Low Libido? Natural Libido Enhancers May Be Your Answer
Women’s sexuality is complex and composed of many factors working in tandem. When everything works together as it should, women experience sexual desire and fulfillment. But, there are times when one or more of these factors gets out of balance. This leads to low libido and possibly complete loss of sexual desire. The best approach to dealing with this problem is to seek natural libido enhancers for women.
Instead, women seek help from their primary care physicians. Unfortunately, physicians are trained to prescribe medications that address symptoms, rather than the root cause of the low libido. They tend to view these medications as the only way to handle low libido.
But, there isn’t a single, simple model to follow for dealing with this condition in women. Many different components can lead to women’s desire for sex. Her physical well-being, emotional state, past experiences, beliefs regarding sexual relationships, lifestyle, and the state of her current relationship all work together to affect sexual desire.
What if you want to try natural libido enhancers? You have to seek out a physician or medical practitioner who will consider all of the factors above in setting out a plan to help you.
You’re not alone if you’re dealing with low libido. Low sexual desire is the most common sexual dysfunction. As many as one-third of adult women experience low sexual desire on an ongoing basis. This condition interferes with their quality of life. It’s an under-reported and under-recognized condition that can take a real toll on your feelings about yourself and your partner.
During menopause, of course, it’s common for women to feel less desire for sex. The natural imbalance of hormones may be a primary cause of low libido at this stage of life. But, low libido can hit you even if you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. You may be very healthy otherwise, but for some reason, you suddenly lose your desire for sex.
Your lack of interest in sex may be a temporary issue brought on by another problem. Being pregnant can cause a lowered interest in sex in some women. This could be due to the hormonal changes taking place during pregnancy or fear of the sex act hurting the baby. Having financial or other life problems could take a toll on sexual desire, also. If you had a hysterectomy, you could find yourself not having an interest in sex due to the hormonal changes brought on by the surgery.
Imbalanced hormones can be the greatest cause of low libido in both men and women. Hormone-related low libido can happen at relatively young ages as well as during menopause.
Low libido brought on by hormone imbalances will be troubling at any age. The good news is that there are ways to handle low libido without resorting to medications, that often have unacceptable side effects. Natural libido enhancers for women are available. Balancing hormones is one approach that will bring relief without unwanted orm uncomfortable side effects.
What Are The Effects Of Low Libido On You?
There are some women who simply aren’t all that interested in sex. If this is you, it isn’t necessarily a problem. But if you have had a healthy desire for sex, then lost it, you know the feelings that can come with this loss.
One of the more difficult aspects of low libido is that it doesn’t stay in the bedroom. Certainly, the bedroom is where this lack of desire becomes most evident. And, even if you continue having sex with your partner, you’re only going through the motions. You’re meeting an obligation. Your partner soon senses this.
Research shows as many as seventy percent of women who have this problem also have issues in their personal and interpersonal lives as well.
Having low sexual desire leaves a void in your life. Sex is a major part of everyone’s life, so when it no longer is wanted, there’s an emptiness. With this emptiness comes a feeling of distress. When you no longer have sexual drive or thoughts or fantasies, it puts a strain on your relationship with your partner.
Some research has shown 85 percent of women believe a loss of sexual desire lowers the level of intimacy in their relationships. Two-thirds of them believe it also decreases their ability to communicate with their partner.
Often, having low sexual desire will lead to more fights with your intimate partner. More fights of this kind lead to everyone in the family being affected negatively. If children are present in the family, they can tell when you and your partner are fighting, no matter how hard you try to hide it.
In addition to these interpersonal relationship issues, you may also have very uncomfortable feelings about yourself. One of the more common behaviors you’ll find will be questioning yourself about what’s wrong with you. You’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong to have no interest in an act that was enjoyable before.
Questioning yourself like this can lead to depression and low self-esteem. After all, you’re supposed to enjoy sex. Everyone tells you that. But … you don’t. You’re different. And too often, being different means being wrong. Being wrong in such a major area of your life must mean you’re not doing something right.
Your self-worth hits the bottom. You’re embarrassed that you don’t want sex. You feel inadequate and want to withdraw from everyone.
Women with low sexual desire report other issues about twice as often as other women. Issues like fatigue, memory problems, low quality of life, and depression and anxiety. But, only about one-third of women with low libido ever seek help.
