- Improve Sex Drive and Sex Life, Naturally
- Medical Reasons May Be Behind Sexual Problems or Disinterest
- 1. Make Getting in the Mood for Sex a Priority
- 2. Work on Your Mind and Notice Your Thoughts for Better Sex
- 3. Don’t Forget to Use Lubricants for Better Sex
- 4. Move Your Body to Improve Your Sex Life
- 5. Get Enough Sleep for Good Sex
- 6. Practice Mindfulness — and Yoga — for Better Sex
- 7. Consider Acupuncture Treatments to Improve Sex
- 8. See What Some Herbs, aka Aphrodisiacs, Can Do for You
- 9. Masturbate or Self-Stimulate for Better Sex
- How to Increase Your Sex Drive
- So What Does it Mean to Have a Low Sex Drive?
- What Are the Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women?
- Genital Changes
- Hormone Levels
- Certain Diseases
- Psychological Changes
- Stop Smoking, If You Smoke
- Be Mindful of Your Alcohol Use
- Get Plenty of Sleep
- Use Vibrators
- Get Help Through Sex Therapy
- Eros Clitoral Therapy Device
- Flibanserin (marketed in the U.S. as Addyi)
- Bremelanotide (marketed in the U.S. as Vyleesi)
- We’re Here to Help You Get Your Sex Drive Back
Improve Sex Drive and Sex Life, Naturally
Want more excitement? Stimulation? Satisfaction? There are several drug-free ways to spice up your sex life.
If your time in bed with your partner isn’t all you’d it to be, take heart. Literally.
Having a date night with your partner — to remind yourself of all the reasons you adore each other and to relax by being wined and dined — can be great ways to stimulate your libido, says Anita Sadaty, MD, a holistic gynecologist in Roslyn, New York.
This is one of many natural ways that experts say you can improve your sex life.
RELATED: Sex Therapy: What Men and Women Should Know
Medical Reasons May Be Behind Sexual Problems or Disinterest
Of course, there may be a medical reason why your sex life is flagging. Diabetes, thyroid issues, cancer, and cardiac problems can lower sexual desire. Nerve issues, endometriosis, or other problems can cause sex to be painful for women. And certain medications — some for blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and even birth control — may inhibit desire.
RELATED: Deconstructing Sex Drive: What Your Libido Says About Your Health
That’s why it’s important to get a medical checkup if you are experiencing symptoms that affect your sex life and get your condition properly treated. You can also ask your doctor if it’s possible to switch your medication to something without a sexual side effect.
But even if you have a medical cause, it doesn’t have to stop you from having satisfying sex.
1. Make Getting in the Mood for Sex a Priority
Sometimes, having more and better sex simply requires clearing your schedule. “It's hard to be in the mood when you have a million things on your to-do list and not much time to do it,” Dr. Sadaty says.
Scheduling sex might sound unromantic, but you put most of your important plans in your calendar, so why not sex? It’s best to schedule enough time to do something relaxing first rather than hopping straight into bed, since women, especially, need to be relaxed before their libido kicks in, Sadaty says.
RELATED: 7 Healthy Reasons to Have Sex Right Now
2. Work on Your Mind and Notice Your Thoughts for Better Sex
If your brain is running a feedback loop of reasons you’ve picked up along the way — about how you should feel guilty about sex or maybe that your body is too fat or ugly or, well, whatever — it’s time to stop it in its tracks. Recognize the thought when it appears and change it to a more helpful one.
This helps your sex life because, as a meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology found, people with more open attitudes about sex are better able to explore their sexuality without guilt. (1)
RELATED: Better Sex: How to Enhance Intimate Sexual Experiences
3. Don’t Forget to Use Lubricants for Better Sex
Sex can be more pleasurable if you add a lubricant, which cuts down on friction and irritation and, therefore, discomfort, gynecologists say. You can buy an official lubricant from the drugstore or use a household oil coconut oil. (Be sure to use a nonlatex condom if you DIY because these oils can damage latex.)
Don’t try to hide your need for a lubricant from your partner. Make it part of your sexual routine and have fun with it.
RELATED: 6 Things You Need to Know About Sex Lubricants
4. Move Your Body to Improve Your Sex Life
You may not think that the exercise you do for your heart and muscles is important for good sex, but remember that blood flows to your genitals as much as to your heart.
Men with erectile dysfunction (ED), for example, can sometimes reverse this problem with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. (2) Even in men requiring ED medication, healthy lifestyle changes ly add to the benefits, the researchers found.
