10 Ways to Boost Libido
Libido can be a tricky thing to get right as so many factors can be involved, but some ideas here may help.
Anxiety, relationship difficulties, health concerns, and age can all affect libido. While a low libido is not usually problematic, it can affect both your relationship and self-esteem.
Recently there has been much interest in testosterone in affecting sex drive for women after menopause, but there’s little research on how safe it is and how well it works over the long term. As there is no licensed testosterone for women in the UK it is based on that given to men, and it also can cause side effects, so should only be taken under direct medical supervision.
In women it is progesterone which is the hormone behind sex drive so if your levels are low then that could be one of the reasons your libido is low.
However there are many other things that can also affect it.
1. Manage anxiety and stress
Having high levels of anxiety is a common barrier to libido for both men and women. This may be anxiety due to life stress or specific sex-related anxiety.
People with an intense work schedule, caring responsibilities, or other life stresses may feel fatigued and, as a result, have a low sexual desire.
All these can help you manage your anxiety and stress:
– practicing good sleep hygiene
– making time for a favourite hobby
– exercising regularly
– eating a nutritious diet
2. Improve relationship quality
Many people experience a lull in sexual desire and frequency at certain points in a relationship. This may occur after being with someone for a long time, or if it seems as if things are not going well in your intimate relationships.
Focusing on improving the relationship can increase each partner’s sex drive. This might involve:
– talking to your GP or a therapist/counsellor
– planning date nights and doing activities together
– practicing open communication
– setting time aside for quality time with each other
3. Focus on foreplay
Having better sexual experiences may increase your desire for sex, and that will boost your libido.
In many cases, people can enhance their sexual experience by spending more time on preliminary affectionate touching and kissing. For women, foreplay may be especially important as it seems only around 18 percent of women orgasm from intercourse alone.
4. Get good-quality sleep
Getting good sleep will improve your overall mood and energy levels, and some research also links sleep quality to libido.
Research studies have found multiple ways that nightly sleep can affect sex. Sleep deprivation has been associated with reduced sexual desire and arousal. As a result, insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders, may be a risk factor for sexual dysfunction.
5. Get your diet right
Following a healthy diet can benefit your sex drive by promoting good circulation and heart health, and by removing specific foods that can decrease libido.
It is the usual advice, still good despite you already knowing it inside out, which means a variety of vegetables, whole grains, little sugar and saturated fats.
Diets like the Mediterranean one are ideal as this diet benefits your heart, circulation and libido. Good news for some may also be that two glasses of red wine can boost sex drive in women – just don’t overdo it.
6. Herbal remedies
The following herbal remedies may improve sexual function:
– maca (not matcha)
Herbs are powerful substances so always consult a qualified herbalist and check with your Doctor or pharmacist for any contraindications with medication.
8. Get regular exercise
Getting regular exercise can help libido in many ways, for both men and women. Studies from 2022 suggest that a single bout of exercise can increase physiological sexual arousal in women.
The popular Kegel toning pelvic floor exercises can also be helpful for women, and are easily found on the Internet.
9. Stay at a healthy weight
Some scientists link overweight and obesity to low sex drive, along with other factors related to reduced fertility.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can improve sex drive, both physically and psychologically as it can also lead to increased body confidence.
Eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise can help achieve this, as well as boosting overall energy levels.
9. Try sex therapy
Sexual desire is complex, with both psychological and physical components. Even when a person has a physical condition that affects libido, such as diabetes, improving the emotional and psychological response to sex can improve libido and sexual functioning.
Therapy is an effective strategy for increasing low libido. Individual counselling can help address negative views about sex, self-esteem, and secondary causes of low libido, such as depression and anxiety.
To find a suitable therapist in your area you could contact the website of RELATE who offer counselling and therapy.
10. Time to quit smoking?
Cigarettes can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and good heart health is important for good sexual functioning.
People who smoke may find that their energy levels and sex drive increase after they quit.
If you think that your hormones may also be a factor then progesterone can help with anxiety, stress and sleep issues.
If you are experiencing dryness and difficulty during sex then it may be you need a little oestrogen as well as progesterone so a combination cream might then be better for you. If you have atrophy however that will need a separate oestrogen used vaginally.
What you eat can play a part too so look for including some of these suggestions into your daily diet