Sex Drive: Lessons inf Libido
Find the Missing Gear in Your Sex Drive
If your sex drive feels like it got up and went rest assured that you are not alone! Loss of sexual desire is all too common. I see women every day who are frustrated, depressed and guilt-ridden over the fact that they could care less about sex. You know, if sex for women were not so emotionally charged, then most women who are on the brink of exhaustion could manage it much easier. Men, on the other hand do not need to be emotionally balanced, nor energetic, nor even in the mood, to be in a near-constant sexual readiness. Often this decrepitancy between partners makes it difficult to get it together and understand each other in our crazy, active, over-scheduled lives. Men will often take it personally when their special woman really does not have an interest (again), and begin to doubt their desirability and manliness. Women then feel guilty and withdrawn, wondering why they cannot feel 20 again! Whatever the outcome, men and women both lose in this battle and often feelings are hurt and tension builds within the relationship.
Then there is the woman who has active, healthy sex lives with their partner that is not only fulfilling, but also pleasing and gratifying. These women frequently comment to me that they are “connected” in a special way to their partner and loved one, and enjoy the immense vitality that a good sex life brings. The irony in all of this is that the less frequently we have sexual intimacy, the less we desire it. On the other hand, the more often we have fulfilling, nurturing, sexual intimacy, the more sex-drive we have! We as women actually release hormones during sexual activity that increases a desire for more. These hormones when kept in proper balance create a feel of desire that is hard to recreate on your own.
If you suffer from low sex drive, whether it’s really low or just a bit different from the way “it used to be”, please read my tips on how to stoke the flame of desire, after all it is Cupids month we are in now!
First, we must have a quick hormone review: Testosterone is the hormone women manufacture within the ovaries and adrenal glands that is the most well known sex-drive hormone for men and women. The other hormones that have an integral part in creating and sustaining a healthy sex drive are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are important for not only initiating the drive but also for igniting the drive and keeping you emotionally and physically balanced for a vibrant sexual life. If you are lacking in one of these hormones, it could impair your drive or make you feel a bit like “work” to you. Testing these levels if you are experiencing this chronically is important to identify the culprit and then managing it so that you do not feel sluggish sexually.
Other testing that can be done is ultrasound testing to identify if there is blood flow impairment to the pelvic sexual organs. In our office, Susan Beardsley, FNP has received extensive training in this area and can help women who feel as if their sensation sexually is lagging a bit. With private consultation, hormone evaluation and diagnostic testing, many women find that they no longer have to suffer from the sex drive doldrums.
Below are triggers for a low-sex drive that may be causing your drive to drop:
- Birth control pills
- Blood pressure medication
- Steriod medication
- Being overweight
- Low, unhealthy self-esteem
- Chronic pain
- Chronic fatigue
- Hormone Imbalance
- Poor Diet
- Lack of exercise
Benefits of a healthy, active sex life are:
- Less Wrinkles on the face, yes, you heard me reduced-less acceleration in aging affects primarily in the face.
- More mood stabilization, less depression
- Weight loss/fat loss
- More energy
- Improved Self-Esteem
- Connection with partner
- Your partner will experience greater self-esteem
- You will get your partner to respect and help you more! (This has actually been clinically shown in a recent study).
Hormones for Improving the Sex Drive:
- Testosterone for women typically prescribed through a compounding pharmacy to replace low levels for women (non-synthetic is the best). Testosterone helps with drive and sexual sensation.
- Progesterone: non-synthetic, bio-identical progesterone can be used to balance out the effects of estrogen loss or excess for mood stabilization and energy.
- Estrogen: is used in women who are deficient and need the positive effects of healthy lubricated vagina, energy, drive, concentration and mood.
Alternatives to testosterone and/or other hormone prescriptions, or changes that can be implemented in addition to hormones include:
- Lifestyle Changes: The bottom line is we feel sexier when we feel better about ourselves.
- Exercise – Daily or 3-4 times per week for 20-50 minutes
- Diet – Avoid high-fat foods that make you feel sluggish. A high-fat meal, especially with dessert or alcohol, will cause you to feel tired and unable to perform, as you would like.
- Use flaxseed oil daily (1Tbsp)
- Increase soy in your diet to 30-50 Gms daily
- Avoid sugar and white flour. Use sprouted-wheat breads.
- Add good lean protein to each meal.
- Do Kegel exercises daily— tightening vaginal muscles and holding for the count of 10, try doing them throughout the day.
- Use a circulation enhancer. If you have lost sensation in the genital area, you may want to try one of the following for enhanced arousal: Eros stimulator: This device is designed to bring blood flow to the area prior to sexual activity or prescription topical Viagra-like cream or topical testosterone/estriol cream, which can be compounded at a formulary pharmacy. These are applied to the clitoral area prior to intercourse.
- Consider light therapy as a factor affecting sex drive. Many women suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If sunlight is not abundant where you live, consider getting a full spectrum light for your home.
- Use supplements believed to enhance sex drive:
- L-Arginine: Studies have shown this amino acid can increase sex drive and sensation.
- Vitamin E 200-400 IU daily: This antioxidant cannot only help improve libido, but when applied topically to the genital area, can reduce dryness and thinning of tissues.
- Adrenal and Liver Support Supplements
These supplements will assist in improving the absorption and excretion of hormones through the liver to enhance overall balance and effect.
More than anything remember this are of our bodies and relationship is complicated and needs constant refining and work. If you or your partner needs help, do not hesitate to ask for it. Make this Valentines Day with your special honey the best ever!