Change in sex drive is a key symptom we look at when deciding if someone fits the diagnosis for major depressive episodes,
A primary symptom of depression is the inability to enjoy things you normally enjoy, like sex.
The study also showed people with depression also have decreased energy, feel badly about themselves and might view their partners through a negative filter, all of which impacts sex drive. John Hopkins relationship experts report that resentment is a major cause of libido loss, and it strikes men as well as women. Anger at a partner—for being overly critical, for being too dominant or too passive, for ignoring one’s needs, or an underlying trauma, per a 2004 Taylor and Francis “Broken Hearts and Mending Bodies: The Impact of Trauma on Intimacy” study published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy, for any reason at all—can dampen sexual desire.
Deficiency In Vitamins, Minerals and Hormones Causing Low Libido
Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is found in eggs, milk, meat, orange or yellow fruits, vegetables, and supplementing with a natural Adaptogen, as confirmed in our “What Is In Maca Root?” article. Vitamin A is essential for female sex hormone production, and, for that matter, just as essential for men. Even for the normal reproductive cycle in women, it is essential you have an adequate supply. For men too, Vitamin A is vital to sperm production and virility.
Mineral Magnesium deficiency. Adequate quantity of magnesium aids in getting good sleep. It is also essential for sex drive. organic raw nuts and edible flower seeds, grass-fed eggs, organic whole grains such as brown rice, organic dark green leafy vegetables, an a natural Adaptogen, are all good sources of magnesium.
Since magnesium is beneficial in restoring restful sleep, per “The Effect of Magnesium Supplementation on Primary Insomnia in Elderly: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial” 2012 NIH study, and sleep deprivation results in sexual dysfunction (see Lack of Sleep section study), magnesium is not only beneficial to restoring sleep, but also in beneficial in enhancing sexual function.
Mineral Selenium deficiency. There is some evidence to support selenium being effective in preventing prostate cancer, according to this 2013 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH, but more study trials are needed. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium.
A single piece of nut daily is enough to have a marked improvement in your libido. It is also found in broccoli, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, whole grains, seafood and a natural Adaptogen Peruvian Maca.
Mineral Zinc deficiency. Present in pulses, whole grains, eggs, sea food, red meat, cheese, an a natural Adaptogen, zinc is an essential mineral for your overall health as well. Lack of zinc may contribute to sterility or infertility.
Zinc can help raise testosterone levels which will also helps raise sexual desire, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, reviewed by the NIH, found male rats taking zinc took longer to ejaculate compared to a control group.
Vitamin E deficiency. Important for stamina and energy, Vitamin E is also good for good blood circulation. You can get it in oily fish, eggs, dairy products, and a natural Adaptogen. It is also called the ‘sex vitamin’ because it increases blood flow and oxygen to your genitalia, per a Moyak “Vitamin E” study.
Mineral Iron deficiency. Iron is critical for maintaining the level of your sexual arousal. It can be found in red lean meat, egg yolk, green vegetables, dry fruits, and a natural Adaptogen. Anemia could be one of the causes for lack of sexual desire and also quality of erection. Iron deficiency could also contribute to erectile dysfunction, according to a 2018 PLOS|ONE study reviewed by the NIH, citing the lack of iron causing anemia.
Vitamin D deficiency. Great sources include fish, eggs, fortified milks, lean meat for protein, and a natural Adaptogen. The results of NIH 2018 “The Effect of Low Vitamin D Status on Sexual Functioning and Depressive Symptoms in Apparently Healthy Men: A Pilot Study” study suggest that low vitamin D status impairs male sexual functioning and severity of sexual dysfunction correlates with the degree of hypovitaminosis D.
If you’re a vegan or don’t like these foods, you can take a natural D supplement. Vitamin D can help raise testosterone levels and supply the body with the needed resources for an upbeat libido, found a 2015 Asian Journal of Andrology study reviewed by the NIH.
Appetite Hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced and released mainly by the stomach with small amounts also released by the small intestine, pancreas and brain. Ghrelin has numerous functions. It is termed the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage, but more importantly, regulates energy expenditure beneficial in sexual activity, as confirmed in a 2014 Current Opinion In Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care (NIH) study.
Mice that receive a supplement of the ‘appetite hormone’ ghrelin increase their sexual activity, scientists have found at a 2015 University of Gothenburg “Researchers Find Hormone That Increases the Sex Drive of Mice” study. Whether the hormone has the same impact on humans is unknown, but if ghrelin does, the researchers may have found the key to future treatments for sexual dysfunction and low sex drive.
