Strategies to address low libido

Many women have periods when their libido is low. However, it’s important to recognize that low libido can be a sign of an underlying medical issue and seek professional help.

Treatment options include lifestyle, nutrition and relationship changes as well as medicines. Your GP will also be able to conduct a health history, physical exam and blood tests.

Psychosexual and relationship therapy

Psychosexual therapy is a type of psychotherapy that addresses sexual difficulties in individuals and couples. It is designed to help individuals overcome issues such as erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation and vaginismus. It also helps individuals who are struggling with sexual trauma or abuse, and those who have a difficult time discussing their needs and desires with their partners.

Psychotherapy for sex and relationship problems typically begins with an evaluation by a psychologist or therapist. They will ask questions and provide some background on a client’s history that may have unconsciously impacted their sexual attitudes and behaviours.

Psychosexual therapists often offer education on sexual anatomy and the normal sexual response, as well as guidance on healthy sexual practices. They will also explore a client’s relationships and any other psychological or emotional challenges they may be experiencing that could be contributing to their low libido. For example, depression or other mental health disorders may have a direct impact on sexual desire.

Reduce or eliminate stimulants

There are many natural remedies that can help boost libido, such as herbal supplements like ginseng and maca or practices like acupuncture. But, it’s important to talk with your doctor before trying these to ensure they won’t interfere with any current medications or health conditions you may have.

Stimulants like caffeine, sugar and nicotine can have a negative impact on your libido. If you find that your libido is reduced by these substances, try eliminating them from your diet for a period of time to see if your desire increases.

Depression and other psychological issues can also cause low libido, so it’s important to discuss any concerns you have with your therapist. It’s also possible that the antidepressants you take are to blame for your decreased desire, so changing your medication might be a good solution. You might also consider a hormone replacement therapy such as estrogen or testosterone to improve your sexual functioning and libido.

Explore new forms of sexual expression

Some people find that their libido waxes and wanes over the years, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s normal, and there are many ways to boost libido naturally. These include eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress and improving intimate relationships.

Some medications can also affect libido, particularly antidepressants, and it’s worth discussing the issue with a GP, psychologist or gynaecologist. It’s also important to note that weight gain can lead to lower libido, and this is something that should be addressed.

Sometimes simply switching things up can re-ignite sexual desire, and this could include expressing a fantasy together, watching pornography, role playing or making foreplay last longer. There are also herbal remedies that some people believe can increase sexual desire, but it’s essential to talk to a health professional before trying anything new.

Prioritize emotional intimacy

Often, emotional issues in a relationship contribute to low libido. If you and your partner struggle with communication, trust or intimacy, working on those issues together in a counseling setting can boost your feelings of closeness and may improve your sex life as well.

Stress and exhaustion can also dampen sexual desire, especially if you’re busy with work or family responsibilities. Even if these responsibilities are positive, they can make sex feel like an obligation rather than something you look forward to.

Depression, which is common in midlife, can also numb sexual desire by changing the way your brain responds to hormones that influence arousal. If your medication for depression is lowering your libido, switching to a different antidepressant can restore your drive. In addition, smoking, excess alcohol and other recreational drugs can depress your libido. Giving up these bad habits can help you reclaim your enjoyment of your relationship and your sex life. This is particularly true for women who are going through menopause, as hormonal changes can be a significant contributing factor to low libido.