Countless individuals suffer from low libido or low sex drive. Low libido is caused by a number of physiological, emotional, and lifestyle factors. In addition to addressing the underlying cause, there are a number of things you can do to boost your libido!
Originally posted February 2013
Updated February 2019
Studies show that 31% of men and 43% of women suffer from sexual inadequacy or low libido at some point in their lives. It is shown that up to 40% of women suffer from symptoms of sexual dysfunction, with low desire being the most common symptom.
Understand The Real Cause Of Low Libido
Although there are several substances which help with a sudden increase in sex desire, it is always best to first understand the cause of your symptoms, in order to use the best approach for you. Eliminating potential blocking factors that affect your sex life is the first step in restoring a normal body function and response to stimuli.
Some of the most common blocking factors that affect libido are: chronic stress, depression and some medications commonly used to treat depression. Birth control pills, too much alcohol, drugs like marijuana, lack of sleep, breastfeeding, menopause, hormonal imbalances including low thyroid as well as a dysfunctional relationship with your partner can all negatively affect your libido. When a couple is fighting or feeling distant from each other, they’re less likely to want to be intimate. Communication problems, anger, conflicts, resentment — all these negative emotions can carry over into the bedroom.
What Can You Do To Bring Your Libido Back?
Listed below are both prescriptions and natural remedies that can increase libido and sexual satisfaction. The underlying cause and severity of your condition will help determine which option is right for you.
- Oxytocin – A naturally-occurring hormone that peaks at orgasm and can stimulate libido and climax sense of closeness and bonding. It is active in both sexes and helps stimulate pleasurable sexual interactions. This hormone is also involved in 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.
Learn more about the connection between antidepressants and low libido here.
- Testosterone – An 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. In a study done by researchers at Utrecht University, giving .5 mg of the sublingual testosterone to healthy premenstrual young women offered surprising results. About 4.5 hours after a single dose of testosterone treatment, a significant increase in genital arousal occurred, along with women reporting they felt “sexual lust.” Vaginal pulse amplitude – or arousal – increases steadily over the 4.5 hour period.
- Amino acids – Organic compounds that combine to form proteins can play a role in sexual function. 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 the sexual organs. Supplementation can improve sexual satisfaction in women and erectile function in men. Gingko may also be of some, although mild, benefit, as well.
- Diet – How much we eat, when we eat, and what type of foods we eat all influence various elements of the libido. There are many common inclusions in the western diet that can negatively affect your libido. If you find that your diet contains a high volume of processed foods, sugar, and/or unhealthy fats, there is a good chance that your libido will begin to suffer if it has not already. As much as diet can harm your libido, it can also support it. The foods we eat can encourage symptoms of arousal, promote lubrication, improve hormone production, and increase blood flow; all of which play a role in libidinal activity. Read this to find out what you should eat to support a healthy libido.
- Mending a Broken Relationship – There are also other aspects involved in the “libido equation,” besides direct supplementation. These regard mending your relationship with your partner. Sex psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini of Houston explains that any problems and resentments between you and your spouse must be ironed out in order to have a healthy sexual relationship.
- Resolving the “Sexual Rut” – If you’re experiencing more of the same, same, same in your sex life, it may be time to shake things up. Some tips to “break out of your sexual rut,” include getting intimate in different rooms in the house, booking a hotel and get away from the kids for the evening and scheduling day nights so that you have to make time for intimacy. It’s also important to know your own body so you can explain to your partner what works for you.
Experiencing a Healthy Libido
Implementing one or a number of these suggestions and resolving libido inhibiting elements in your life comes with more benefits than just restoring the sex drive. Many of the above elements are interconnected and resolution in one area may positively impact others, leading to an exceptional boost in libido.
At Holtorf Medical Group our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address the underlying cause of low libido. If you are experiencing low libido, call us at 877-508-1177 to see how we can help you!
1. E. Laumann, PhD; A. Paik, MA; R. Rosen, PhD. “Sexual Dysfunction in the United States – Prevalence and Predictors.”JAMA. 1999;281(6):537-544.
2. Kent Holtorf, MD. “At Last A True Aphrodisiac Is Discovered .” Holtorf Medical Group.
3. Mary Jo Rapini, LPC. “Articles and About.” Mary Jo Rapini.
4. Sharmila Majumdar, PhD. “How to Boost Libido With Diet?” Practo.
5. Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D., and Nicholas Emanuele, M.D. “Alcohol and the Male Reproductive System.” NIH.
6. Lisa M. Caronia et al. “Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism.”https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2265.2012.04486.x
7. Burdakov, Denis et al. “Glucose-sensing neurons of the hypothalamus.”Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences vol. 360,1464 (2005): 2227-35.
8. Alessandra Barassi MD et al. “Vitamin D and Erectile Dysfunction.”