You have seen the ads in your favourite magazine and on social media…the latest tonics,
potions, blue or pink pill that promises to restore sexual vitality. Maybe you have talked to
your doctor, or maybe your lack of sex drive is the elephant in your bedroom. It is startling
how many men and women report low libido and erectile dysfunction as damaging not only
their relationship with their partner, but also to their overall wellbeing.
As a Naturopathic Doctor this is concerning to me for two reasons. FIRSTLY, low libido
could be a warning sign of an underlying health concern. For instance, men that are having
difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection should discuss this with their health care
provider as it could be an early predictor of cardiovascular disease. For women, pain during
intercourse doesn’t just interfere with your sex dive, but also needs to be investigated by
your health care provider as it could be a sign of a hormone imbalance or a skin condition.
Tip: All of the above health concerns can be improved with Naturopathic Medicine!
Secondly, low libido is a concern because it serves as a barometer for a patient’s vitality
and emotional wellbeing. Optimizing your sex life will have far reaching benefits across your
emotional and physical health, from the inside out. I believe you cannot have health without
a sex drive, and you cannot have a sex drive without health.
SO HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO HELP YOU RECLAIM YOUR LIBIDO
HEAL YOUR HORMONES
Many women believe they do not need to worry about their hormones until menopause,
however hormones can be out of balance (and presenting as PMS, acne, polycystic ovarian
syndrome or endometriosis) as young as the early teens. A 10% drop in testosterone every
10 years, starting at age 30 is generally what is accepted as the norm for men in terms of
age-related decline in libido. However, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, it is
becoming more evident that declining libido happens at even earlier stages of life. Discuss
with your doctor if having estradiol, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone tested is
appropriate based on your symptoms. Balancing these could help restore your physiologic
desire for sex!
Increased stress (and cortisol simultaneously) disrupts hormone balance and shuts down
sexual desire. Low libido can be one of the first symptoms of stress being generated in the
body.As you try and juggle work, home and hobbies, you are effectively shutting down
sexual desire. Are you overwhelmed, fatigued, burnt out, craving carbs and putting on
weight around your abdomen? Cortisol deregulation could be a problem for you. Combat
this with active relaxation techniques such as guided meditation, yoga or going for a walk.
Also, finding ways to increase oxytocin, such as holding hands, laughing, or gazing into
your partner’s eyes will help to shut down your stress response and ramp up your libido.
Even better, try going for a walk with your partner while holding hands!
CHECK YOUR MEDICINE CABINET
Prescription medications are often-overlooked as a contributing factor to low sex drive.
Some commonly prescribed culprits are anti-depressants, heart medications (predominantly
the beta-blockers) and antihistamines. Although research is conflicting, many women can
pinpoint taking oral contraceptives to a drop in libido. Check your medicine cabinet for these
common offenders: anti-depressants (Elavil, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.), Beta-blockers (Atenolol
and Timolol), anti-histamines (Claritin, Reactine, Arius, etc.).
DITCH TECHNOLOGY IN THE BEDROOM
It is not surprise that technology and social media are negatively impacting people’s sex
lives. In a study of 1,020 women in Cosmopolitan magazine’s Sex and Social Media survey
revealed that 57% of women would rather give up sex than stop using the internet for two
weeks. No, this is not a scientific trial but, I do think it is indicative of a larger problem. How
many of you have interrupted a sexual encounter to answer a call or check a notification?
So what should you do? Make your bedroom a technology free zone. Instead, use
technology to your advantage, if it is within your comfort zone, text or snap a saucy
message to your partner to let them know they are on your mind.
In our youthful, body-image and sex obsessed culture, positive sexual context has become
elusive. If you are more worried about your physical appearance, your to-do list, or whether
you are doing things correctly, then you are not in the correct frame of mind for
sex.Remember stress increases cortisol, which leads to hormone imbalance and decreases
desire. Don’t get trapped in this vicious cycle. Instead CONNECT WITH US.
• Sign up for our news letter
• Follow Health Over All on Facebook (we will be doing Facebook Live on this topic)
• Join our private Facebook Group called “Sisterhood Salons”. Dr. Wiggins just
created this group and will be publishing on these topics weekly 🙂
The content of this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for seeing
your health care provider. Please discuss the content of the article with your health care
provider before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle, supplements or
medication. Following any information or recommendations provided is at your own risk.