A common complaint for many women is the loss of libido, or sex drive. Often this symptom is associated with menopause, but adult women of varying age groups have noted a decline in sex drive [Source: Wilson]. While no one resolution exists, certain strategies can offer significant help for this condition and overall well-being.
At the foundation of this issue, most women aren’t aware of all the factors that effect libido, or the treatments available to help. Many are too embarrassed to share their worry with a physician. Patients are often told they are overstressed or depressed and given an antidepressant. Unfortunately, many medications actually make the problem worse. Many women note that stress is not the major issue, and that depression is really frustration that their libido is not in sync with that of their partner.
Focus on the following 5 areas to add flicker back to the flame.
Libido is just one of many areas affected by poor sleep. Without quality sleep, energy will suffer and the body is forced to ration its energy. For those needing a good night’s sleep and a libido lift, start a gentle exercise program in the evening. Explore yoga or tai chi which don’t exhaust the body, and provide a nice sense of relaxation for the mind.
If stress is a major distraction from your love life, utilize tools to help the body unwind. Massage, exercise and adequate rest are powerful against stress. B complex vitamins help support the stress glands, adrenal glands, as does ginseng and licorice. Eating a healthy diet with limited refined sugar helps keep the body in balance. If depression is an issue, this should be discussed with a significant other and a physician so that you can observe other therapies.
Fatigue is often a major contributor to low libido. If the body feels that is does not have the strength to get through the day at an optimal level, it will begin to ration its energy. On a biochemical level, fatigue and stress drive certain hormones, like DHEA and testosterone, down. Though these are often considered male hormones, they are also found and needed in females (in lesser amounts). Low levels of testosterone and DHEA can be replaced to help raise libido [Source: Sherwin].
DHEA can be taken orally and is available over-the-counter. Testosterone is available by prescription and is typically given to women as a cream. Both of these hormones may be low in women well before menopause has started. They can be checked through blood, urine or saliva testing. For many, replacement with DHEA and other hormones can also improve sleep and improve mood, both of which provide a natural boost to libido.
Hormone replacement. One may also want to consider the replacement of estrogen and progesterone. This is not always an easy decision, but you may want to consider the benefits of bioidentical hormones.
Ginseng has historically been used to improve endurance and stamina [Source: Li]. It is tolerated well and combines with DHEA to aid in libido and what is often described as an “improved sense of well-being [Source: Tode].” Observe caution if you experience high blood pressure or have a history of high heart rate.
This extract of green tea has a gentle calming and focusing effect on the mind, lessening the “racing” that keeps the brain awake at night and disrupts the body’s attention toward lovemaking.
Could robots be used in the future as sex therapy tools? This piece of science fiction on HowStuffWorks investigates the possibilities.
- Wilson, M.M. (1987). Menopause. Clin Geriatr Med, 19(3):483-506.
- Sherwin, B.B. (1987). The role of androgen in the maintenance of sexual functioning in oophorectomized women. Psychosom Med, 49(4):397-409.
- Tode, T. (1999). Effect of Korean red ginseng on psychological functions in patients with severe climacteric syndromes. Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 67(3):169-74.
- Li, T.S.C., Harries, D. (1996). Medicinal values of ginseng. The Herb, Spice, and Medicinal Plant Digest, 14:1-5.