20 Ways to Improve Your Sex Drive
Have you lost your passion for lovemaking? Has your libido decreased or disappeared? Here are some ways you can reconnect with your partner and enjoy better and more pleasurable sex.
Natural ways to boost your libido
1. Reduce stress and adrenal fatigue.
Too much stress in your life can affect your sex drive. This is because high amounts of stress contribute to adrenal fatigue and diminish the production of sex hormones. Take time to relax, unwind, and enjoy nature. Yoga and meditation can help greatly bring about a better sense of wellbeing.
2. Have your fill of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa may help raise dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is known as the brain’s 'pleasure chemical'. An increase in dopamine helps you relax, lifts your mood and improves the body’s response to stimulation. Studies have shown that dark chocolate promotes the release of phenylethylamine and serotonin into your body, which is why it is often considered an aphrodisiac.
3. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight.
The way you feel about your body affects the way you feel about sex. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise may cause you to have a poor self-image. As a result, this can discourage you from having and enjoying sex. Studies have shown that people who are not confident about their body image have lower libidos. Yoga and Pilates are great exercise options as they enhance blood flow to the pelvic area, thereby increasing libido.
4. Drink in moderation and don’t smoke.
Smoking reduces the vascular function while too much alcohol inhibits your ability to reach orgasm. Oftentimes, younger women tend to drink more socially and this can lead to higher inflammation and unbalanced hormones. Avoid recreational drugs as well and also speak to your doctor concerning any potential side effects of pharmaceutical medications.
5. Give Maca root a try.
While Maca is a potent herb which exhibits high levels of minerals to benefit hormonal balance it may also work to improve libido due to its potent aphrodisiac effects.
6. Sleep is crucial.
Adrenal fatigue can lower your libido. Get adequate regular sleep and take time out to allow your body to reset. You can do this by learning stress management techniques such as breathing or meditation. Or you can simply take the time to be more mindful to ensure you are down-regulating stress hormone production and decreasing the taxing of the adrenals. Hopping into bed at night completely shattered is definitely not the way to go when you want to be romantic with your partner – no one feels sexy when they are tired!
Take time and talk with your partner. Communication improves the bond so that a deeper emotional connection can be reached. Unresolved conflicts can affect your sexual relationship. If you have busy schedules, make dates for intimate activities. The physical effects of having an illness can also affect sex drive. When experiencing chronic pain, it is common for a woman's sexual desire to wane. Sometimes, reluctance to engage in sexual intimacy can occur on both sides, as partners may be fearful of hurting the other or worried that raising the issue will be upsetting.
8. Incorporate libido foods into your diet.
Increase your consumption of foods such as figs, bananas, oysters, beetroots and avocados. These natural aphrodisiacs are loaded with vitamins and minerals that promote more blood flow to the genitals and increase sex drive. Almonds, sweet potatoes, watermelons, and spices like nutmeg and cloves are also great to get you in the mood.
9. Make sure you’re getting the crucial nutrients.
Foods rich in vitamin C help improve blood circulation to all organs – including the sex organs. Vitamin C has also specifically been linked with a healthier female libido and helps with collagen and tissue repair and regeneration. Iron-rich foods are also important for women in particular, as low iron levels can have a negative effect on sexual desire, arousal, lubrication and the ability to have an orgasm. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lentils as well as grass meats are all valuable additions to the diet. Vitamin D also helps with mood and hormones, so it’s vital that you’re getting adequate levels.
10. Use essential oils.
Oils can work on the senses therapeutically to help boost your libido. When it comes to essential oils for sex, try ylang-ylang, clary sage, rose and jasmine. Fennel and neroli are also great choices. These oils can be used in diffusions, sprays, topical applications and more. Get creative to see how you can boost libido and improve your romantic life with these essential oils!
11. Consume more collagen-rich foods.
Collagen is an important component to keep skin cells firm. A deficiency in collagen means poor tissue integrity and this can lead to a looser vaginal wall in women. Bone broths and collagen supplements are helpful, while Vitamin C also helps to increase collagen production.
