A recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association showed that 31% of men and 43% of women suffer some form of sexual inadequacy at some point in their lives. Lack of desire, performance anxiety, premature ejaculation or pain during intercourse are all common symptoms of sexual dysfunction in men and women. By determining the cause of the problem, many are surprised to find that there are several treatment methods. Some of the methods we use are discussed below, including both prescriptions and natural remedies that can increase libido and sexual satisfaction:
1. Oxytocin, a hormone that peaks at orgasm and can stimulate libido, climax sense of closeness and bonding. It is active in both sexes and helps stimulate pleasurable sexual interactions between males and females and is also involved in and social interactions between family and friends. It can be prescribed by a physician and can be made into a nasal spray to be used before intercourse. It can also be effectively used on a daily basis for anxiety and depression and to counteract the loss of libido associated with antidepressant use.
2. Testosterone is not just a male hormone and is important for sexual desire in both sexes. Supplementation to more youthful levels can dramatically increase libido, sense of well-being, energy and quality-of-life. A common cause of low testosterone in men is stress and exposure to environmental contaminants such as bisphenol-A, which is a component in many plastic containers including plastic water bottles, In women, a major cause of suppressed testosterone levels is the use of birth control pills. Unfortunately, testosterone levels will usually not return to normal even after stopping the birth control pills. A knowledgeable physician can test the total and free (active) testosterone levels in the blood and prescribe appropriate replacement for both men and women.
3. Studies show that even slightly reduced thyroid levels, even considered still in the “normal” range can dramatically decrease libido in women as well as causing fatigue, weight gain and depression. The problem is that this almost always goes undetected by standard blood tests based on the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which is used as a simple method by most physicians to test thyroid levels. People need to find a doctor that uses the more sophisticated method of testing that includes the freeT3/reverse T3 ratio.
4. Menopausal women will often complain of low libido. Unfortunately, synthetic hormone replacement will often not alleviate the problem. The use of bioidentical hormones, hormones that are exact copies of hormones naturally produced by the body, can be very effective at returning the vigor and sex drive of youth.
5. Aminoacids such as L-arginine can boost nitric oxide, a compound that works to relax blood vessels and allow more blood to flow through arteries and this of course includes to the sexual organs. Supplementation can improve sexual satisfaction in women and erectile function in men. Ginko may also be of some, although mild, benefit, as well.
6. Viagra/Cialis/Lavitra, we have all been inundated with the commercials for these products to treat male erectile dysfunction. They typically do not increase libido in men, but desire and orgasm is more complicated in women than in men. These medications can effectively improve the cascade of arousal in women and can increase libido and sexual satisfaction for about 30% of women and also can help women suffering from sexual dysfunction due to use of antidepressants.
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