A woman’s libido is influenced by a vast number of things. While men can also experience reduced sex drive it is more common to hear women questioning their own, so let’s address it.
Firstly, it’s important to explore the motivation and cause of how you are feeling. Are you comparing your drive to what you see in movies, to your partner’s drive, or perhaps yourself in the early years of your current relationship? Are you attracted to your partner and have a good, supportive connection? Are you anxious about the discomfort associated with sex due to vaginal dryness or pelvic pain? Are you over the age of 40 years and approaching the hormonal shifts of menopause? Do you have a family history of thyroid issues? Do you take medications such as anti-depressants, birth control, or beta-blockers?
…this is just the beginning of how a naturopathic doctor (ND) will begin to explore your concern.
There is no magic pill to boost your sex drive, but here are some tips that can move you closer to a happy ending…
Stress plays a big role in reducing a woman’s libido. A supplement to support adrenal gland function is essential, as is mindful relaxation like meditation or yoga, and daily physical activity. To calm anxiety, Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant whose action feels similar to having a glass of wine and can often be just the thing to bring you more into the present moment.
Disconnect to reconnect - Turn off your social media for the weekend. Heck, turn off your phones while you’re at it. By shutting the rest of the world out you can focus more on what is right in front of you. Schedule date nights. A weekend away. And when you are together, imagine it’s the first time your partner is kissing, caressing, ____ing you; the anticipation can be delicious!
Hormones - get your levels checked. There may be a true chemical reason your libido is down. Ask your ND to test your estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and a full thyroid panel. It’s not only for menopausal women; let’s face it, pregnancy, parenting, worry, working, multitasking, and basically living in today’s environment are taxing on the body. Your hormones may be feeling the pressure.
Communication is essential in all relationships, but if you are in a heterosexual one there is something important to know: In general, men need sex in order to connect... while women need to connect in order to have sex! Men also tend to have a higher sex drive and think about sex much more often than women. Discuss expectations, find ways to meet each other’s needs, and talk about what you need in order to have more success getting ‘in the mood’.
Looking for a personalized approach? Working with a ND will include exploring your stressors, hormone levels, medications (adverse effects), mood, alcohol use, surgical history, and the difference between sex drive vs. pleasure.
The intimacy and connection of sex can be important for most relationships and for overall health. If you feel your drive needs some support begin with the above suggestions, and be mindful of what feels healthy and satisfying to you.