Lack of lack of libido is more common in women than men, but it significantly affects both sexes. Research shows that 32 percent of women and 15 percent of men lack the desire to have sex regularly.
Whether you’re on the lower or higher end of the age spectrum, a low libido can strike at any year of your life for a whole variety of reasons, including depression, stress, relationship issues, prescription medications, low testosterone, being overweight, too little exercise, and drug or alcohol use. So naturally, many people wonder how to increase libido.
If you have little to no sex drive, you’re definitely not alone. The great news is that there are a lot of natural remedies to increase libido, and you can start increasing your sex drive naturally today. If a higher sex drive is your goal, then it’s time to make some lifestyle changes.
For instance, decreasing your stress levels, improving your sleep, adding more natural aphrodisiacs to your meals, and exercising the right amount to put your mind and body back into a libido-encouraging state are all techniques for how to increase libido without potentially harmful drugs.
What Is Libido? Why Does It Disappear Among Some of Us?
Libido is defined as a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. Low libido in women and low libido in men have some similar roots, along with some gender-specific ones as well.
For men, it’s actually quite normal to have a gradual decrease in libido as a man gets older. Each man is different, but most men tend to have some amount of sexual desire into their 60s and 70s. If aging isn’t at the root of libido decrease, a man may be depressed or experiencing too much stress.
Other possible causes of low sex drive men are a medication side effect, a decrease in male sex hormones due to an endocrine disorder or sleep apnea. A little-known fact is how sleep apnea can lead to an unusually low testosterone level.
Low testosterone can also cause erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition in which a man can’t get or maintain an erection. While both issues may involve low testosterone, ED and low libido do not necessarily equate or even happen at the same time. Men who have a hard time getting or maintaining an erection usually have a normal or even high sex drive.
When it comes to a low sex drive in women, there can be many causes. According to sex psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D, “Women’s sexuality tends to be multifaceted and fairly complicated.”
Common causes of a loss of sexual desire or low libido in women include issues in your relationship with your sexual partner, sociocultural influences (job stress, media images of sexuality, etc. ) and medical conditions (like fibroids, endometriosis and thyroid problems).
Low testosterone doesn’t just cause sexual issues for men. Women can also experience low testosterone. Female testosterone levels peak in the mid-20s and then steadily decrease until a woman goes through menopause. After menopause, female testosterone levels drop dramatically, and sex drive can drop dramatically as well. Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal pregnancy prevention can also have negative effects on a woman’s desire for sexual activity.
When it comes to how to increase your libido, there are two key biological chemicals that may affect your level of sexual desire whether you’re a man or woman. I’m talking about dopamine and prolactin. It’s theorized that dopamine increases desire while prolactin decreases it. If you take any medications, it’s important to know that some can increase prolactin release or inhibit dopamine release. Either of these two scenarios can decrease sexual desire and also cause other sexual side effects.
In men, low prolactin has been linked with multiple signs of poor sexual health and psychological health. Low prolactin levels are also associated with a larger body mass index (BMI), high blood sugar levels, lower levels of physical activity and just generally feeling unhealthier.
Relationship issues, depression, prescription medications, alcoholism, drug abuse and/or chronic diseases like diabetes can all be at the root of low sex drive for both sexes. A BMI that’s too high can also cause problems for both men and women when it comes to libido. Obese men tend to struggle with erectile difficulty, but studies have shown that losing only a small percent of weight can improve both male and female sexual function. A study conducted at Duke University reports that obese people are 25 times more likely to report sexual problems.
How to Increase Libido Through Diet
Let’s talk about how to increase libido through your diet, which includes what you should eat more of and what you should avoid or reduce significantly.