Let’s talk about sex. Don’t get embarrassed — it’s a natural part of life! But in order to have sexual drive, you need a healthy and balanced libido.
Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t a universal standard to judge whether one’s libido levels are normal. It varies from person to person, and is influenced by their lifestyle and preferences. Many people struggle with having a low libido, but don’t know the reason behind it, or how they can improve it.
We want you to feel confident in your sex drive and your body. Having a low libido isn’t something to be ashamed of — it’s a problem that can be rectified, if you’re willing to take the first step.
In this article, we’ll share the causes of low libido and practical tips on how to increase libido in both men and women.
Your desire for sex is based on a complex mix of many reasons, such as your physical and emotional well-being, lifestyle, experiences, beliefs, and current relationship.
However, if you do feel like you’re consistently experiencing low libido over a prolonged period, there are three main warning signs to look out for.
Men and women suffer a loss of libido in different ways, but there are a few general causes such as:
Some medicines can affect hormones that help regulate your sexual desire, make it more difficult to achieve an erection, or your ability to become physically aroused.
Medications known to affect one’s sex drive include:
Arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and neurological diseases are just some of the health problems that may lead to a loss of libido.
Exhaustion from working hard, caring for young children or aging parents, illness or surgery can contribute to a low sex drive.
External factors that contribute to reduced libido include mental health issues, poor body image, low self-esteem, or a history of sexual abuse. Physical or psychological stress leads to the release of hormones that can reduce sexual drive.
One of the main symptoms of this mood disorder is the loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities such as sex.
If partners differ in the frequency at which they engage in sex or in sexual preferences, it can also affect both their sex drive.
Having undesirable or uncomfortable experiences such as premature ejaculation or painful sex could cause lead to performance anxiety, and hence result in lowered libido in men.
Other possible causes for a loss of libido in men and women also include a lack of intimacy between partners (e.g not having or making time for each other), loss of attraction, or sense of familiarity (couples who have been together for quite some time tend to have sex less).
Relationship issues can also bring about a reduced sex drive. Couples who have unresolved fights, trust issues, and do not communicate effectively may find their sex life affected due to the lack of intimacy and connection.
Some of the reasons that can cause a woman’s sex drive to lessen include:
Some of the reasons that can cause a man’s sex drive to lessen include:
Studies have shown that testosterone therapy helps with mild erectile dysfunction, and also helps to improve libido in men with low levels of testosterone. Testosterone is also used as an effective treatment for postmenopausal women to improve their sex drive — it has little risk of side effects if the dosagee is within the normal female range.
However, if the root of your lowered sex drive is not hormonal, you may want to speak with a qualified health professional to determine the reason behind it.
Your doctor might conduct a pelvic exam to check for physical signs such as vaginal dryness and the thinning of genital tissues, or identify areas that trigger pain. They may also run tests to check your hormone levels, underlying thyroid problems or other health conditions. If they feel that there might be external elements contributing to it, they may also suggest for you to consult a sex therapist or counselor to work through underlying psychological issues.
Apart from testosterone treatments or consulting a medical professional, you can also make lifestyle changes to help you increase your libido. Curious to find out more? Read on for more helpful tips.
Did you know that regular exercise is not just great for your physical health, but your sexual health too? And this applies to both men and women. For men, exercising just 2.5 hours a week can boost your testosterone by 15%. On the other hand, 20 minutes of exercise could boost a woman’s sexual arousal by 169%.
Proper exercise doesn’t just build your stamina so you can last longer in bed — it also helps to reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones, resulting in a mood boost so you can be relaxed and enjoy intimate moments much better.
If you need some exercise recommendations, both resistance training and endurance training are great for improving your libido. Kegel exercises are also an incredibly easy option that you can do anywhere — it helps to strengthen your pelvic muscle, resulting in improved erections for men and better orgasms for women. You’re welcome!
How can you enjoy sex and have a good sex drive if you’re not in a good headspace? Being constantly stressed and worrying about your life, responsibilities and finances doesn’t bode well for the bedroom. Chronic stress causes your body to produce too much cortisol (a stress hormone), which leads to a lower libido.
It’s important to learn how to manage your stress effectively and practice self-care, so your stress doesn’t spill over into other aspects of your life. Do something that you enjoy and find relaxing so you can decompress after work — it could be as simple as having a hot bath or meditating. You don’t want to be constantly irritable and upset around your partner, take some time to yourself as you calm down and transition into home life after a long day at work.
Having open and honest communication between partners helps to foster a stronger emotional bond, which will lead to a better sex life. Carving out dedicated time for intimacy, quality time or even sexy time could also help improve your libido. It’s always important to stay connected and put in time and effort to strengthen your relationship.
Keep things fresh by trying out new sex positions, having sex at different locations, engaging in role play or utilising sex toys. You’ll be making precious memories whenever you try something new together.
Improving your lifestyle does wonders for your sex drive too. This entails a more balanced diet, sufficient sleep, self-care for your mental health, as well as avoiding drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. When you feel physically and emotionally healthy, you’ll have a better sex drive.
What you eat affects your overall health and sex drive — so here are some suggestions on what to eat. Did you know that eating foods high in zinc can boost your sex drive by improving your blood flow and hormone levels? This includes oysters (yum!), beef, pork, baked beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews, almonds and more. A diet rich in flavonoids also helps to boost your overall health and sex life, which includes apples, strawberries, blueberries, red wine, cherries, citrus fruits and more.
Having a low libido isn’t the end of the world. Sure, it’s not a great situation to be in, but once you’re able to identify the root cause, you’ll be able to take action to resolve the problem. So don’t freak out or panic if you’re struggling with a low sex drive — there are many ways to improve it, just be patient with yourself.
If you need more help in achieving those health needs and goals, why not take up a subscription with Vitable? All you have to do is complete a short online quiz, and you’ll get a vitamin combination personalized to your unique health needs (from over 1.2 million possible combinations) — how amazing is that!
If you’re wondering what supplements would be beneficial for your libido, zinc supplements and ashwagandha would definitely give you a boost. Zinc deficiency is associated with low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality and increased levels of male infertility. Studies have also shown that ashwagandha supports healthy sexual function and hormonal balance in both men and women.
Get home-compostable daily packs delivered straight to your doorstep monthly for fuss-free ease in getting your vitamin intake sorted. Made from premium quality ingredients backed by science and proudly made in Australia, there’s no reason to say no to Vitable. Get your custom vitamin packs today so you can give your libido the boost it needs.
*Always read the label and follow directions for use. If you experience any symptoms or if symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.