By Ntianu obi
Libido, or sex drive, naturally varies between individuals. If a person wishes to boost their libido, they can try a range of effective natural methods.
It’s common to lose interest in sex from time to time, and libido levels vary through life. It’s also normal for your interest not to match your partner’s at times.
However, low libido for a long period of time may cause concern and can sometimes be an indicator of an underlying health condition.
Low libido is a term used to describe a reduced sex drive that can interfere with sexual activity and it can affect both men and women equally. While low libido can cause tension in a relationship, fostering doubt and guilt in both partners, it can often be treated if the underlying cause is identified, restoring the relationship.
Low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED) are often conflated but the two are vastly different although it is possible for the two conditions to co-exist. It’s important that a couple, whilst trying to figure out the underlying cause, maintain a good line of communication and continue to be open and honest with each other during this time. Treatment can vary and may involve psychotherapy, hormone replacement, lifestyle changes, or the adjustment of drug therapies.
Low libido can sometimes be caused by one factor but is more often related to multiple factors that each contribute in their own way. The more common causes include low testosterone, medications, depression, chronic illness, and stress.
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1. Manage stress
Often, stress and anxiety can be a huge contributing factor to low libido. It is suggested that regular exercise and honest communication can help prevent anxiety affecting libido. Aerobic workouts like running, biking and swimming help improve blood flow to your sex organs. Exercise also boosts endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that make you feel good and can put you in the right mood.
Having high levels of anxiety is a common barrier to sexual functioning and 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 often feel tired and, as a result, have low sexual desire. Anxiety and stress can also make it more difficult for someone to get or maintain an erection, which can put a person off having sex.
2. Try herbs
Some herbs are used by cultures globally as aphrodisiacs and they are believed to stimulate nerves in one’s genitalia whilst others increase the levels of nitric oxide which, in turn, increases blood flow to the genitals, and releases endorphins into your brain.
Next time you cook a special meal, add a little basil or garlic to your dish. The smell of basil stimulates the senses. Garlic contains high levels of allicin, and increases blood flow.
Ginkgo biloba, a herb extract derived from the leaf of the Chinese ginkgo tree, is another herb found to treat antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction.
Couples who learn to communicate in an open, honest way generally have a stronger emotional connection, which often leads to better sex. Communicating about sex and your sexual needs is also is important. Talking about your likes and dislikes can set the stage for greater sexual intimacy.
Even after you’ve had an argument with your partner, chances are you’re not in the mood to have sex. That means unresolved conflicts can affect your sexual relationship so ensure you sort out all your issues to ensure you don’t suffer from intimacy issues. Communication is essential for building trust. It’s important to prevent resentments from building up.
4. Get enough sleep
Getting good sleep can improve a person’s overall mood and energy levels, and some research links the quality of sleep to the quality of one’s libido. Those with a hectic lifestyle don’t always have the time to get the right amount of sleep. Being busy also makes it difficult to make time for sex. People who balance work with looking after family and partners are often left exhausted, which can lead to a reduced sex drive.
Another reason is that hormone secretion is controlled by the body’s internal clock, and sleep patterns likely help the body determine when to release certain hormones related to sex.
You can boost your energy and sex drive by taking naps when you can and eating a healthy diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
5. Drink red wine
It’s no secret that a little alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you feel a little looser, but red wine is better than liquor or beer when it comes to boosting your libido.
Research has shown that those who drink moderate amounts of red wine had a greater sex drive than those who didn’t drink or drank white wine. The colour of the wine and the fact that it increases circulation were thought to be the reasons behind the positive results.