Low libido can be caused by a wide variety of factors, from stress to hormonal changes
Libido, or sex drive, naturally fluctates over time. Low libido can be caused by a wide variety of factors, from stress to hormonal changes. Fortunately, there are things you can do that can help spice up your sex life. Here are 10 ways to boost low libido.
10 ways to boost low libido
1. Try aphrodisiacs
While there is little evidence to support the benefits of eating certain foods to increase sex drive, some foods may help increase blood flow to the genitals and be beneficial for sexual health. Examples include:
- Pine nuts
2. Avoid certain foods
Some foods can lower your libido and act as anaphrodisiacs. Foods to avoid include:
- Soy, which may increase estrogen levels
- Polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable oil, which can reduce testosterone levels
- Saturated fats such as fried foods, which can reduce blood flow
- Sodium, which increases blood pressure
- Refined grains, which can reduce testosterone levels
3. Add herbs to your diet
Basil can stimulate the senses, and garlic contains allicin, which is believed to increase blood flow. Gingko biloba has also been found to treat sexual dysfunction in men if it is caused by antidepressant use.
4. Regular exercise
Exercise can boost low libido in the following ways:
- Improves the endocrine system (hormonal center of the body)
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Increases sympathetic nervous system activity
- Improves mood and self-image
5. Reduce stress
Stress can negatively affect sex drive, especially for women. To relieve stress, you can try meditation, yoga, tai chi, or other relaxing activities.
6. Get quality sleep
When you are sleep-deprived, chances are you may not energy for anything, including sex. Following good sleep habits and treating any underlying sleep problems can help you feel more energized and improve your libido.
7. Limit alcohol
While a glass of wine may help you relax and put you in the mood, too much alcohol can reduce blood flow to your genitals, which can affect erectile function and inhibit the ability to reach orgasm.
8. Boost your self-confidence
For many people, self-image is one factor that can affect sex drive. Eating healthy and exercising regularly can help increase your self-confidence and in turn boost low libido.
9. Work on your relationship
Sexual intimacy is often dependent on on the health of your relationship. When both partners are in conflict with each other or too busy to address problems, this can lead to problems in the bedroom. Working on your relationship may involve:
- Scheduling date nights
- Going on vacation together
- Couple therapy
- Sex therapy
10. Consult a doctor
If you cannot figure out what is causing your low libido, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help rule out hormonal imbalances and other disorders, as well as suggest ways to enhance your sexual health.
What causes low libido?
Understanding the root cause of low libido can help both you and your doctor determine the best way to treat the issue. Several factors can cause low libido in men and women:
- Physical: Illnesses and medications can cause low libido:
- Diseases such as arthritis, hypertension, heart diseases, and nerve diseases
- Medications such as antidepressants
- Surgery of the breast or genital tract
- Vaginal dryness
- Obesity or being overweight
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Hormonal: Changes in hormone levels can drastically affect your sexual desire:
- Menopause and low estrogen levels
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding-associated hormonal changes
- Low testosterone levels
- Low thyroid hormone
- High levels of prolactin
- Psychological: Psychological causes of low sex drive include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Past negative sexual experiences
- Poor body image
- Low self-esteem
- Relationship issues: Problems in relationships can be a major factor in low sex drive and may include:
- Lack of connection with your partner
- Unresolved conflicts or fights
- Poor communication of sexual needs and preferences
- Trust issues