Table of Contents
- What Is Libido?
- What Causes Low Libido in Females?
- What Is the Treatment for Low Libido?
- How To Fix Low Libido
- How To Increase Low Libido Naturally
- What Foods Boost Your Libido?
- When Should Women See a Doctor for Low Libido?
Many women experience a lower than expected sex drive at one time or another. Female sexual desires often fluctuate, and one in three women admit to having a low libido at some point in their lives. There are many reasons a woman might experience loss of sexual desire. Luckily, there are several ways to combat low libido and regain that fire.
What Is Libido?
Libido refers to your sex drive or sexual desire. Everyone's libido is different, and it often fluctuates depending on lifestyle, age, and overall health. According to experts, there is no "normal" libido, and low libido is not a health concern unless it bothers you and you want to boost it.
What Causes Low Libido in Females?
According to one study, 43% of women are affected by low sex drive and loss of libido. Experts agree that it's difficult to pinpoint one specific cause, as it's usually a combination of things that leave you feeling just not in the mood. There's no test to identify low libido, and because every woman is different, understanding what's normal for you is essential. Low sexual appetite can result from physical, hormonal, psychological, or relationship problems. Some common causes are:
- Unhealthy lifestyle, including the use of drugs or alcohol, unhealthy eating habits, or unhealthy weight
- Inability to orgasm alone or with a partner
- Nonsexual diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, or high blood pressure
- Medications such as those prescribed for anxiety or depression
- Fluctuating hormones due to pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Loss of estrogen that accompanies menopause
- Too much stress and unhealthy or no coping mechanisms
- Lack of communication or feelings of disconnectedness with your partner
- Unresolved conflict, anger, or resentment toward your partner
What Is the Treatment for Low Libido?
There is no standard treatment for low libido. To help boost libido, most doctors agree it's best to try a natural approach. Medications are costly and have side effects, so they're usually prescribed only after other options have failed.
A holistic approach to treatment focuses on the body, mind, and relationships. In many cases, reassessing your lifestyle can be vital in figuring out what will work for you to increase libido naturally. Ensure you are getting enough rest, exercising regularly, and finding a way to relieve stress.
If your doctor deems it appropriate, you may be prescribed medication. Unfortunately, there is no Viagra on the market for women. However, several pharmaceutical companies continue to research potential solutions.
How To Fix Low Libido
Since there is no pill or easy fix for low libido, women often focus on needs and desires. Female arousal is more complicated than male arousal, and there are a variety of factors to consider when looking for a solution. However, here are some ideas from a sex therapist to try and get that spark back:
- Communicate openly with your partner about sexual likes and dislikes
- Practice Kegel exercises to increase blood flow to the genitals
- Watch pornography or use luxury sex toys to stimulate sexual creativity
- Masturbate regularly, either alone or with a partner
- Talk to a sex therapist
How To Increase Low Libido Naturally
Taking care of yourself physically and mentally can be a challenging feat. The constant demands of juggling daily life can be exhausting, leaving women with little energy left for desire. Women often take on the roles of professionals, mothers, daughters, and wives, and they are often so busy caring for others that they forget to make time for themselves. Over time, this stress can lead to a lack of sexual desire.
Self-care is essential to creating an environment that fosters sexual arousal. Prioritizing your health and sanity is the key to boosting your libido naturally. Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy foods, exercise, and self-care rituals like baths and long walks can help you feel more like yourself. In many cases, revving up your lagging libido can be as simple as taking the time to focus on yourself and what makes you happy.
What Foods Boost Your Libido?
While not scientifically proven, a few foods are considered aphrodisiacs that can help boost libido. It is difficult to prove or disprove claims of foods stimulating sexual desire. However, some foods have vitamins, minerals, and other natural components that increase blood flow, energy, and vitality.
Bananas and avocados are considered aphrodisiac fruits, as they increase blood flow to the vagina.
- Chocolate is more than just delicious — it can boost serotonin levels and improve mood, which can, in turn, increase your libido.
Oysters have long been considered an aphrodisiac, and according to research from 2005, oysters contain two unique amino acids that boost testosterone, a hormone related to sexual appetite.
Maca is a Peruvian root that may boost sexual desire and stimulate reproductive organs. Unfortunately, it has a bitter taste and is difficult to take on its own.
- Cayenne pepper is known for stimulating the circulatory system and creating internal body heat — making you hot in more ways than one.
Cayenne contains capsaicin, which increases overall vascular health.
- According to studies from South Africa, ginger contains enzymes that increase sexual health.
When Should Women See a Doctor for Low Libido?
Seek out a medical professional if low libido affects your health or your relationship. If your lack of interest in sex continues, it could signify a disorder related to sexual arousal.
Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) have no sexual desire over a sustained period. HSDD is characterized by a complete lack of sexual desire, fantasy, and masturbation. A doctor can diagnose HSDD through a physical exam, a blood test, and an interview. According to the Society for Women's Health Research, one in 10 American women are affected by HSDD each year.
While medications can help, most doctors agree that defining and addressing the underlying causes is the most effective treatment for low libido. Only a percentage of women with HSDD need a prescription.
It's normal for sexual desire to change over time. At different stages in your life, you will alternate between wanting it all and not wanting it at all. But if you notice this affects your relationship or self-esteem, you should check in with yourself. Make sure you're leading a healthy lifestyle and finding a positive outlet for stress management.
The solution to the mystery of low libido may not be found at a drugstore. Instead, focus on mental and physical health by living your best life and being the healthiest version of yourself. The desire for pleasure will often follow.
Low Sex Drive in Women. (March 2021). Sutter Health.
Understanding Low Libido. (May 2011). Everyday Health.
How does menopause affect sex drive?. (December 2017). Medical News Today.
This Is the Key to Unlocking Your Best Sex Yet — Solo or Partnered. (August 2020). Healthline.
Vyleeso? Addyi? How women can get help for low sexual desire. (June 2019). The University of Chicago Medicine.
How to Boost a Low Sex Drive, Including Natural Methods and Treatment for Women. (March 2019). Prevention.
Can You Increase Your Blood Flow with Vitamins?. (March 2019). Healthline.
Why Are Oysters Considered an Aphrodisiac?. (April 2017). Clean Eating
9 Benefits of Maca Root (and Potential Side Effects). (October 2016). Healthline.
Capsaicin may have important potential for promoting vascular and metabolic health. (June 2015). Open Heart.
Mondia whitei (Apocynaceae): A review of its biological activities, conservation strategies and economic potential. (October 2011). South African Journal of Botany.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). (January 2021). Planned Parenthood.
SWHR Supports FDA Decision to Approve Female Sexual Dysfunction treatment. (August 2015). Society for Women’s Health Research.