Symptoms of Loss of Libido
- Lack of sexual desire
- Vaginal dryness and itchiness
- Thinning of vaginal walls
- Painful intercourse
- Low response to sexual stimuli
What is Loss of Libido?
Loss of libido, also known as “hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” is a lack of interest and desire in sexual activity. Almost all women experience loss of libido at some point in their lives, most commonly during perimenopause. Generally characterized by a lack of interest or desire for sexual activity, those suffering from a loss of libido find it one of the most frustrating symptoms to deal with.
Causes of Loss of Libido
|Hormonal A decrease in the levels of the three major hormones, estrogen, progesterone and androgens/testosterone contribute to the loss of libido experienced by many menopausal women. Estrogen is responsible for sensitivity during sex and maintains the health of the vaginal tissue. Testosterone promotes sexual desire and vaginal lubrication. Progesterone elevates libido. Other Factors There are many different factors that could contribute to a loss of libido during menopause besides a hormonal imbalance – physical, psychological and relational causes.|
- Physical Causes – Medication use, hysterectomy, diabetes, heart disease, sexual dysfunction, pain-related conditions, vaginal dryness and itchiness
- Psychological Causes - Changes in self-esteem, fatigue, aging concerns, mood swings, depression, anxiety, trauma, stress overload and fatigue
- Relational Causes – Lack of communication between partners, low sex drive in significant other, changes in partner’s physical health, intimate relationship changes, changing social role
Managing Your Loss of Libido
Hot flashes can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe. Typically, mild hot flashes last less than one minute long and produce a feeling of warmth with little sweat. Moderate hot flashes produce perspiration and can last two to four minutes. Severe hot flashes cause heavy perspiration and can last up to ten to twenty-five minutes, interfering with daily activity.
- Allow yourself some passions or interests for yourself–make time for a hobby or exercise or talent, or just plain rest.
- Reconnect with your partner, either by going out of town together, on a date or just enjoying some quality time at home.
- Look and feel amazing. Change your look, get a new haircut! Anything that makes you feel beautiful and physically attractive!
- Don’t be so focused on goals, taking care of others and getting things done that you forget the simple pleasures of life. After all, sex can be fun, burns calories and increases your happiness. Why not make more time for it in your life?
- Zinc: Oysters, red meat, liver, kidney beans
- Magnesium: Almonds, buckwheat, leafy greens
- Protein: Lean meats, fish, nuts, dairy
- Soy: Edamame, tofu, miso, soymilk
Daily Lifestyle Changes/Treatment
- Exercise – Physical activity helps increase blood flow throughout your body, including your genital area. Along with this, exercise also releases endorphins in the brain, which have a direct correlation with your sexual desires. Adopting an exercise regime doesn’t have to be difficult, nor boring. Once you have an exercise routine, you will notice an increase in energy, stress reduction, increase in self-confidence and an improved body image – all factors to make a women feel more desirable in the bedroom.
- Stress reduction and relaxation – Relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, massage, hypnosis, yoga and visualization techniques are all beneficial ways to help deal with stress and minimize the effects of stress on your body during one’s loss of libido through menopause.
- Pelvic Muscle Strengthening (Kegel exercises) – Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor exercises, are designed to strengthen the muscles of the lower pelvic girdle. Doing these Kegel exercises correctly and on a regular basis helps blood and oxygen circulate to the genitals, improving your awareness of the muscles involved in pleasurable sexual sensations and increasing your libido.
- Seek Sexual Counseling – Talking with a sex counselor or therapist skilled in addressing sexual concerns can help with one’s loss of libido. This type of therapy includes education about sexual responses, techniques and recommendations to improve your libido.
- Alternative Medicine – Acupuncture is a Chinese medical treatment involving the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the body at specific points according to a mapping of “energy pathways,” also known as meridians. According to Chinese medicine, a loss of libido is seen as an imbalance and discrepancy of Qi (energy) within the organ systems, specifically the heart and the kidneys. Once the cause of the problem is discovered, specific points are stimulated to alter various physiological and biochemical and conditions in order to strengthen the mind and body.
- Black Cohosh One of the most commonly used herbal remedies is Black Cohosh, a perennial plant that is a member of the buttercup family. It provides powerful phytoestrogens that mimic the hormone’s effects and bind to hormone receptors in the uterus and other parts of the body, alleviating hot flashes. Black Cohosh is also known to relieve hot flashes efficiently and is a good alternative to HRT. It is also used effectively for treating PMS, arthritis and lowering blood pressure. Red Clover, Dong Quai, Ginseng, Kava and evening primrose oil can be used as natural therapies, although there are some risks involved. Herbal supplements are not as closely regulated as prescription drugs and the amount of the herbal product, quality and safety may vary between brands.
- Herbal Remedies –The safest way to treat one’s loss of libido is through herbal remedies. The two types of herbal treatments are phytoestrogens and non-estrogenic herbs. Phytoestrogen herbs, such as Black Cohosh, Siberian ginseng, Dong Quai, wild oats and motherwort, contain plant estrogens, which replace the missing estrogens in your body. Ashwagandha, an herb that works as both a nerve tonic and an aphrodisiac, strengthens the adrenal glands, which produce cortisol, which helps the body deal with stress and sex hormones. But, it is important to note that certain phytoestrogens can produce side effects, such as breast cancer and strokes, as a result from adding hormones form outside. Non-estrogenic herbs are safe and nourish one’s hormonal glands for healthy production of your own natural hormones. This ends up in balancing overall hormone levels.
- Aroma Therapy – Scents like ylang ylang, sandalwood, lavender and jasmine can also help increase your libido through lifting your moods, assisting in relaxation and improving feelings of sexual desire.