It seems everywhere you go during the month of February, bright shades of pink hearts and Victorian Valentine images greet you. They remind you that romance is in the air. But what if you don’t feel it?
That’s okay. It’s natural for a woman’s libido to fluctuate throughout her life. Highs and lows can accompany the beginning or the end of a relationship or major life changes, such as pregnancy, menopause, or illness. Some medications used for mood disorders can also affect a woman’s
libido. However, if your lack of interest in sex continues or returns and causes personal distress, you may have a condition called sexual interest/arousal disorder.
Whether or not you have the official diagnosis, if you’re bothered by a low sex drive or decreased sex drive, Dr. Fliedner recommends some simple lifestyle changes and therapies that effectively increase libido in women.
Why is Libido Important for a Woman?
Before we get into some treatments that Dr. Fliedner recommends, let’s look at why a healthy libido is so important. Libido, or sexual desire, is important for a woman because it is a natural and normal aspect of human sexuality. It can contribute to overall sexual satisfaction and emotional well-being and can also be a bonding experience for romantic partners.
Additionally, a healthy libido can indicate a woman’s overall physical and emotional health. Low libido may suggest an underlying health disorder such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, or neurological diseases.
And it may not be something quite so serious. Various physical or psychological factors, such as hormonal imbalances, stress, relationship problems, or certain medications, will affect a woman’s libido. It is important for you to consult a healthcare professional if you are experiencing a lack of libido to determine the underlying cause and explore treatment options.
Therapies to Increase Libido in Women
Throughout your life, your hormones are constantly changing and shifting. During menopause, a drop in hormones will decrease a woman’s interest in sex and can contribute to an increase in depression.
Fortunately, we live in an age of modern technology, and the BHRT treatments that Dr. Fliedner prescribes to his patients do wonders for a woman’s sexual interest and sense of feminine beauty.
Our BHRT treatments at North Texas Vitality help increase libido in women by replacing the missing hormones their bodies no longer make with bioidentical hormones. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy uses natural hormones from plants rather than synthetic hormones. Studies show that these natural hormones are more effective than their synthetic counterparts because your body metabolizes them more effectively. Refer to our article, “Bioidentical Hormone Therapy FAQs.”
In evaluating the effect of medications on your overall health, your healthcare provider will want a list of the medications you are taking before he prescribes any medications to improve libido.
Certain antidepressants and blood pressure medications can lower libido. Switching to a different medication or adjusting the dosage may improve libido. Your doctor will evaluate the medications you’re already taking to see if they cause sexual side effects. For example, antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) may lower sex drive. Switching to a different
type of antidepressant, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL), usually improves sex drive and is sometimes prescribed for women with sexual interest/arousal disorder.
When evaluating your list of medications, your doctor may prescribe additional medication to boost your libido. Some effective medications that are FDA-approved and increase sexual arousal for premenopausal women include:
- Flibanserin (Addyi). This is a pill that you take once a day at bedtime. Side effects can include low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
- Bremelanotide (Vyleesi). This is an injection you give yourself just under the skin in the belly or thigh before anticipated sexual activity. Some women experience nausea, which is more common after the first injection but tends to improve with the second injection. Other side effects include vomiting, flushing, headache, and a skin reaction at the injection site.
Exercise and Weight Management
Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can improve overall physical and mental health, which can also help to increase libido. In the “Physical Activity Guideline for Americans,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening activity on a weekly basis.
Dr. Fliedner recommends five specific exercises to improve libido:
- Strength training: Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves using your own body weight or tools, like dumbbells or resistance bands, to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance. Some experts believe that strength training boosts libido better than cardio exercises, such as working the elliptical trainer or treadmill, because strength training is better than cardio at relieving stress.
- Kegels: Kegel exercises will help strengthen pelvic floor muscles and may help boost libido in both men and women. Typically, these exercises are used to help alleviate problems with urine leakage or bowel control. In women, Kegels might strengthen vaginal muscles for a more powerful orgasm. In men, these exercises could help delay ejaculation.
- Yoga: Practitioners of Ayurvedic yoga have long claimed that consistent yoga workouts help with various sexual disorders. Researchers who conducted a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that yoga helped with premature ejaculation and was recommended as a safe and effective non-pharmacological option. Another study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine stated that yoga improved all aspects of sexual function in women, including desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. And these improvements were more pronounced in women 45+ years.
- Walking: Just 30 minutes of walking a day may decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction in men by up to 41%, according to Harvard Health Publishing. A separate trial indicated that such moderate exercise may help prevent erectile dysfunction in middle-aged, obese men.
- Swimming: Similar to walking, swimming for just 30 minutes three times weekly might boost sex drive. And swimming can result in weight loss, which also improves sexual endurance.
These exercises are recommended for both men and women to improve their sexual arousal and overall health. Dr. Fliedner treats the whole person and works with his patients to find the right therapies and prescriptions to improve intimacy and health. Use the form below to contact Dr. Fliedner for a consultation.
Sex Education and Counseling
Sometimes, talking with a sex therapist or counselor skilled in addressing sexual concerns can help with low sex drive. Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and relationship issues can play a role in low libido. Speaking with a therapist or counselor can help address these issues.
Therapy often includes education about sexual response and techniques. Your therapist or counselor likely will provide recommendations for reading materials or couples exercises. Couples counseling that addresses relationship issues may also help increase feelings of intimacy and desire. Contact Dr. Fliedner for a recommendation on a sex therapist.
For some of us, making simple lifestyle changes is the solution. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco, reducing excess belly fat, and getting enough sleep each night can also help improve libido. Working with your health provider to improve your health makes all the difference in a satisfying sex life.
It’s important to note that not all women have the same libido, and what works for one person may not work for another. Before trying any treatments on your own, we recommend you make an appointment with Dr. Fliedner first to rule out any underlying hormonal imbalances and health issues.
Start Feeling Better About Sex
If you’re feeling less interested in sex, we invite you to schedule an evaluation. Loss of libido can have causes other than menopause, and we have the experience to identify causes and design proper treatment and therapy to improve your sexual health.
To request an appointment with Dr. Fliedner, call our office at 469-455-1665 or fill out the form below.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician.