Since sex carries with it physical, emotional, and biological elements, there are a zillion things that affect your libido. What can you do to help increase a low sex drive? Finding out what sparks your interest in sex involves a little trial and error.
Keep reading to find ways to boost your low libido. Sex is an important part of being human, and everybody deserves a satisfying sex life. But, what happens when you lose interest in sex? Everyone experiences a rut in their sex life from time to time. Read on to find out what might be causing it and what to do to find your mojo again. Libido is simply your sex drive — how often you think about sex and intimacy throughout the course of any given day.
Of course, your sex drive changes from day to day, even hour to hour. What causes low sex drive? Since sex carries with it physical, emotional, and biological elements, there are a zillion things that affect your sexual desire.
Here are some of the more common reasons why you may have little to no interest in sex these days. Birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives contain a ton of synthetic estrogen.
Once released, it indiscriminately snaps up all the estrogen, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone it can hang onto. In fact, one study shows elevated levels over six months after stopping. The hormones that farmers administer to animals make their way into your dairy, meat, and water supply, which trips SHBG production just like the pill does. You can also find endocrine disruptors and estrogen-mimicking chemicals in plastics, cleaning supplies and personal care products you use every day, which build up in your system over time and have a similar libido-dampening effect.
Sex drive during pregnancy, the post-partum months, and menopause Women go through major hormonal shifts several times throughout life. One of the most noticeable and expected hormone changes happens during pregnancy, and everyone responds differently. For some women, sex is the furthest thing from their minds during pregnancy. Hormones change, and the brain measurably changes in structure. That said, a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that psychological factors, not physical ones, predict whether women regain their sex drive after childbirth.
The natural drop in hormone production can decrease desire and sexual function for example: Early on, you can solve bedroom snags with simple steps like introducing lubricant into foreplay. As menopause progresses, you might want to open up a conversation with your functional medicine doctor about natural ways to rev your engine. Low sex drive and depression The relationship between depression and sex drive is a total catch On the one hand, people who suffer from depression experience sexual dysfunction more often than non-depressed individuals.
Antidepressant medications, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , negatively affect sexual function in both men and women. Sex can help with depression itself. Stress affects sex drive One of the strongest libido killers is stress. Stress has a profound effect on whether or not you want to get it on.
Reason being, sex leads to babies and babies born into a hostile environment have a lower chance of survival than do babies born into safety. Sleep and libido Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality kills your sex drive in several ways.
You might actually have a headache. When you need sleep, your bed has one draw and one draw only. If you need help in the sleep department, check out this article on how to hack your sleep. Fix low sex drive with sex? Fisher points to the biological system behind this idea. You might surprise yourself.
After a while, you might feel stronger desire and more effortless arousal. Strengthen your emotional connection to boost sex drive Sex is the bridge between the physical and the emotional, and a solid loving foundation keeps you hot for each other. In long-term relationships, you have to be intentional about it. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Get to know each other, over and over Sometimes life just gets in the way, and your to-do list takes priority over fostering real connection with your partner. To counter feelings of disconnectedness, spend time every night talking — really talking — about feelings and ideas, not about what needs to be done around the house. Remember how inquisitive you were when you were just beginning to date? Get to know your partner on that level again. Need help getting started?
On your next date night, download the Gottman Card Decks app and take turns asking one another the open-ended questions. Science says keep things fresh and new Routine has its place — you need it for day-to-day efficiency.
Certain things benefit from mixing it up on the regular, and staying connected with your partner is one of those times. New experiences help your hypothalamus pump out the brain chemical dopamine, in anticipation of an awesome outcome. Dopamine, the brain chemical responsible for motivation and reinforcement, is responsible for making an animal do something over and over again. Because of its role in seeking behaviors, dopamine has a major effect on sex drive. The more dopamine surges around sex and your partner, the more you go after him or her.
So, how do you get a nice dopamine surge when you need it? Try new things with your partner. When you explore a new place or try a new activity with your partner, a hit of dopamine signals to your brain that this was a motivationally significant event. Overwork and the fatigue and resentment that come with it will certainly quiet your bedroom.
Relationship counseling might help guide the conversation toward a place of understanding. Libido boosters So, what can you do to help increase a low sex drive?
Finding out what works for you involves a little trial and error. Here are some things to get you started: Look into non-hormonal birth control methods. Clean up your diet. More info on that here. See if you can slowly reduce your use of plastics and swap out your cleaning and personal care products with natural alternatives.
Start a meditation practice or explore supplementing with adaptogenic herbs. See how you can restructure your day to tack on an extra 30 minutes on either end, or work in an afternoon snooze. Look into natural ways to increase sex drive.
Find a qualified functional medicine doctor to help you identify your exact issues and find what will work for you. If you need to lighten your housework load or if you have unresolved issues with your partner, open up the conversation. Prioritize intimacy with your partner. Do the things that make you feel closer as a couple. Making a regular practice of date nights, cuddling, and meaningful conversations goes a long way to strengthening your relationship.
Maca root increases production of male hormones without making you grow chest hair. For women, it can be just enough of a boost to get you going. Sometimes, just showing up is enough to get you going. Try a few of these small changes. About Courtney Sperlazza, MPH Courtney Sperlazza, MPH, is an epidemiologist who has worked in medical research on projects ranging from breast cancer epidemiology to end-of-life decision-making.