Anxiety, relationship difficulties, health concerns, and age can all affect libido. While a low libido is not usually problematic, it can affect both your relationship and self-esteem.
In women it is progesterone which is hormone behind sex drive so if your levels are low then that could be one of the reasons your libido is low and here are some of the things that can also affect it.
1. Manage anxiety
Having high levels of anxiety is a common barrier to libido for both men and women. This may be anxiety due to life stress or specific sex-related anxiety.
People with an intense work schedule, caring responsibilities, or other life stresses may feel fatigued and, as a result, have a low sexual desire.
All these can help you manage your anxiety:
– practicing good sleep hygiene
– making time for a favourite hobby
– exercising regularly
– eating a nutritious diet
– working to improve relationships
– talking to your GP or a therapist/counsellor
2. Improve relationship quality
Many people experience a lull in sexual desire and frequency at certain points in a relationship. This may occur after being with someone for a long time, or if it seems as if things are not going well in your intimate relationships.
Focusing on improving the relationship can increase each partner’s sex drive. This might involve:
– planning date nights
– doing activities together outside of the bedroom
– practicing open communication
– setting time aside for quality time with each other
3. Focus on foreplay
Having better sexual experiences may increase your desire for sex, and that will boost your libido.
In many cases, people can enhance their sexual experiences by spending more time on preliminary affectionat touching and kissing, and for women, foreplay may be especially important as according to some 2017 research, only around 18 percent of women orgasm from intercourse alone.
4. Get good-quality sleep
Getting good sleep will improve your overall mood and energy levels, and some research also links sleep quality to libido.
A small-scale 2015 study in women suggested that getting more sleep the night before increased their sexual desire the next day.
5. Get your diet right
Following a healthy diet can benefit your sex drive by promoting good circulation and heart health, and by removing specific foods that can decrease libido.
It is the usual advice, still good despite you already knowing it inside out, which means a good variety of vegetables, whole grains, little sugar and saturated fats.
Diets like the Mediterranean one are idea as this diet benefits your heart, circulation and libido.
6. Herbal remedies
Research into the benefit of maca powder (not matcha) for libido is ongoing and a 2015 review study states that there is limited but emerging data that the following herbal remedies may improve sexual function:
Herbs are powerful substances so always consult a qualified herbalist and check with your Doctor or pharmacist for any contraindications with medication.
8. Get regular exercise
Getting regular exercise can help libido in many ways, for both men and women. A 2015 study of men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy, which lowers testosterone levels, found that regular exercise helped men cope with issues such as body image concerns, low libido, and relationship changes.
The popular Kegel pelvic floor exercises can also be helpful for women, and are easily found on the Internet.
People should be wary of using herbal medicines without their doctor’s approval. Some herbal medicines can interact with existing medications, and the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate them. For this reason, their quality, purity, and safety remains unclear.
9. Stay at a healthy weight
Some scientists link overweight and obesity to low sex drive, along with other factors related to reduced fertility.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can improve sex drive, both physically and psychologically as it can also lead to increased body confidence.
Eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise can help achieve this, as well as boost a person’s overall energy levels.
9. Try sex therapy
Sexual desire is complex, with both psychological and physical components. Even when a person has a physical condition that affects libido, such as diabetes, improving the emotional and psychological response to sex can improve libido and sexual functioning.
Therapy is an effective strategy for increasing low libido. Individual counseling can help address negative views about sex, self-esteem, and secondary causes of low libido, such as depression and anxiety.
Alongside talking therapies, mindfulness therapy may also help. One 2014 study found that just four sessions of mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy in a group setting improved sexual desire, sexual arousal, and sexual satisfaction for women.
To find a suitable therapist in your area you could contact RELATE who offer counselling and therapy. Details from their website here:
If you prefer counselling by phone they have a telephone service and get details by contacting their booking line on: 0300 0030396.
10. Time to quit smoking?
Cigarettes can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and good heart health is important for good sexual functioning.
People who smoke may find that their energy levels and sex drive increase after they quit.
If you think that your hormones may also be a factor, and you are lacking in progesterone then the following will be helpful. If you are experiencing dryness and difficulty during sex then it may be you need a little oestrogen as well as progesterone so a combination cream might then be better for you.
Because low libido, or a sudden shift in libido, can be a sign of a health condition, it is safest to talk to a doctor to rule out any medical cause.