Is it any wonder that the divorce rate rises rapidly for women with this condition?
How Common Is Low Libido?
You already know low sexual desire is often seen in menopausal women and in younger women who have had surgical hysterectomy. But nearly half of women who are below the typical age of menopause report having low libido at some time in their lives. Of these, only about 14 percent knew it was actually a medical condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
This loss of desire for sex is the most common sexual dysfunction in women, no matter their age.
As you will see, the reported numbers of women suffering from low libido vary from study to study. But the consensus among health practitioners is that it is under-reported for various reasons. And they never get the information needed on the natural libido enhancers.
One study reported over 50 percent of menopausal women had low sexual drive. The same study showed 27 percent of women below menopausal age reported having low libido. The researchers estimated about 16 million women age 50 and up were affected by low libido.
A study conducted in 2006, the Women’s International Study of Health and Sexuality, showed 24 percent to 36 percent of those interviewed aged 20 to 70 had low libido. But, another study completed in 2008, showed low libido to be present in about 27 percent of women younger than menopausal age and in about 52 percent of menopausal women.
So what numbers are right? It’s hard to say. But clearly low libido is a common complaint among women of menopausal age and younger. They are the best candidates for natural libido enhancers.
What Are Possible Causes of Low Libido?
Just as women’s sexual response is a complex and sometimes complicated interaction of many factors, the causes of low sexual desire are likewise complex. Four primary causes have been identified: hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficits, psychological issues, and physical problems.
Hormonal imbalance can be one of the most frequent causes of low libido in women. Balancing hormones is necessary in keeping a healthy libido by using natural libido enhancers. Estrogen dominance will bring on a loss of libido. A low level of progesterone, experienced with estrogen dominance, can lead to heavy periods, depression, fibroids, and cysts in your breasts. All issues potentially interfering with sexual desire.
Too much estrogen can also alter the level of testosterone in your body. Good levels of testosterone are needed for interest in sex, arousal during sex, and the intensity of orgasms. Testosterone’s role in sexual desire is not well understood. This is mainly because, the most common symptom is low libido, a complaint that many physicians attribute to depression.
Thyroid and DHEA are also a part of your sexual desire and response. If you have low levels of DHEA, you may have low levels of testosterone. Low thyroid levels slowdown metabolism in the sex organs.
Adrenal glands produce DHEA. It’s changed into estrogen and testosterone by the body. It decreases naturally as you age, but can be depleted by adrenal gland problems. The adrenal glands play a major role in your sexuality. This is where women make DHEA and testosterone.
Most people feel more sexual desire, when vacationing away from daily stress. Being relaxed and getting plenty of sleep helps you feel more like having sex. Building up the adrenal glands through rest leads to a greater chance of fulfilling sex.
Adrenals are also related to sex drive through looks. If you’re stressed about being overweight, for example, your desire for sex may be low. When your adrenal glands are overworked, metabolic derangement can occur, with fat buildup around your middle, and a tendency to eat carbs to increase energy.
Often, low libido is due to daily stress like jobs, relationships, environmental toxins, and insomnia can set in motion the natural stress response. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is set in motion. This leads to the adrenal glands secreting cortisol. As more stress builds up, the adrenals are pushed to secrete more cortisol. Eventually, they stop functioning. This is known as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). Adrenal glands no longer make enough DHEA and testosterone. Blood sugar levels increase because of low levels of cortisol. This can lead to weight gain. With depleted adrenal glands and too little cortisol, thyroid function is affected. Thyroid, DHEA, and testosterone all play a part in your sexual desire. And, other symptoms of AFS can interfere with your desire as well. You’ll be more likely to catch the flu and other infectious diseases because of a depleted immune system. Your memory can be affected and you feel like you’re in a fog much of the time. Fatigue is a common symptom. Your periods may be very heavy or stop and depression is common.
Nutritional and Lifestyle Causes
Unfortunately, not many traditionally-trained physicians consider natural libido enhancers components as a cause of low libido. However, more and more research points to gut health playing a major role in your health overall, and in your sexual health for sure. It is in the gut, where nutrients are absorbed.
One major fact that points out nutritional deficiencies as a cause of low libido can be seen in the fact that while post-menopausal women make up only 13 percent of the population, they take 30 percent of the drugs prescribed in the U.S. Prescription medications are notorious for causing nutritional deficits. Too little nutrition leads to low libido.