Herb Ginger. Most of the research on ginger has been done in animals. However, one 2006 Asian Journal of Andrology study reviewed by the NIH study in infertile humans found that ginger can boost testosterone levels by 17 percent and increase levels of other key sex hormones.
Low testosterone levels. Although testosterone levels never reach zero, as estrogen levels do in women during menopause, low testosterone levels, particularly in men, cause men to experience symptoms such as fatigue, decreased mental acuity, and moodiness, low sex drive, and loss of muscle mass.
The research is pretty conclusive according to a Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism study reviewed by the NIH : Both genders should ensure they have healthy levels of testosterone, especially as they age.
While low testosterone is more common in older men, it can occur in younger men and women as well. Oral contraceptives can lower testosterone levels in women, determined a 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. “Oral Contraceptive Pill May Prevent More Than Pregnancy: Could Cause Long-term Problems With Testosterone” study.
For younger men, a drop in testosterone levels can be caused by some illnesses, including type 2 diabetes, chronic liver or kidney disease, COPD, or other lung disease, pituitary gland problems, or other causes, found a 2010 International Journal of Clinical Practice reviewed by the NIH.
Depression affects women nearly twice as much as men, but unraveling the brain’s blueprint that regulates this behavior, let alone identifying specific molecular differences between sexes, has proven difficult, as the study below cites. Researchers, however, have found and flipped a switch in the brain, revealing a single circuit in mice that activates during stress and is controlled by testosterone, found a 2019 Michigan State University “Scientists Find Gender-Distinct Circuit For Depression” study. Treatment for low testosterone in individuals also has the added benefit of weight loss and effective obesity control, found a Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Obesity (NIH) study.
A large review study found that people who exercised regularly had higher testosterone levels. In the elderly, exercise increases testosterone levels, fitness and reaction time found a European Journal of Applied Physiology (NIH).
New 2016 research from the Journal of Biochemical Nutrition (NIH)in obese men suggests that increased physical activity was even more beneficial than a weight loss diet for increasing testosterone levels. Not only will physical activity increase testosterone levels but will also help you maintain a healthy weight.
Lack Of Sleep
Not properly logging your z’s can lead to fatigue, which can alter your sex drive. Physically, a lack of sleep can elevate cortisol levels, which also leads to low libido, found a 2015 Asian Journal Andrology study (NIH). The ideal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but one 2011 JAMA (NIH) study found that sleeping only 5 hours per night was linked to a 15 percent reduction in testosterone levels. We can’t stress the importance of getting ample restful sleep enough, as discussed in our “Remedies To Sleep Problems” article.
An often missed, but important cause of a low sex drive is sleep apnea, which is when your breathing stops or slows down during a period of sleep. Not only does sleep apnea cause fatigue and increase the risk of other medical issues, sleep apnea is associated with a low sex drive according to a 2018 World Journal Men’s Health study reviewed by the NIH. As discussed under low testosterone, and besides low energy levels, sleep disorders affect libido by impeding the production of testosterone.
Women whose sexual desire diminishes during menopause are more likely to report disturbed sleep, depression symptoms, and night sweats, according to recent Group Health Cooperative Center for Health Studies 2007 “Low Libido In Menopause Linked To Trouble Sleeping” research. To the best of the research team’s knowledge, this marks the first time that sleep disturbance has been independently associated with diminished sexual desire during or after menopause.
In one 2015 JAMA study reviewed by the NIH study, showed that even moderate sleep restriction reduces daytime testosterone levels by 10 to 15 percent. According to the study, symptoms of deficiency included low energy, reduced libido, poor concentration, and increased sleepiness, all of which may be produced by sleep deprivation in healthy individuals.
Another 2015 NIH “The Impact of Sleep on Female Sexual Response and Behavior: A Pilot Study”, concluded that women obtaining sufficient sleep was important to the promotion of healthy sexual desire and the likelihood of engaging in sexual activity with a partner.
Most prescription anti-depressants work by raising levels of serotonin in the body, the person taking the drug experiences a feeling of calm and less anxiety. However, that same sense of calm and stability can lower your libido. It prevents the hormones that cause our bodies to respond to sex from transmitting their message to our brains.
