You have just gotten home from a long day at work. You still have to make dinner, clean up and do a couple of loads of laundry before you can even think about relaxing. Your partner gives you that look and motions towards the bedroom. You remember the days when you would put all responsibilities aside to frolic in the bed with the one you love. But now you are way too tired and would rather just lay on the couch, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy.
“Not tonight honey, I have a headache.”
Low libido, low sex drive or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD; as it is known in the medical world) is one of the most common sexual problems in women. A survey conducted in 2009 at the University of Chicago found that 33.4% of respondents suffer from low libido. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 43% of women experience difficulty with sexual desire.
What is happening?
Low libido is a very complex condition. Fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and psychological factors can all play a role in HSDD. Anxiety and depression contribute to the problem, and ironically, so do many pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat these conditions. Antidepressant medications, the birth control pill, and tranquilizers are just some of the drugs that can lower sex drive in women. To help get you back in control here are 7 Actions To Take Now:
1. Get assessed for hormone levels. Your Naturopathic Doctor can order a salivary hormone test to determine your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), DHEA (the anti-stress/anti-aging hormone), estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone (yes, women do produce testosterone!). Pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women can suffer from imbalances. There are many natural herbs, vitamins, and homeopathic remedies that can be used to bring your hormones back into balance. Typically, women suffering from low libido have low levels of progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Estrogen and cortisol levels are most likely out of balance as well.
2. Get assessed for thyroid function. A low-functioning thyroid zaps your energy, lowers your mood, and reduces sexual desire.
3. Get your iron levels and Vitamin B12 levels checked. These are commonly low in females and deficiencies result in fatigue and low motivation.
4. Talk to your doctor about any possible side effects your medication(s) may be having. Anti-depressants and the birth control pill are common culprits. Ask your doctor about alternate medications with fewer side effects. Never stop taking medication without consulting with your doctor first.
5. Get help from your health care practitioner if you are suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression. Don’t go it alone.
6. Get The Blood Flowing: Exercise gets the blood flowing, reduces stress, and boosts mood and energy. It increases the release of natural feel-good endorphins, and improves self-esteem and body image. A study done at the University of Texas showed that women who had just completed one 20 minute session of cardio exercise were more aroused (as measured and self-reported) from an erotic film than those who didn’t exercise.
7. Spice it up. Try a new position in bed, focus on foreplay, be spontaneous, pick up some new toys, watch a video, and/or give each other a massage. This will add to the excitement and get you in the mood. Physical touch can increase the release of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, which can bump up sexual desire.
Since HSDD is such a complex condition with many causes, make sure you are assessed to determine which treatment is suitable for you to boost libido. Ask your healthcare practitioner about how to use these 8 Herbs To Get Your Mojo Back!
Ashwaganda, Relora, Rhodiola, Licorice, Siberian Ginseng and other adaptogenic herbs help to increase energy, reduce stress and put that spring back into your step!
Damiana acts as a natural aphrodisiac and sexual stimulant. Ginseng may also increase sexual desire.
Maca is a wonderful herb to reduce stress, increase energy, bring your hormones back into balance, and support a healthy libido. It is a root from South America and can be found in a capsule or powder form.
Ginkgo increases blood flow to the female genitalia, heightening arousal and orgasm.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.
Photo by coolcal2111