Some of the common prescription medications that lead to deficient nutrition include:
- diabetes med
Lifestyle habits, like drinking that glass of wine, can lead to increased desire for sex. But too much alcohol leads to low libido. Smoking can also decrease arousal for sex.
Excess fatigue from caring for young children or aging parents can take away your desire for sex.
Birth control pills have been said to lower sex drive also. This is a debate among medical professionals. Some believe the pills should take away the fear of getting pregnant and thus should increase sex drive.
Some symptoms of nutritional deficiency include:
- weight loss
- decreased immune system
- memory loss
Interestingly, many of these symptoms are the same you’ll see in AFS. All of them, in both conditions, can lead to low libido. So try natural libido enhancers.
Certainly, any time a woman is depressed or anxious, libido will be low. Interest in and thoughts of sex are the last thing women with these conditions are concerned with.
In addition, to what may be called typical psychological causes of low libido, we have to think about relationship issues, as well. If the relationship between a woman and her partner is not going well, she will not be interested in sex. The sense of intimacy that needs to be there, in a good relationship, may be temporarily depressed. In this case, there may be thoughts of sex, but the act is not consummated. Poor communication, loss of trust in the other, lack of connection with the partner are all relationship difficulties that interfere with libido.
Stress can be a cause of low libido as well. In our society, stress is everywhere. Job stress, financial pressure, stress due to raising children, the stress of taking care of older parents, stress from environmental toxins all take a great toll on libido.
Addressing Low Libido and Natural Libido Enhancers
When considering how to increase low libido with natural libido enhancers, it’s important to adopt the appropriate viewpoint. Too many conventionally-trained physicians look at the body as a collection of organs to be approached individually. A much more comprehensive approach is seen in the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) model of stress response. This model is more likely to lead to successful handling of the root issues behind low libido because of its insistence on viewing the body as a set of interconnected and interrelated systems. In the case of low libido, stress is one of the major causes. The hormonal system is affected greatly with too high levels of estrogen and too low levels of progesterone and testosterone. With increasing, and continuing stress, thyroid function slows, resulting in weight gain around the middle of the body. This then leads to issues with the metabolic system, especially the gut. Problems with the gut lead to lowered immune function and increased inflammation. The interaction of these systems leads to symptoms that include low libido. In order to have optimum intervention results, all these systems must be considered at the same time. Some other symptoms result from dysfunction in the neuro-affective system. Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and foggy thinking all originate in this system as it responds to the symptoms in the other systems. The symptoms, that come from stimulation of these systems, are those seen in AFS. They also are very similar to those seen in women with low libido from any of the other causes discussed above.
Medication Approaches to Low Libido
Dealing with low libido in women typically is approached first by prescribing medications. This choice is one made by conventionally-trained physicians who don’t consider natural ways of enhancing libido.
Medical interventions, of this nature, typically have the highest risk of adverse side effects. They also may be the most costly in the long run. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common way of dealing with low libido. It’s usually quick and fairly intense, but also leads to the most serious side effects. The risk of any of the several types of cancer, is high. This has been shown in several research studies.
Many healthcare professionals are reconsidering the use of HRT because of the increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, blood clots, and heart disease.
Estrogen therapy is probably the most frequently used medication approach. One of the side effects of this therapy is a resulting estrogen dominance that significantly reduces testosterone and lowers libido. Oral estrogen, such as that prescribed for HRT, can lead to increased SHBG, and thus lower testosterone. Low libidois a result. This being said, Bioidentical hormone replacement ( bHRT), using estrogen along with testosterone, can also be considered.
Lifestyle Changes for Low Libido
Rather than resorting to medication as a method of treating low libido, changing your lifestyle is a better choice. It is one of the natural libido enhancers that shows good results with few, if any, unwanted side effects.
Changing your lifestyle is a low risk way to deal with low libido. However, it requires the most self-discipline. Because of this requirement, chances of failure are relatively high. What typically happens if failure occurs is you start off with high expectations, hit a plateau in your changes or fall back into old habits, then you feel guilt and low self-esteem. This then pushes you to give up trying.
But, some relatively simple lifestyle changes can lead to great benefits in changing hormone levels to more balanced and effective levels. This reduces the symptoms of low libido, AFS, and increases overall health.