RELATED: 10 Amazing Benefits of Exercise
5. Get Enough Sleep for Good Sex
Sleep is another lifestyle factor that impacts libido. One reason is that hormone secretion is controlled by the body’s internal clock, and sleep patterns ly help the body determine when to release certain hormones related to sex.
For both men and women, feeling tired when you get into bed zaps whatever libido you may have had even moments earlier.
Plus, for men, getting enough sleep can boost the level of testosterone (a lower level can be associated with sexual dysfunction), according to a review published in the journal Brain Research. (3)
RELATED: Why You’re Not Having Amazing Sex, and How You Can Change That
6. Practice Mindfulness — and Yoga — for Better Sex
It may seem sex is the ultimate practice of mindfulness, and while orgasm pretty much is (ly no one has made their grocery list or planned a work report in that moment), you may become distracted by random thoughts in the time leading up to that orgasm.
Keeping your attention on what you’re doing and feeling is a powerful way to enhance your pleasure. In a study by Canadian researchers published in November 2016 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, women suffering from anxiety-related sexual dysfunction significantly boosted their sexual responsiveness after being trained in mindfulness. (4)
Similarly, the mind-body practice of yoga can aid your libido.
When a group of 40 women were instructed to practice an hour of yoga each day, their average scores on a sexual function questionnaire for desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, lower pain, and overall satisfaction increased, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. (5) The yoga postures they did were basic poses believed to improve pelvic muscle tone, release tight hip joints, and boost mood, followed by breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.
RELATED: Yoga Enhances Sex and Sexual Health in Men and Women
7. Consider Acupuncture Treatments to Improve Sex
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, in which a practitioner strategically places needles in the body, can also enhance your sex life. Balancing and relaxing the body with acupuncture has long been used to boost libido, says Baljit Khamba, ND, a naturopathic doctor and an assistant professor of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University California in San Diego.
Khamba coauthored a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in which 35 men and women with sexual dysfunction, ly caused by antidepressants they were taking, were treated with nine acupuncture sessions. At the end, libido had improved in women, while erection, timing of ejaculation, and ability to orgasm were enhanced in men. (6)
RELATED: Acupuncture Helps Boost Your Sex Drive, Sex Life, and Pleasure
8. See What Some Herbs, aka Aphrodisiacs, Can Do for You
Some herbs are used by cultures around the world as aphrodisiacs. Some are believed to stimulate nerves in your genitals; others increase levels of nitric oxide, which increases blood flow to the genitals, and the feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Some of these herbs include Chinese ginseng, Cordyceps, gingko biloba, and muira puama.
RELATED: 8 Natural Cures for Erectile Dysfunction
Drugstores and health-food stores sometimes market products for sexual health that are a combination of herbs and supplements, including the amino acid L-arginine.
A study of one of these products, ArginMax for Women, was published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.
(7) It found that more than two-thirds of the women taking this product — which contains ginseng, ginkgo biloba, damiana, vitamins, minerals, and L-arginine — reported an increase in sexual desire and overall sexual satisfaction
9. Masturbate or Self-Stimulate for Better Sex
By experimenting on yourself, you can come to better know what satisfies you sexually — information you can then convey to your partner.
RELATED: The Truth About 8 Masturbation and Self-Stimulation Myths
For women, masturbation may have other benefits as well. Vaginal dryness and pain may be reduced when you spend time stimulating yourself.
That’s why sex therapists often recommend masturbation as a tool for women having trouble reaching orgasm. You might want to add a vibrator for enhanced stimulation.
How to Increase Your Sex Drive
Your partner wants to kiss and cuddle.
You want to go to sleep.
This scenario is becoming much more common than you’d .
You might even find that you and your partner aren’t “doing it” as much as you once did or that your desire for sex is nearly nonexistent.
You may wonder, “why do I have a no sex drive?”
You may feel embarrassed to even mention the question, but don’t. You’re not alone.
“Around 43% of women report sexual problems with 22.2% reporting sexually related personal distress. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) has been regarded to be the most common female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and affects nearly 1 in 10 women.” (Ind Psychiatry J. 2018 Jan-Jun; 27(1): 154–157. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_20_16)
“All women have sexual desires and thoughts that ebb and flow throughout life, and that’s perfectly normal,” said Melinda Everett, WHNP. “Milestones such as menopause or childbirth can change how often you want to have sex. However, if your sex drive is almost completely absent or you’re having relationship issues because of it, we want to know. There can be a simple solution.”
