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How to Kickstart Your Libido

Is your sex drive not what is used to be? Learn what lifestyle changes and natural treatments can help.

There can be many reasons a woman finds herself not in the mood for sex. Often it can just be the usual things we all face in life, like stress, fatigue and those little relationship issues. However, if you notice prolonged periods of little to no interest in intimacy and it begins taking a toll on your relationship, it may be time to speak with a physician and explore options for restoring libido. Yes, it can be a hormonal or medical issue.

The Sex Drive

Libido is an individual’s sex drive and there are many reasons it may not be what it used to be. Here are some common reasons for a decreased sex drive:

  • Working too many hours and resulting fatigue
  • Feelings of low self-esteem, poor body image
  • Problems in a relationship
  • Stress (for any reason)
  • Smoking or poor lifestyle habits
  • Lack of exercise or poor circulation
  • Hormonal changes, like menopause
  • Certain medications like anti-depressants, opioid pain medications and beta-blockers, which are often used for heart conditions and blood pressure control

You can work on some of the above yourself, such as improving your sleeping habits and reducing stress, but some situations may require help.

Treatments for Increasing Libido

Stress, aging, irregular menstrual cycles and menopause can throw your hormonal axis into a tailspin. The main sex drive hormone is testosterone, often thought of as the "male hormone."  But it isn't.  Testosterone is crucial for good quality sexual life in women. During menstrual years, it cycles along with estrogen and progesterone. So, if you have irregular periods, this can affect testosterone levels as well.  After menopause, often testosterone actually increases and can heighten sexual desire, but this isn't always the case. Various medications, stress, poor sleep patterns, smoking and other factors can affect testosterone levels as well. The good news is testosterone levels can be measured and supplemented by prescription when needed.

While there are no effective natural testosterone supplements, there are natural measures you can take to affect your testosterone levels and your libido in other ways.

  • Dark chocolate is known to be an aphrodisiac, which is probably related to it’s effect on dopamine, which is a pleasure-producing neuro-chemical.
  • Arginine supplements may help increase libido by dilating clitoral blood vessels.
  • Rhodiola can help slow down the chemical breakdown of serotonin and dopamine, prolonging pleasure.
  • Magnesium helps keep testosterone free in your blood and not attached to proteins, which lower its effect.
  • Zinc also supports optimal testosterone levels by helping block its conversion to estrogen. Great sources of natural zinc are pumpkin seeds and oysters.
  • Omega-3 fish oil supplements help boost dopamine and arginine, which leads to higher levels of nitric oxide, another known blood vessel dilator which can improve clitoral blood flow.

Lifestyle Changes that Can Help

Beyond supplements or prescription testosterone treatments, there are some behaviors to try that can help you increase your sexual desire. These include:

  1. Getting regular exercise.
    Taking a walk, practicing yoga, dancing or whatever physical activity you enjoy are great ways to boost sex drive. These activities bring increased blood flow to all parts of the body -- including the genitals -- which can awaken the libido.
  2. Reaching a healthy weight.
    While there are many reasons to get in shape, getting fit is great for your sex drive. Not only will you feel better about how you look (which could be the entire cause of your low sex drive) but you’ll also enjoy improved circulation and lower blood pressure, as a result of improved overall health. A healthy weight will also help support normal hormonal cycles during the menstrual years. 
  3. Using non-sexual touching.
    Try giving your partner a massage. Make it a head-to-toe massage that allows you to really bond and connect and will provide complete relaxation for both of you. If it eventually leads to something more, well, that's good, too.
  4. Practice mindful breathing.
    Lots of people forget how to relax because they’re unknowingly holding their breath. Couples who sit together for a few minutes each day and just do some mindful breathing (in through the nose and then slowly out through the mouth) tend to be far more relaxed together. This relaxation often helps increase sexual desire.
  5. Drink some red wine.
    In moderation, red wine can of course release some inhibitions, but it's also known to increase blood flow to the genitalia, which can help get you in the mood.

Try some of these tips to get your libido back where it used to be. Don’t be afraid to discuss concerns like these with your doctor, so they can determine the proper cause and help you determine the right remedy.

Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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