Diet is one of the best lifestyle changes you can make for natural libido enhancers. Eating healthy and balanced diets will go far toward your goal of natural libido enhancers. Fill your diet with fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water daily. Increase foods that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These foods will help you balance your hormones.
In addition to diet, exercise is another key to naturally enhancing your libido. Yoga is an excellent exercise to help achieve this goal.
In every way possible, reduce stress in your life. Your body’s response to stress is a natural thing, but it sets in motion a cascade of responses that can lead to symptoms of AFS, which include low libido among many others. Resolve conflicts you may have in your life, make the active choice to enjoy whatever you do at work, keep your thoughts and speech positive in spite of the negativity around you in the world, do what you can to help others, and remember your spiritual self in the way you choose.
Herbal Interventions for Low Libido
Another way to naturally enhance your libido is through the use of appropriate herbs. There are quite a number of herbs you can use, but some of them may have side effects, just as medications do. There is little to no risk in using herbs as a natural libido enhancement. In contrast, to lifestyle changes, using herbs is possibly the easiest way to deal with low libido. They approach the issue of low libido directly at the source.
There are essentially two types of herbs to consider when working to balance hormones. Phytoestrogenic herbs have estrogenic compounds that come from plants. They add estrogen to the body as a way of dealing with hormone imbalance, but this often leads the body to stop producing estrogen on its own. If this happens, it leads to a further decrease in the body’s own hormones.
Non-estrogenic herbs do not contain estrogen. These herbs nourish the pituitary and endocrine glands, leading them to make natural hormones more efficiently. This process balances estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone naturally. These herbs may be the safest way to deal with the symptoms of imbalanced hormones. They seem to be very appropriate methods to enhance libido naturally.
You should keep in mind that herbs in general have not been scientifically studied well. The reports about benefits have nearly all been word of mouth from users. How much of the positive results, from the use of herbs, is a placebo effect is not known. Possible side effects of herbs are not well known, either. Certainly, the lack of consistency in amount of herbs used or the quality of the herbs affects the results you may get. When trying to enhance libido naturally, use caution if you take herbs.
Some herbs may act as stimulants to the body. This could be detrimental to you if you’re in a condition of adrenal fatigue. What is beneficial for one person may become detrimental to another depending on overall health and the health of your adrenals. You should use herbs as a way to enhance your libido naturally, but only under the watchful care of an experienced adrenal expert.
It is said to increase blood flow to a woman’s sexual organs. This increases arousal and makes it a popular herb to use. Menopausal women also get relief from hot flashes, anxiety, and depression with this herb. For some with adrenal issues, this herb may lead to feelings of anxiety and adrenal crashes may be triggered.
A popular herb used by women to increase libido, ease cramps during the menstrual cycle, and as an aphrodisiac. It has been found to increase blood flow, stimulate the central nervous system, and increase both the physical and emotional desire for sex. Some research suggests this natural libido enhancers frees bound testosterone, thus increasing sexual desire. The research studies have been small, so these results may not prove accurate with further study.
Known as Horny Goat Weed, it is said to relieve menopause symptoms. This makes it very attractive to those women enduring menopause. Just as many other herbs are said to do, epimedium increases blood flow to women’s sexual organs. Alkaloids and plant steroids found in this herb have actions like testosterone and, word of mouth reports suggest they are more effective than medications and have no side effects.
Known as Peruvian ginseng, it has been used by native peoples, of the Andes, to deal with the symptoms of menopause. It’s said to decrease infertility, sleep problems, night sweats, hot flashes, and sexual dysfunction. A frequently used aphrodisiac and libido enhancer, it’s loaded with phytonutrients and zinc. This herb appears to be a powerful natural libido enhancers. Because of its stimulatory effect, those with advanced adrenal fatigue need to be very careful to avoid over-stimulation and adrenal crashes.
It is said to stimulate greater blood flow to the pelvic area. Women report increased sexual desire and more satisfying sex. These reports are word of mouth only.
Also called South American Ginseng, it is frequently used to increase sexual desire and improve reproductive health. Animal research suggests these results to be accurate. Use of suma root appears to increase estradiol-17beta. This is a sex hormone necessary for healthy reproduction and balancing hormones. It’s a promising natural libido enhancer.
