Sex drive not quite full speed ahead? How to change all that!
“Jokes are like sex. It’s no fun if you’re not getting it [or just don’t feel like listening].”
This was probably the most G rated quote too! While the quote may elicit a chuckle or some type of amusement, in all seriousness, low libido is very common and may have many different reasons. While many concerns tend to involve solely us, libido issues may involve how we feel with other people, or sometimes we feel guilty that we have these issues if our partner(s) are awesome people so then why should we feel this way?? On the other hand, some people don’t have the desire or urge for sex. The root chakra (base of the spine), holds our sexual energy, but also our life force/vitality, financial abundance, and creative capacity. How you feel is how you feel- so bringing this back to you, let’s ensure that we’ve covered all bases (no pun intended) on why your sex drive (or life purpose) is lower than usual, plus some great natural remedies.
There’s a number of different hormone imbalances that can contribute to low libido, and chances are there may be some other concerns as well such as not sleeping well, can’t lose weight/weight gain, overall tired/low energy, which can also have a hormone-based cause. Any type of imbalance can contribute to not feeling like yourself, and a common theme in men is low testosterone, and now there’s a rise of high estrogen not just in women, but also in men. Men do have some estrogen to help with libido and protect against heart disease, but it’s mainly testosterone that contributes to their libido, hormonally speaking. In addition, think of the penis as the overall barometer of men’s health- it has the same arteries and veins that line the heart, so a ‘full workup’ may also include some cardiac markers in blood work. Depression is also another common cause in men, which could be from low testosterone, in which the stress of depression could further perpetuate low testosterone.
In women, estrogen is the main hormone for libido, yet any imbalance can create mood swings, weight gain, and sugar cravings. Around peri and menopause, progesterone (the calm, relaxing one) plummets as estrogen has a slower decline. And then these fluctuate, hot flashes can follow. Further, low estrogen levels in women (or other types of pathology) can make sex painful due to decreased elasticity of tissues and blood flow to the pelvic area.
In both, stress is a huge factor as the resources we need to stay alive (i.e. fight or flight) will be prioritized over the same resources needed to ‘rest, digest, and reproduce.’ This is also why stress tends to bring on digestive issues when our body is out of balance. Stress can be due to a myriad of reasons such as diet and lifestyle, body image issues, relationships in our lives, poor sleep, to actual disease processes going on in our body. However, we also need stress to survive, so it’s not that it’s bad per se, it’s about keeping it in balance through hobbies, activities that give us a greater purpose in life, and relaxation, in order to restore our life force.
Add some of these strategies into your life to boost your libido & life force!:
Get tested- While libido can also be any combination of how we feel about ourself/our partner(s)/our life, rule out any organic cause like hormone imbalances through blood tests (great for thyroid, vitamin D - precursor to hormones, cholesterol- helps make hormones), and potentially saliva or urine tests for cortisol (our stress hormone) and hormones.
Know your herbs!- Yes, there is an herb called horny goat weed. Herbs like maca, tribulus, damiana, and avena satvia are all herbs that help balance hormones, work on mood, and aid in nourishing our adrenals (important in managing stress levels). Maca is actually commonly found in powder, and great in smoothies, as well as if you make raw energy bites (i.e. freeze for about an hour- oats, almond butter, shredded coconut, and maca)
Pay attention to what you like- in and out of the bedroom- Self care and awareness is imperative when understanding what sparks our desire, as the root chakra is all about letting go of fears. Being able to express ourself in life also translates to the bedroom as we identify what we like (or don’t like), and enhances communication and potentially adds to the bond. And take the time you need to figure this out.
Libido is commonly reduced to ‘what pill/remedy can I take for this’, yet as I’ve explored with patients, it’s never just sex drive alone. Soon discussions open up to other health concerns that have been on their mind (disrupts focus), the fact that they want more out of life and haven’t made the time/figured out what they want, and lack of attraction to partner (or even themselves, aka body image issues). All of this is so common, and we can definitely make a customized plan just for you taking all these topics into consideration, and happy to strategize! Ooohmm…