Libido is an important part of daily life and involves a complex relationship between psychological and biological mechanisms. There are various factors that affect libido which will be explored in this article, along with lifestyle changes and supplements to help boost sex drive.
What Can Cause Low Libido?
A clear link has been found between states of low mood and low libido, as well as periods of high stress causing low libido. Common mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can have a negative impact on sex drive.
Ageing is another main cause of low libido; as we age, the levels of sex hormones reduce. For women, this means reduced oestrogen and testosterone in the pre, peri and post-menopausal stages of life. For men, this equates to reduced levels of testosterone. Higher testosterone levels usually equates to a higher sex drive. Ageing can also come hand in hand with regular medication use, which in turn can have the knock-on effect of reducing libido.
In younger women, it is possible for the contraceptive pill can cause a reduced libido. The combined contraceptive pill contains oestrogen, which at certain levels can reduce the sex hormone testosterone. Similarly, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that libido is reduced when taking ‘mini-pill’ (progestogen only pill) regularly. However, it is important to note that not all women are affected negatively by the regular use of contraceptives.
Lifestyle & Libido
Lifestyle changes are also important when tackling low libido – behaviours that are health promoting such as regular exercise and a diet rich in plant foods and grains can help to improve your general mood. Foods high in unsaturated fats can help to improve sex drive. This includes foods like brazil nuts, avocadoes, and oily fish.
Meditation can also help to create a feeling of internal balance and calm. Behaviours such as high alcohol consumption and smoking can have a negative impact on libido, as not only do they effect mood, but they can also have biological side-effects (erectile dysfunction is a common effect of high alcohol intake.)
Low Libido In Women
Low sex hormones are only part of the puzzle for women – with the approach of menopause comes associated symptoms due to low oestrogen. These include fatigue, vaginal dryness (due to dryness of mucous membranes), and reduced skin elasticity. Again, a supplement that aims to support hormone balance and contains those nutrients essential for energy maintenance is key.
Pomegranate and maca are also great antioxidants that help to improve inflammation and age-associated damage. These can be found in Stimulate For Women alongside vitamin A, which helps to maintain moisture of the mucous membrane. Furthermore, Stimulate contains vitamins B6 and B12, which play an important role in mood regulation and energy balance.