It is said to be the best natural aphrodisiac known. Malaysian women use this herb to increase libido and make the erogenous zones more sensitive. Some research has shown it to increase testosterone levels and increase balanced hormones. Another promising natural libido enhancer.
It has long been used as an aphrodisiac. Apparently, it stimulates androgen receptors in the brain and increases the efficient use of hormones in the body.
It is traditionally used by Mayan people in Central America to increase sexual function in both men and women. Said to be an aphrodisiac, its use is controversial due to no scientific evidence that it does anything.
Vitamins, Minerals and Foods to Address Low Libido
Nutrition is a necessity in natural libido enhancers. Our culture of fast foods and processed foods leads to malnutrition. As you know, good nutrition is necessary for good gut health which is necessary for balancing hormones and natural libido enhancers. Getting sufficient vitamins and minerals comes only with supplementation or eating the right foods.
They increase zinc, leading to higher levels of testosterone. They block the enzyme that changes testosterone into estrogen. Increased sex drive comes from increased levels of testosterone.
It has a compound that produces a Viagra-like effect. It increases blood flow which is needed to stimulate tissues to be aroused and lubricated.
It is a plant-derived supplement that improves mood. This increases the likelihood of engaging in sex. Possibly, it helps increase dopamine, which boosts women’s sexual pleasure.
It seems to help increase dopamine, also. In addition, the bioflavonoids in dark chocolate may help improve blood flow, making stimulation of the sex organs more likely.
It is high in magnesium, which can help raise testosterone levels.
It has a high amount of folate. Folate is a naturally-occurring form of folic acid. It helps regulate the amount of histamine in the body, the chemical released during orgasm.
It improves blood flow due to the action of allicin. It helps relax the arteries, allowing greater volume of blood through them.
They have a natural libido enhancer in the form of bromelain, an enzyme that helps in more production of testosterone.
They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help the production of dopamine that increases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is necessary for erections by dilating blood vessels, allowing blood to flow better.
It is high in zinc. As seen above, zinc helps increase testosterone.
Herbs are generally not recommended due to their stimulatory effect on the body. Those who have adrenal fatigue should be worried. The weaker the adrenals, the greater the risk when possibly using the natural libido enhancers.
Hormones to Improve Low Libido
Over and over again, testosterone is seen as important when enhancing women’s libido naturally. However, there are some cautions to be considered.
For women, in the pre-menopause stage, research regarding the use of testosterone, as a way of increasing low libido, is limited. But the small number of studies seem to show side effects, in premenopausal women, to be the same as in postmenopausal women. Acne and facial hair can be seen even in some women with normal levels of testosterone. Fluid retention has been a side effect as well. Difficulties with lipid levels may occur. If you have a history of breast cancer, severe liver disease, or severe deep vein phlebitis, you shouldn’t take supplements that increase testosterone. During pregnancy, avoid products that increase testosterone.
The FDA has not approved testosterone supplementation for women due to concerns about safety. Studies have shown some increased risk of breast cancer in women taking testosterone as a way to increase libido. Concern about cardiovascular health also remains. They should try natural libido enhancers.
DHEA has been shown to be effective in increasing sexual arousal in older women. One study showed women between 60 and 79 years of age experienced slight increases in testosterone and estrogen with DHEA supplementation. For women over 70, there was a significant increase in libido and sexual satisfaction.
Tibolone, a synthetic steroid, is said to increase SHBG, stimulating free testosterone and estradiol. It is not approved in the U.S. because of increased risk of breast cancer and stroke as a natural libido enhancers.
When you try natural libido enhancers, there are options. As with any method that is used to increase low libido, you may have to try several options or combinations of options. Changes that will come to your libido through these natural libido enhancers methods won’t necessarily come quickly. Your body didn’t get to the point of having low libido, regardless of cause, overnight. So, don’t expect benefits to show up in a short time. Start very slowly if you have adrenal fatigue. Talk to your doctor and make sure your body is strong enough to endue the stimulating effect of such compounds. Close monitor is required. The weaker the body is , the less one should any form of sexual enhancer.
If you do self-navigate, don’t get discouraged when using natural libido enhancers. It takes time. Time and work. But the results will be worth the effort. Stay with it. Run the course. Take the time necessary to enhance your libido naturally. Always be monitored by a knowledgeable professional for maximum effect and benefit. The proper dose, delivery system, frequency, and timing is critical to successful implementation and a positive clinical outcome.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.