A common belief is that libido just refers to sex but it is much more than that. It is life-energy, motivation, and a feeling of well-being. In reality, low libido can have strong connections to serious health conditions. It is a reliable indicator of one's state of health.
If libido is not present, our health and well-being may suffer. Here are the six most important reasons why sex and a healthy libido are so important and good for our health and to keep us feeling young:
1. Libido is life energy. Libido is often a reflection of a person’s feelings of motivation, confidence, and “mojo.”
2. Sex protects our health. In men, studies have shown a 50% decrease in the risk of cardiovascular mortality in men having frequent sex, as compared to the men in the study having the least frequency of sex. Studies also confirm similar findings in women, especially regarding orgasms.
3. Erectile function is a good indicator of overall cardiovascular health in men. The same things that damage the blood vessels of the heart can damage the penile blood vessels.
4. Oxytocin is good for us. Sexual activity, and especially orgasm, causes the release of the hormone oxytocin, that gives all sorts of health benefits: mood enhancement, lower cortisol, lower blood pressure, glowing skin, and possibly even protection against several hormone-mediated cancers.
5. Sex improves your blood flow. Healthy sexual encounters cause dilation of blood vessels all over the body, which in turn improves blood flow to many body organs including the brain. Blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells, and improves the health of these organs.
6. Sex reduces stress. Research started by Kinsey in the 1940′s shows that people with fulfilling sex lives experience less anxiety and tend to be less violent or hostile. Sex causes the release of oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine, all of which are hormones that increase positive feelings of attachment, affection and closeness.
Low Libido is Connected To Many Health Problems
When hormones levels fall and life stresses increase, interest in sex can be the first thing to go. Menopause brings a rapid major drop in hormone levels. Symptoms are usually noticeable, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and the menstrual period stopping. For men, the decline in their hormone levels is more gradual, and symptoms may be obvious, such as erectile dysfunction, or more subtle, including irritable mood and lack of motivation.
If you find yourself too tired for anything, including sex, an under active thyroid might be to blame. This slows down metabolism, causes hair loss, and can throw a wrench in a healthy sex life. Your risk for thyroid disorders increases with age, so have a knowledgeable doctor test your levels.
Testosterone is the hormone that fuels sexual desire and enhances pleasure in both women and men. And if your body isn’t producing enough of it, you could be experiencing low levels of sensation, a slow response to your partner’s come-ons, and an overall lagging sex drive.
An Australian study of more than 95,000 middle-aged men found a direct link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease, a link that persisted even among men with no history of cardiovascular problems. According to the study, the risk of heart disease and premature death increases with the severity of a man’s ED—minor erectile difficulties could signal a relatively mild heart issue, while severe erectile dysfunction ups a man’s risk of coronary artery disease by 60%.
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can lead to low sex drive and sexual discomfort, including increased vaginal dryness and recurrent yeast infections in women. In fact, women taking insulin are twice as likely to report problems and orgasm compared to non-diabetic ladies.
Suffering from depression can cause a decreased interest in sex, but common antidepressants used to treat depression can also put a damper on sex drive.
Addressing Low Libido From All Angles
There are three major areas of natural therapy that can help libido – lifestyle factors, hormone therapy, and nutritional supplements. Lifestyle factors include life and work stress, obesity, and lack of sleep; addressing these is essential to achieving optimal health. Hormone therapy can be extremely helpful in the form of bioidentical hormones (ones that are the same in structure to what the human body produces). Nutritional supplements use various herbs and nutrients that have been used for centuries to help sexual function.