12. Stay hydrated.
Water is a very important consideration as dehydration can cause a number of negative side effects that can easily dull sexual desire. Fatigue, dryness, lack of lubrication and low energy are signs of dehydration.
13. Learn more about Ashwagandha root.
Also called Indian ginseng, this herb may help increase blood flow to the clitoris and other female sexual organs to create an improved sexual experience.
14. Spice up the kitchen.
Add extra ginger, basil and/or garlic to your cooking. When used frequently in cooking, garlic and ginger increase blood flow to the sexual organs, improving stimulation and arousal over time. The smell of basil is also known to stimulate the senses.
15. Reap the benefits of Ginkgo Biloba.
An extract derived from the leaf of the Chinese ginkgo tree, ginkgo biloba is another herb found effective in the treatment of depression-induced sexual dysfunction. (It’s great for men, too!)
16. Damiana can increase your desire for sex.
This powerful libido-enhancing herb contains flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, terpenoids, and even caffeine, all of which contribute to reduced feelings of stress and increased blood flow, particularly to the pelvic area where increased sensitivity leads to heightened stimulation.
17. Explore Ginseng and Dong Quai as well.
These two herbs are known to aid female hormonal balance and enhance libido. Science has also confirmed they increase good levels of estradiol-17beta, the primary oestrogen hormone during a woman’s reproductive years. Women who use these herbs report more intense sexual experiences and greater satisfaction.
18. Tribulus may also work to enhance sexual performance.
Studies of women who use this herb report greater sexual desire and satisfaction, increased arousal, better lubrication, and more intense orgasms. This herb stimulates androgen receptors in the brain, making the body much more responsive to testosterone and other sex hormones. It also helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. (Great for your man, too!)
19. Get playful.
Don't be embarrassed to use sex toys and explore positions that give you both the most pleasure. There are a lot of safe intimate toys that can aid in foreplay and increase sexual arousal. Buy intimate underclothes and play around with your partner so that you can both experience what sexy feels like!
20. Seek professional help.
Talk with a sex therapist or doctor if you think there is an emotional block or a structural issue that is getting in the way of a pleasurable sexual experience.
Sex drive and PCOS
A study at the University of Virginia revealed that women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) had a significantly lower orgasm/completion score compared with those who did not have the hormonal disorder. Researchers in this study pointed to high serum testosterone levels as being the culprit when it came to female sexual dysfunction.
So why do many women who have PCOS also suffer from a diminished sex drive? As far as symptoms go, the answer might be somewhat circuitous. In particular, there is ample evidence to suggest PCOS is linked with depression, which in turn leads to a low sex drive. Likewise, PCOS often results in obesity which can lead to fatigue, sleepiness, and stress – all factors in low libido.
Sex drive and the pill
A 2005 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women using contraceptives had significantly lower libidos than those who don’t. According to the study, the extra dose of oestrogen and progesterone increases levels of SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This makes testosterone stick to your cells, preventing the hormone from flowing freely through your system. Without all that travelling testosterone, some women lose their sexual desire.
It has been proven that conventional medications including ‘the pill’ can have side effects – among them a decreased sex drive. To counter this, one should embark on a healthy lifestyle that consists of the proper diet, regular exercise, and avoiding harmful toxins that can get in the way of sexual health.
"Happy Hormones can help"
As mentioned earlier, getting the correct nutrients and using certain herbal supplements can help restore your libido. Hormonal balance is also crucial in increasing sex drive.
Happy Hormones contains herbs specific for rebalancing the endocrine system. Many of the ingredients work to help restore and balance the female hormones, which is a vital factor in improving your sex life.
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Elham Akhtari, Firoozeh Raisi, Mansoor Keshavarz, Hamed Hosseini, Farnaz Sohrabvand, Soodabeh Bioos, Mohammad Kamalinejad, and Ali Ghobadi. Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo - controlled study. DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2014; 22(1): 40.
Filipa de Castro Coelho and Cremilda Barros. The Potential of Hormonal Contraception to Influence Female Sexuality. International Journal of Reproductive Medicine. 2019; 2019: 9701384.