Simply put, anti-depressants can turn the dial down on our sex drives, found a 2010 Drugs, Healthcare and Patient Safety study reviewed by the NIH. Women taking anti-depressants may experience delayed lubrication as well as delayed or blocked orgasm. Generally, women are also likely to experience lack of desire for sex. In some cases, women report discomfort during sex.
According to Joel J. Heidelbaugh, M.D., at the University Of Michigan Medical School, cancer drugs, opioids, anti-anxiety medications, antifungal treatments and some diuretics can also impact normal sexual function through impact on the cardiovascular system and impacting testosterone levels.
Common side effects, particularly in men, include loss of libido and difficulty getting an erection. Some men have trouble maintaining an erection. Men taking anti-depressants also report delayed or blocked orgasm, per a 2016 Mental Health Clinician study reviewed by the NIH.
Both men and women often experience the weight gain, nausea, dizziness, complete lack of energy, as confirmed in our “Best Foods With Energy” article; and sluggishness, as a result of taking anti-depressants. Every person will react to these side effects differently. However, for many people, these additional emotional and physical effects can make the idea of sex less appealing.
Simple Corrective Measures
Consider committing to some simple, every day activities that will ward off depression naturally because relieving depression is one of the main beneficial activities that will naturally Increase Sex Drive. The opposite is true, as well, according to a 2009 The Journal of Clinical Psychology “Distressing Sexual Problems in United States Women Revisited: Prevalence After Accounting for Depression” study, about 40 percent of women with a sexual disorder also experience depression. Find ways to reduce stress because unnatural elevations in cortisol can quickly reduce testosterone, found an older 1998 NIH “Stress, Adaptation, and Disease. Allostasis and Allostatic Load” study.
These hormones work in a seesaw-like manner and as one goes up, the other comes down according to the above Annual New York Academy of Science (NIH) study. Get sufficient restful sleep of a least seven hours a night. Learn how to be relaxed and grounded, do things that make you responsible, and give you a sense of accomplishment, such as being mindful, slow-breathing, living in-the-moment, or practicing meditation, per our “Benefits With Meditation” article.
One 2013 University Of California-Berkeley “Can Mindfulness Treat Sexual Dysfunction?” study found that meditation which brings non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness, proved to be effective with women are mindfulness techniques, and were better able to tune into their body’s response and experience sex as pleasurable.
The researchers believed that “mindfulness” (1) targets the negative self-talk that many women with sexual dysfunction experience and alleviates the negative thoughts. Set small, achievable, written goals and act on them. Visit nature frequently and sleep by a warm, cozy campfire under the stars, as conveyed in our “Benefits In Being In Nature” article.
Participate routinely in moderate physical activity together to get your blood flowing and both your MOJO’s going, per our “Benefits In Exercise” article.
Or, you both take your dog for exercise and work up a sweat and gets you in the mood, because a couple who “sweats together stays together”, found an older 1974 American Psychological Association (APA) “Some Evidence For Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditions of High Anxiety” study!
Eat Healthy, Nutrient-Dense, Well-Balanced Meals from the four major food groups as follows:
Lean Organic Grass-Fed Finished and Free-Range Finished Foods. (A) Includes lean red meats, poultry, brown eggs, and dairy high in protein.
Wild-Caught Fish and Seafood. Include all ocean fish and shell fish. (A)
Other Nutrient-Dense Foods. Includes Whole Grains and Complex Carbs, Natural Fermented Foods, Herbs and Spices, Antioxidant Drinks, Poly-unsaturated Oils (omega 3s), and Dark Chocolate. (A) All the incredible foods above contain micro-nutrients high in vitamins and minerals high in antioxidants, omega-3s, amino acids, and anti-flammatory foods.
Healthy Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids. One solution is to increase your consumption of nutrient-rich foods high in omega 3 fatty acids. Research such as this 2015 Elsevier Integrative Medical Research reviewed by the NIH, has shown that Omega 3 fatty acids can help decrease anxiety and depression which in turn means that if these two are decreased, your sexual desire may be increased.
Omega 3 fatty acids can also help increase dopamine levels too, found a 2019 CNS Neural Disorders Drug Targets study reviewed by the NIH. This can improve mood but also trigger arousal.
Supplement With All-Natural Whole-Food Peruvian Maca. Research has shown Peruvian Maca has been effective in improving libido in both men and women, and erectile dysfunction in men. A 2010 NIH review of a BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine study on maca and sexual functioning found some evidence to suggest maca could improve libido, but the authors cautioned that a larger study should be initiated.
