Female Libido: How to Get Your Mojo Back
For so many years, I have heard the stories of women explaining how they have felt their libido had “suddenly left the building”. It’s as if one day the light switch turned off. You used to want to have sex. A lot. There was a time when you couldn't wait to rip your partner’s clothes off, when you felt empowered and excited by the mere thought of a bedroom romp. Ah, the good ol' days. Recently, however, it seems that watching American Idol — or watching paint dry — are more appealing options than getting it on. Whatever happened to that sexy, flirtatious woman you used to know? Don't worry — she's still in there.
If you’re feeling like you’ve lost your mojo, you’re not alone. It’s a tricky subject to talk about, but extremely common, with about one in three women experiencing a lack of libido. Desire often dips with age: Over 50% of menopausal women say they experience a lack of sexual desire. For premenopausal women, that number is over one in four.
Overall, 45% of women have some level of sexual dysfunction, while only 15% of women will talk to their providers about it!
Libido is a very personal matter, and everyone has their own unique set point. It’s not necessarily a reflection of how often you have sex, or how satisfying it is when you do.
Libido and Desire are Two Different Things
Libido is the “revving up” stage - the oxygenation, blood flow, engorgement and lubrication, where desire is the emotional connection “the take me now” feeling.
For a female, her mind and her vagina need to be turned on! Blood flow and oxygenation is the key to rev up, clitoral engorgement, increase lubrication, excitement…that desire!
It is known that women need emotional desire to have sex, while men need sex to have emotional desire.
Sexual health is a multi-factorial phenomenon, and so closely tied to a persons overall health and wellness. I tell patients sexual health is a part of being human and that for women, libido is the other heartbeat of the body.
We know that sexual function yields a multitude of health benefits, impacts on sleep, immunity, emotional wellbeing, Conversely, sexual dysfunction can lead to martial-relationship issues, social isolation, depression, anxiety, and low self esteem.
Many factors influence your libido, and it’s normal for it to ebb and flow depending on what else is going on in your life. It’s also tricky to diagnose, since we’re all different, but when your lack of sexual desire begins to impact your life, or worry you, it’s time to look into possible root causes. Lower libido isn’t something you just have to accept. And once your libido drops, it can be restored. Many factors shape our desire, and working with Rachael, who specializes in sexual health can help you determine what are the right steps for you to start with to improve your quality of life.
Causes of Low Sex Drive for Women
There are many reasons a woman’s sex drive may begin to decline, here are the most common:
Age and other influences on hormones. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone all impact your libido, so when hormonal levels change, so can your desire. Perimenopause, menopause, and pregnancy can all lower libido due to hormonal changes. However, it’s important to note that a lower libido is not inevitable. Some women experience a surge in sexual desire after menopause or during pregnancy.
Pain. Declining hormone levels can lead to vaginal dryness and painful sex, which - understandably - weakens sexual desire. The vaginal area is particularly prone to irritated, dry skin, which can lead women to associate sex with pain, and therefore avoid any intimate contact. Other types of chronic pain can also influence your lbido - who wants to think about sex when their brain is busy focusing on a sore back?
Stress. Chronic stress not only makes it difficult to think about sex because your brain is too busy, it can also lead to higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol can lower your levels of the hormones that influence sexual desire, like testeostrone. For women in relationships, relationship stressors can be particularly damaging to sexual desire - it’s hard to think positively about sex if you resent your partner.
Medications and alcohol use. Many medications can negatively impact libido, including some common blood pressure treatments and antidepressants. One of the first steps in determining a cause of lower libido should be reviewing any medications with your healthcare practitioner. It may seem counterintuitive, but too much alcohol can also lower your libido. Some studies have found small amounts of red wine can help with libido, but there’s definitely a tipping point at which alcohol is detrimental.
Mental health. Depression is one of the most common contributors to a low libido. In fact, one study found that about one third of premenopausal women experiencing low desire also experience depression. Anxiety also impacts libido, since cortisol levels increase, and anxious thoughts make it difficult to think of other things. Plus, women experiencing anxiety are up to 10 times more likely to experience painful intercourse.
Revving Up Your Libido
Low libido can impact relationships, obviously, but it can also have a negative effect on body image. It’s hard not to feel frustrated and inadequate, and to feel as if your sexual life has ended. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve your libido.
