Boosting Libido Through Menopause

libido

Libido is simply defined as a person’s overall sexual desire or drive for any form of sexual activity. However, boosting, maintaining and exciting one’s libido is far from simple. The amount of sexual desire varies greatly from woman to woman and even changes during every individual’s day and life stage. The health and vitality of our sexuality is tightly interwoven with the health and vitality of every aspect of our lives. Having little to no sex drive is common, especially throughout menopause. If this is how you are feeling, you are definitely not alone.

Sexual desire involves three interrelated components. The first is drive, the biological component. Drive manifests as sexual thoughts, attraction to others, seeking out sexual activity, fantasies, and/or genital tingling or sensitivity. Sexual drive can vary from day to day for every woman based on daily activities, stress levels, and overall health status.

The second component is beliefs, values, and expectations about sexual activity. These are your personal attitudes towards all sexual activities. They are usually shaped by your culture, your religious beliefs, your family, your peers, and media influences. Your attitude and desire to have sex are directly correlated. When your attitude becomes more positive, desire increases.

The third component is motivation. This involves your willingness to behave sexually at any given time with yourself or a partner. Motivation is driven by emotional and interpersonal factors, making it the most complex component of desire and is arguably the most important. How a woman views a relationship will reflect in her motivation.

Determining the root cause of low libido and sexual frustration can be difficult. Sexual function is dependent on many factors that work in unison, such as the physical components: healthy ovaries, balanced hormones, and properly working cardiovascular system, brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Underlying psychological, sociocultural, interpersonal and biological influences will also directly affect individual sexual function. Additionally, menopause-related hormonal imbalance symptoms, such as vaginal dryness, dyspareunia, hot flashes, vaginismus, night sweats, loss of or heightened clitoral sensation, and touch sensation impairment can all undermine sexual motivation and drive.

Health conditions and medications can also interfere with libido. Women suffering from gynecological problems, hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain, alcoholism, drug use (including cigarette smoking), thyroid deficiency, or depression, as well as those who use anti-hypertensive medications, tranquilizers or sedatives, ulcer medications, glucocorticosteroids, antihistamines, birth control pills or antidepressants, may suffer some sexual dysfunction. There are two key biological chemicals that may affect your level of sexual desire. Dopamine and prolactin. Dopamine is responsible for increasing 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.

The are several natural remedies that increase libido, which you can start working on today to ignite your sex drive and creativity. 


 

Nutrition

 

Aphrodisiac foods: figs, bananas, chocolate, and avocados are natural aphrodisiacs. They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals that encourage blood flow to the genitals, which naturally increases sex drive.

 

Iron-rich foods: Low iron levels in women can negatively affect sexual desire, arousal, lubrication and the ability to have an orgasm. Foods sources of iron include: Nettles, any dark leafy green vegetables, grass-fed beef, spirulina, soaked lentils, and dark chocolate.

 

Collagen-rich foods: Naturally declining production of collagen with age directly negatively impacts skin health. This leads to a looser vaginal wall in women, which can make sex painful and reduce lubrication. Collagen-rich foods include bone broth, wild salmon, chlorella, leafy greens, and eggs. Vitamin C also helps to increase collagen production.

 

Phytoestrogen-rich foods: This natural plant component can restore libido naturally. Phytoestrogens are found in red clover, maca, black cohosh, and vitex.


Supportive Herbs & Supplements

 

Maca: It is rich in plant sterols, which are responsible for balancing and strengthening the entire hormonal system. Maca is able to increase libido and can improve perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. Moreover, it supports the adrenal glands, which helps reduce and balance levels of energy-depleting stress hormones.

 

Two immortals: This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herbal formula that builds two types of life-energy (chi): yin (feminine) chi and yang (masculine) chi. This boosts a menopausal woman’s libido because sexual desire requires both nurturing (yin) and stimulation (yang). Additionally, it helps balance hormones and control symptoms of perimenopause, such as irregular menstrual bleeding and cramping, and of menopause, such as hot flashes. This formula can be taken for six months to a year to rebuild vitality.

 

Cordyceps: This mushroom is an aphrodisiac, meaning it relaxes your body, improves mood and gently boosts libido. It is used in TCM because it is a potent sexual tonic. It enhances both yin and yang chi, making it an ideal aphrodisiac for menopausal women. It can be taken as a supplement or as a tea.

 

Ginkgo biloba: This herb promotes overall blood flow, including blood flow to the vulva and vagina. This may help restore libido in women taking antidepressants, which negatively impact sex drive.

 

L-Arginine supplement: This amino acid boosts nitric oxide, a compound that stimulates blood flow, including blood flow to your genitals. This increases sexual desire, instances of sex and orgasm, enhances clitoral stimulation, decreases vaginal dryness and improves overall sexual satisfaction. Speak to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement, especially if you have low blood pressure, herpes, gastric ulcer, liver disease or kidney disease.

 

Phenylethylamine (PEA) supplement: This supplement is commonly referred to as the “love supplement.” It increases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which enhances feelings of well-being, joy and pleasure. PEA is naturally increased in the body by exercising regularly, eating dark chocolate and consuming spirulina.

 

Vitamin E: Enjoyable sex requires vaginal tissue that is well-hydrated and adequately lubricated. Entering menopause causes estrogen levels to drop, which leads to a decrease in blood flow to the vagina. This can lead to vaginal atrophy and dryness. Vitamin E has natural lubricating properties that can help with these symptoms. You can either apply the gel topically to the outside of your vagina or use a vitamin E suppository.

 

Progesterone cream: A hormonal balance is required for optimal sexual desire and pleasure. Progesterone is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, which naturally decrease during menopause. Progesterone can help maintain sufficiently high levels of other hormones, and also balance mood and support normal thyroid function.

 

Sandalwood essential oil: After menopause, female testosterone levels drop drastically, and sex drive can drop in response as well. Sandalwood is excellent at bringing testosterone levels back into balance. It is also an aphrodisiac, and can be found in colognes and perfumes.

 


Lifestyle

 

 

Exercise: Introducing a consistent exercise routine into your life can help reduce and eliminate most menopausal symptoms, including low libido. Note that you must be careful with the amount you exercise, as overtraining can cause low libido. Exercises that increase human growth hormone, such as weight training and burst training improves blood flow to the genitals, boosts mood and improves body perception. Yoga, specifically, can lead to better orgasms by increasing genital blood flow.

 

Get your hormone levels checked: The hormones that are directly correlated with libido are androgens and estradiol (E2). Having a baseline panel will help you know what your hormone levels are when your sex drive is normal so when you notice a change, you can redo the test to see which hormone levels have changed. The DUTCH test is a well respected and accurate test that assess hormone levels from your dried urine.

 

Evaluate cultural barriers: Are your views on sexuality based on a culture or religion you were born into? It might be time to give yourself permission to explore your sexual values and desires on your own terms.

 

Update your relationship: Question what are likes and dislikes about your current relationship. Then take time to work with your partner on resolving what isn’t working and rekindling your passion together. By opening lines of communication and discussing concerns, fears, and anxieties, and seeking counseling if necessary, the emotional side effects can be eased, naturally strengthening your relationship.

 

Make time for you separate from time with your partner: Transitioning from prioritizing others well-being to your own is challenging. When you make time for yourself, which is separated from taking care of others, can restore your sexual motivation and desires.

 

Make time for you separate from time with your partner: Transitioning from prioritizing others well-being to your own is challenging. When you make time for yourself, which is separated from taking care of others, can restore your sexual motivation and desires.




 

 

kristin dahl