Another 2015 Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine study reviewed by the NIH, found that maca root may help reduce sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women who were taking an antidepressant. A 2009 Wiley-Italian study published in the First International Journal of Andrology on P Maca found it to be beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction in men.
P Maca has also shown to be effective in enhancing fertility particularly in men. A 2016 NIH “The Use of Maca (Lepidium Meyenii) to Improve Semen Quality: A Systematic Review” study found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. Maca contains plant flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. One 2008 Menopause (NIH) study of 14 postmenopausal women found that P Maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Another 2015 Climacteric (NIH) “Maca Reduces Blood Pressure and Depression, in a Pilot Study in Postmenopausal Women” study found that P Maca could reduce not only blood pressure but also symptoms of depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.
Another NIH study found that postmenopausal women who took gelatin P Maca experienced reduced symptoms of menopause, per a 2006 International Journal Biomedical Science (NIH); and also relieved symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, per the 2015 NIH study “Maca Reduces Blood Pressure and Depression…” referenced above.
Other Health Issues
Heart and Cardiovascular Disease. For example, research shows that heart problems could be an issue in low sex drive, found a 2017 ESC Heart Failure (NIH) study. If you’ve had cardiac problems in the past, that could be a factor here. This NIH study showed that an estimated 60 to 87 percent of patients who experienced heart failure report sexual problems and that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction is reported in up to 81 percent of male cardiac patients.
Columbus Batiste II, a cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, cited a number of small studies which linked low sexual function and unhealthy foods. Dr. Batiste believes that eating nutrient-dense foods such as legumes, fruits and whole grains can help with both sexual function and stall and reverse heart disease. There’s even some studies, like this 2014 Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity study reviewed by the NIH, that link diabetes in both men and women to sexual dysfunction.
Female sexual function appears to be more related to social and psychological components than to the physiological consequence of diabetes, however. According to a 2011 Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (NIH) study, do something everyday women usually enjoy, which will release the pleasure hormone oxytocin and it alone will Increase Libido In Women.
Again, we want to stress, supplement your diet each day with a natural Adaptogen, which will help regulate imbalanced hormones and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Resentment or lost of interest with partner. When there is a tremendous disparity between partners’ sex drives, and relationships can be difficult to manage.
The low-libido partner may feel pushed and resentful, and the high-libido partner can feel abandoned, betrayed, rejected, and angry. While both individuals within this dynamic struggle, the higher-libido partner has unique challenges, and their perspective will be different.
Resentment simmers in the background of their relationship. Sometimes it’s just boredom and lack of excitement, or the early decline after the “honeymoon period”, which puts a damper on relationships, according to a 2000 NIH “Couples’ Shared Participation in Novel and Arousing Activities and Experienced Relationship Quality” study, and a simple exercise of instilling excitement back into the relationship, restores the sexual attraction.
The answer here is open and honest communication, according to a 2010 Sage Journals “The Specific Importance of Communicating About Sex to Couples’ Sexual and Overall Relationship Satisfaction” study published in the Journal Of Social and Personal Relationships. This Temple University study examined the impact of general and sexual communication on couples’ overall and sexual satisfaction. Data were collected from 116 heterosexual, monogamous couples in relationships of at least three months’ duration. Sexual satisfaction mediated the relationship between open sexual communication and overall satisfaction.
The American Psychological Association, in a 2020 “Happy Couples: How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy” study also recommends open and honest communication concerning all issues, including deeper and more personal subjects like sex. When sexual issues are discussed and worked on openly and directly, many couples can empathize with one another for the first time, and come to a place where they both feel responded to and understood. Each partner needs to venture outside their comfort zone to work on coming together to build a sex life that can be fulfilling.
According to research, like a 2011 Journal of Marriage and Family (NIH) study, husbands and wives commonly experience conflict around sex and undertake emotion work to manage their own and their spouse’s feelings about sex. This emotion work is referred to as “performing desire” and the study shows how it is linked to gendered experiences in marriage and to competing cultural discourses around gender, heterosexuality, and marriage.
Excessive alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, and using it heavily can dampen mood, decrease sexual desire, and make it difficult for a man to achieve erections or reach an orgasm while under the influence, found a Lumen Learning “Alcohol and Other Depressants” report. That doesn’t mean you need to cut back completely, most experts say moderation is key. But what is moderation exactly? According to the 2019 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol” study, moderate drinking is no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
According to a 2019 Mayo Clinic “Alcohol Use: Weighing Risks and Benefits” study, moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial for reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Though some studies confirm that alcohol used in moderation, is good for your heart and circulation, but it can also be responsible for erectile dysfunction in men. It’s important to remember that sex and alcohol are a delicate balancing act. Remember, the secret is moderation.