So What Does it Mean to Have a Low Sex Drive?
Everyone is different. Some women want to have sex more often than others, and that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong number of times to have intercourse throughout the week (or month!).
The challenge comes when a lower sex drive causes issues in your relationship and creates stress. Maybe your partner is always ready to go but you’re never in the mood anymore, and no amount of romance captures your interest.
Do you have a low sex drive? It occurs when:
- You have no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
- You never (or rarely) have any sexual fantasies or thoughts
- You are concerned by this lack of sexual activity
What Are the Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women?
Sex drive is complicated. There’s a lot going on not just “down there.”
That’s why finding a reason for why you’re not turned on involves checking for several potential causes. These may include:
Pain can dull your sex drive, and vaginal dryness and thinning tissue can make intercourse painful which definitely puts a dent in your libido.
Hormones naturally fluctuate throughout a woman’s life. However, changes in these levels can have an impact on your desire for sex. We’ll also check for thyroid problems, which can affect your hormonal balance as well.
Did you know that diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis can affect your sex drive? There may also be neurological causes that contribute to the condition. We want to give you an evaluation to ensure that you’re healthy.
New medications or changes in existing medications can affect your sex drive too.
Stress and anxiety can hamper your sex drive. If you’ve had a fight or conflict with your partner, this can also contribute. In addition, survivors of assault and abuse may find it more challenging to engage in sexual contact.
Our goal is to work with you to help you reignite your desire for sexual intercourse. This involves taking a comprehensive look at your overall health. We’ll be by your side as we work through diagnosis and treatment.
The key is to treat any underlying medical conditions that may be hampering your libido. In addition, there are a few lifestyle steps you can take to help as well. These include:
Stop Smoking, If You Smoke
Lighting up can put a damper on arousal. This is because smoking restricts blood flow, which can make it more difficult to get in the mood.
Be Mindful of Your Alcohol Use
While a glass or two of wine may help you relax, too much alcohol can actually decrease your sex drive.
Get Plenty of Sleep
You can’t be ready in the boudoir if you’re constantly exhausted from your demanding career or caring for young children. Taking care of others means taking care of yourself.
In a 2016 study of 70 women who had difficulty becoming aroused or reaching orgasm—two-thirds of participants reported increased sensation after using a vibrator for three months.
Get Help Through Sex Therapy
Reach out to a therapist who specializes in sexual function. We have a list of local providers. You can also check the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors & Therapists for therapists near you
This is a topical oil that creates a sensation of warmth in the genital area. Zestra increase satisfaction in 70% of the women enrolled in clinical trials required for FDA approval. It is available over-the-counter for around $10.
Eros Clitoral Therapy Device
Eros increases genital blood flow by applying a gentle vacuum to the clitoris. It costs around $300. A small study in the British Medical Journal demonstrated some effectiveness with no adverse outcomes in 2000.
Flibanserin (marketed in the U.S. as Addyi)
This is a daily pill. However, it is important to remember:
- It is NOT for women in menopause
- It is NOT for men
- It should NOT be taken within 2 hours of drinking alcohol
However, its effect is minimal compared to placebo. Overall, it has been disappointing since reaching the market in 2017.
Bremelanotide (marketed in the U.S. as Vyleesi)
This is an injection taken 45 minutes before sex.
It is NOT for women in menopause.
It is NOT for men.
Around 40% of the women who took this had nausea. This may be counterproductive to intimacy.
In addition, you should NOT take it if you have high blood pressure. It’s also important to note that it can cause discoloration of the skin at the injection site (leg or abdomen)
It’s vital to remember that testosterone therapy can be very nuanced, and it is best addressed as a visit, either through telemedicine or in-person.
We’re Here to Help You Get Your Sex Drive Back
There’s no one “right” level of sexual drive.
Some women naturally have one that may be a bit higher or lower than average. That’s fine. It’s when a lack of arousal causes a problem in your life that you need assistance.
Your sexuality and your sexual health is a huge part of who you are as a woman. We know that what affects one area of your body affects your entire life. That’s why we work with you to determine the underlying cause of your issue.
We’re always willing to talk to you about how to live a more fulfilling and healthy life. Contact us today for an appointment.
For more than 40 years, Chapel Hill OBGYN has served women in the Triangle area, sharing the joy of little miracles and supporting them during challenges.
Our board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives bring together the personal experience and convenience of a private practice with the state-of-the-art resources found at larger organizations.
To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information.