1 - Hormonal therapy
Particularly for menopausal women, hormonal therapy can improve vaginal health and lubrication. At Innovative Wellness Inc., we specialize in doing the most comprehensive hormone testing, so we can evaluate hormone levels to the science. We can find the gaps, so we can conservatively treat you and bring your body back to balance and harmony. Menopause can be the best time of your life, if you are hormonally sound!
2 - Lifestyle changes
If you’re tired and run down, your libido can suffer. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, and address the stress in your life with stress-busters like meditation, instead of alcohol.
There are also scientifically proven health benefits to kissing, so pucker up often!
3 - Eat for libido
It’s true: the foods you eat can improve your sexual desire. Oysters have long enjoyed a reputation as aphrodisiacs, largely because of their high zinc content. Since zinc improves blood flow, it’s thought that sexual organs will experience increased blood flow. If you’re not a fan of oysters, other foods high in zinc include beef, cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
Chocolate is another food frequently cited as an aphrodisiac, but research hasn’t found much evidence to back this up - but dark chocolate is still a good Valentine’s Day gift ;)
Some studies point to the benefits of a Mediterranean diet on libido. With its focus on foods high in omega-3, such as salmon, and produce high in antioxidants, a Mediterranean diet reduces inflammation, which may have a positive effect on libido.
It has also been studied that foods high in Vitamin D have been proven to be helpful with supporting vaginal health, increasing energy, and helping with overall health. Check out our very own, high quality Ultimate Vitamin D supplement to help increase your levels of Vitamin D.
4 - Supplements for libido
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) and Chrysin are natural inhibitors of the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen. By reducing activity of this enzyme, these compounds help promote a healthy balance of testosterone and estrogen, which may be helpful in supporting sexual desire.
Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris) and Deer Antler (Cervus nippon) may help with healthy female libido by supporting the natural production of androgens.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a naturally occurring compound in the body which converts into hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, and which may help support healthy sexual function in post-menopausal women.
Tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia), a Southeast Asian plant also known as “Malaysian ginseng,” helps support testosterone levels and may help bolster occasionally low libido.
Chinese Ginseng, Horny Goat Weed and Ginkgo Biloba are herbs that support blood flow and adrenal health, which are also important factors in positively influencing sexual desire.
Guess what - we have a supplement that includes all these amazing natural ingredients in our very own Ultimate Libido For Her. A complex formulary blend of nutraceutical and herbal ingredients for the increase of female sexual desire and pleasure.
5 - Exercise
Regular exercise boosts libido in several ways. Intentional movement improves your mood, improves your body confidence, improves blood flow, and reduces stress. Strength training is one of the most effective forms of exercise, because it can raise testosterone levels and improve confidence. In addition, many women report increased desire as a positive side effect of a regular yoga practice.
6 - Acupuncture
By improving your body’s qi, or life force, acupuncture can improve libido. It’s also effective treatment for many factors that impact libido, such as chronic pain or depression.
7 - Pain relief
Repeat after me: Sex shouldn’t be painful! With the right support, it doesn’t have to be. Relieve irritated, dry skin with Fulfillene, a complex formulary blend of nutraceutical and herbal designed to increase female sexual desire and pleasure. The unique ingredients work to increase blood flow and adrenal support and help balance hormones.
8. Start feeling sexy again
While many of us blame kids, bills, or work and say we don't have the time or energy to get sexual, we're actually missing the real root causes. One of the main reasons I've found that women don't want to have sex is that they don't feel as sexy as they used to, yes, our body does go through changes, but sometimes we just need to re-learn and reconnect with our bodies again. Sexiness isn't something you just turn on and off. You have to cultivate it, get in touch with your body. Once you tap in to your sensuality, a great sex life — and a positive new outlook — are just around the corner
One way of tapping into this sexy feeling is to upgrade your underwear. Throw away those ripped, faded, you've-had-them-for-four-years granny panties and invest in some new underwear. The sexier, the better!
9. Get good sleep and remember to breathe
Mindful breaths enhance and reinforce the mind-body connection. For a few minutes each morning, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Clear your thoughts and focus on being calm. When you're relaxed, it's easier to get in touch with your inner sexiness.
A lack of proper and restful sleep can also negatively affect your libido. Sleep is so important and you should aim for 7-9 hours each night.
Nobody has to accept a lower libido. Don’t let embarrassment hold you back from restoring your desire. At Innovative Wellness Inc. we are here to help you feel your best and get your mojo back. Rachel, a certified sexual health clinician, works to help you get to the root cause and back to being your most vibrant and healthy self.
For more information on taking back control of your sex life, book a consultation today!
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