Chronic stress. The body reacts to stress by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress, in particular, can interfere with your body’s hormone levels, and result in a low libido, as discussed in our “8 Tips In Healthy Eating” article. The arteries can also narrow and restrict blood flow in response to stress, which can also lead to erectile dysfunction in men, determined a Mayo Clinic 2020 “Erectile Dysfunction” study. Stress can also reduce libido in women by distraction, taking your mind off sexual desire.
The NIH reviewed a 2014 Sexual Medicine study on chronic stress and sexual dysfunction and arousal in women and concluded that high levels of chronic stress were related to lower levels of genital sexual arousal. Quoting the study:
Both psychological (distraction) and hormonal (increased cortisol) factors were related to the lower levels of sexual arousal seen in women high in chronic stress, but distraction was the only significant predictor when controlling for other variables.
The same activities and recommendations discussed in the depression topic (anti-depressants) also apply here.
Menopause. Women may experience low libido during menopause for a number of reasons. Estrogen levels drop suddenly during these years, causing much stress, and undesirable effects such as vaginal tissue becoming dry, as discussed in our “Manage For Stress” article. That, in turn, can lead to discomfort and pain during intercourse and discourage a woman’s sexual desire.
The reduction of estrogen also leads to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease in women, according to a 2019 Cleveland Clinic “Estrogen & Hormones” study. Menopause can also lower testosterone, the hormone that boosts libido in women, as it functions similarly as well in men. The North American Menopause Society has an interesting and informative 2009 “Hyperactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Understanding the Impact On Midlife Women” research paper written by Sheryl A. Kingsberg, PhD, worth reading.
The paper covers the lack of sexual desire in women and the negative and unhealthy consequences in not only causing distress but also having negative effects on personal relationships, quality of life, and general health status. Clinicians need to understand the implications and address the concerns of their patients.
Interestingly, the same activities and recommendations covered in the depression topic, also apply here. In addition, intake of vitamins C and D should be increased because of the risk of osteoporosis developing. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. It’s also advisable to eat more lean, protein-rich foods, such as fruits and veggies, and other foods that are rich in insoflavones, or phytoestrogens, which mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, as confirmed in a Oregon State Linus Pauling Institute “Soy Insoflavones” study. These protein-rich foods are soybeans, soy products, tofu, temph, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and beans.
A 2015 Climacteric study reviewed by the NIH concluded phytoestrogens appear to reduce the frequency of hot flushes in menopausal women, without serious side-effects. Reduce the use of inflammation-causing processed foods, and trigger foods and drinks, such as caffeine drinks and alcohol, high sugar, and spicy foods.
Dehydration. Dehydration affects both men and women. Women experience more emotional issues, but the physical negative side effects happens to be more critical for a man. When a man is dehydrated, he does not have as much blood volume in his body as when he is properly hydrated.
Therefore, according to a 2007 Andrology (NIH) study, because of lower blood volume from dehydration, blood vessels become constricted, as there is not enough blood to keep them tense, which impairs blood flow to all parts of the body, including the penis, reducing penile oxygen saturation causing erectile dysfunction. In women, the condition of vaginal dryness occurs with dehydration, making it very uncomfortable in participating in intercourse, per a 2018 Elsevier “Vaginal Dryness” research.
In addition to the physical effects of dehydration that impact penile erection, mood is also associated with dehydration, and may be attributed to the hormone cortisol. According to the 2011 Nutrients study reviewed by the NIH, when a person is mildly dehydrated, they may experience symptoms that include dark urine, dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, and lack of sexual desire. There’s a very simple solution. To Increase Sex Drive, one of many benefits, drink a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of filtered water daily. And, we said water or fused water with natural fruits added, not sweet or carbonated drinks.
We hope this article has been enlightening and answered some of the question you have about low libido, and solutions on how to naturally Increase Sex Drive in humans. Here is one more review you might want to read, “Naturally Healthy Concepts“. Any question you have, or comments you have, please leave them below.
(A) Use these links to reviews for more information, documented studies, and purchase these incredible nutrient-dense foods.
(1) Katie Hoffman Ted Talk “Mindfulness” Video