It’s no secret, Kiwi’s are having less sex than ever before. Several studies the world over have found that as we age, we are less likely to get it on, but recently, even millennial’s sex drives have been at an all-time low. So, what’s the deal?
Both men and women are designed to have sex well past their reproductive years. The thing that most people don’t understand when it comes to sex drive and health, in general, is that your body was never designed for this life.
Your body is designed to live off 100% natural foods, plenty of plants, periods of low food (not a constant feast). It wasn’t designed to be bombarded with stress and demands 24/7, and to be exposed to artificial light past sundown. We were not designed to eat junk food filled with additives and preservatives and devoid of nutrients. Females were designed to ovulate and were never meant to turn off their sex hormones with artificial contraceptive hormones.
Individually each of these factors can shut down your drive to get it on with your partner, but the reality is that most of us are exposed to all these issues.
Top 5 libido killers:
The pill lowers your testosterone levels, a hormone that is vital for arousal, interest in sex and the ability to enjoy sex. Many women have been on a hormonal contraceptive of some kind since the age of 16 or 17 and actually have no idea what their ‘normal’ sex drive is as they have never had one. Terrifying right??!!
The effects of the pill on your libido have been found to last for at least 6 months after stopping and possibly even longer; with one study theorizing that the pill increases gene expression of sex hormone binding globulin – the hormone responsible for sucking up all of your sex-drive-boosting testosterone.
Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, while we need this hormone in small amounts, large amounts start to wreak havoc on your body. Weight gain, poor sleep, and disrupted sex hormone production come together to form the perfect storm of un-sexiness. No one is in the mood to have sex when they’re self-conscious about weight gain, tired from too many nights of poor sleep, and having waning levels of the hormones needed for arousal and orgasm.
Setting boundaries around work and screen time and making sure to schedule quality rest time is vital for reducing stress. Making time to exercise, disconnect from work, and reconnect with your partner is important too. Many of my clients benefit from a regular meditation or yoga practice, and others find support in herbal adaptogens and the supplementation of B vitamins (in their activated form) and magnesium.
Pain and dryness:
After the age of about 40, women can find that they start to experience vaginal dryness and pain during sex, this can be the result of declining estrogen levels. If you are experiencing these symptoms, I recommend doing some blood tests or using the DUTCH test (Dried Urine Comprehensive Hormone Test) to figure out what is happening with your hormones. You can then use plants containing phytoestrogens, herbs, or bio-identical hormones to help you get your hormones back up to a level to help prevent these issues.
A crappy diet is a trigger for most of the health issues I see in clinic. You can’t exercise or meditate your way out of nutrient deficiencies or energy intake excess – trust me. Ensuring your body has the nutrients it needs for healthy hormone production is key when solving sex drive concerns. Zinc is needed for the production of hormones, as well as fatty acids, B vitamins are needed for mood, energy and stress reduction, vitamin D is important for estrogen production and a balanced mood, and vitamin A for testosterone production.
I find, that by the time a person’s sex drive has tanked these nutrients are usually in the low range. The best way to help increase these nutrients is to increase your veggie intake to seven handfuls per day, and include oily fish, nuts, and seeds in your diet regularly. However, sometimes once you are deficient it can take a really long time to build your stores back up again, in this situation it may be appropriate to supplement. Please talk to someone who is qualified in nutrition to get the best advice on supplements, as the wrong form or dose can make things worse.
How I help women (and men) get their groove back
Every single person is different. Not one client who comes to see me has the same set of symptoms or concerns. First, we get started on the basics like diet, sleep, stress and relationship factors. Once we have solved any issues with the basics, I will then dig a little deeper into the cause of your low sex drive. The best form of testing for this is known as a DUTCH test, you can read about that here. I test to see exactly what is going on with your sex, sleep, and stress hormones. While symptoms tell me a lot about someone and their health, it is better to get an exact reading of what is going on with your hormones, as they control everything.
Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your low libido, stress reduction is often needed, herbs and nutrients can work wonders too, and sometimes I will refer you on to trial natural hormone replacement. The fact is, you don’t have to assume that sex just isn’t for you anymore.