This Blog is for our female patients – low libido in males is something we will address in a future blog.
Low libido is definitely something many of our female patients talk to us about. Does sex at the end of the day feel like one more chore to tick off? Something to fit in after doing the dishes, folding the laundry and washing your face before bed? Lost some of the magic? You are not alone; it is a very common female lament.
I think it is important for men and women to remember our basic differences. Men have NON cyclical testosterone where as women’s testosterone peaks just before ovulation. Testosterone is linked to libido and Mother Nature is clever, our testosterone peaks right before we ovulate, so we are more likely to want to have sex when we could potentially conceive. It means women’s libido is cyclical, it goes up around ovulation. Men’s libido is non-cyclical, it can be high (or low) the whole time!
This is one reason the Oral Contraceptive Pill (OCP) is linked to low libido. The OCP is designed to stop us ovulating, we have non-cyclical testosterone, we don’t release an egg on the OCP, so of course libido will be low or non-existent.
But what else is the female libido linked to?
Fatigue is a big one – if at the end of the day you are exhausted then there is little wonder you want to crawl under the covers and go to sleep rather than make love. Could an unsolved sleep issue be the cause of your fatigue? If you are unable to fall asleep or unable to stay asleep it is super important we address it. Separately, if sleep is an issue because you are awake at night with hot flushes, then the cure is to address the hot flushes! Thankfully our naturopaths at PHF are well versed in addressing all types of sleep issues as well as fixing all types of menopausal problems. At PHF we also often run a number of tests for our patients with low libido. Could low iron, low B12 be causing fatigue and wiping out your libido? Could your thyroid be the issue? Do not live your life thinking it is normal to feel tired all of the time. If you are always tired, there is a reason. It is super important to not just accept fatigue as ‘your lot in life’. Blood tests, understanding sleep health, nutrition – all are important to address in order to understand and beat fatigue.
Has he done the dishes? This one always gets a chuckle – but a good honest conversation about the distribution of jobs in the evening and about feeling appreciated can definitely result in better action in the bedroom. Perhaps it is time to remind him ‘ Happy Wife, Happy Life. ‘ If you are running around cleaning up, folding washing, prepping school lunches for tomorrow whilst he is watching TV, you may not feel quite so amorous come bed time!
Dry Vagina – this is a real problem for many women. It is also a subject lots of women don’t feel comfortable talking to their partner about. As women age their vagina can change, especially if they don’t learn to look after it. As oestrogen declines in our 40’s and 50’s the tissue in our vagina can thin, the secretions reduce, the microbiome changes and it can result in a dry vagina that can make sex painful. The good news is, there is lots you can do! You may not be able to get your husband to do the dishes, but you can look after your own vagina. Read our previous blog on vaginal health to learn how!
Not comfortable in your body? This sadly is a huge reason libido can decline. Many women feel weight gain is an obstacle to comfortably owning their nakedness during sex. Learning how to eat to have lots of energy AND a body you feel content with may be really important to reviving your libido. You don’t need a model’s body, you just need to find the healthy you. As women age certain issues can arise that can result in weight gain. Our naturopaths often find hidden reasons behind weight gain. Could it be your insulin and blood sugars are not being managed well? Could your thyroid be behind feeling sluggish and weight gain? Addressing your concerns is important and can be a big step to reclaiming your mojo.
Urinary infections or Thrush post sex – if you are a woman that gets a UTI or thrush every time you have sex, then having sex is not much fun. The good news is, it can be fixed! Vaginal microbiome issues can be a big underlying cause of UTI’s post sex as well as obviously a cause of recurrent thrush. There are exciting new ways for testing the vaginal microbiome to get a really good understanding of underlying problems. Certain prebiotics and probiotics can make a dramatic difference, when properly prescribed, to the problems of UTI’s and thrush post sex. Low iron levels, low vitamin A, high blood sugars, low zinc, low vitamin D, the wrong bacteria in the vagina, there are numerous reasons as to why some women suffer recurrent thrush and UTI’s, thankfully they can all be addressed naturopathically.
If you are aware your libido is waning or non-existent, don’t think that is your lot in life. Nor does it have to be a fact of aging. If you want a healthy sex life then it is time to be proactive and fix it.