Sex Drive – What is normal and how to increase it
“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality.” – W.H.O (The World Health Organization)
The desire to have sex is a part of reproduction, libido is essential for a healthy life and is a way to create a new life by passing on genetic material.
Libido is a term used for sex drive and how much is too much or how less is abnormal may reflect the physical or mental health of an individual. Your low libido today may be high the next day and so on as there is a various influencer that affects your bedroom life.
Cuddling and making love with your partner come from three factors – psychological, biological, and social culture. It can be a wonderful feeling but things cannot always be the same. Anything that affects your life beneath the blankets needs to be addressed. Loss of interest in sexual activity may indicate underlying health conditions.
The science behind sex drive (libido)
The hormones testosterone, oxytocin, and dopamine play a key role in sexual drive.
Testosterone – this sex hormone is high in males when compared to women. As a result, men are known to have more sexual drive.
Oxytocin – is also known as a bonding hormone and has an important role in sexual desire. It also affects penile erection.
Dopamine – dopamine is released during the sexual stimulus and it causes an increase in sexual desire.
What is a normal sex drive (libido)?
Every individual has his/her level of sex drive. Your libido is low or high is judged by you and your partner’s desire to have sex. If both of you are okay with having sex once a month or once a week, it is considered a normal sex drive. But if there is a U-turn in sexual desire, it can be a matter of concern.
What are the reasons for low sexual desire?
Loss of sexual desire may occur as a result of overweight or obesity, increasing age, menopause, mental health problems, chronic illness, pregnancy, undergoing medication or therapy, etc.
Ways to increase sexual desire
Given below are the methods that can help in regaining sexual desire. The methods are simple and support the overall well-being of an individual.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Having a good sleep can improve sexual desire the next day.
Manage mental health problems
Manage stress and anxiety, the two most common factors affecting sexual desire. Depression and anxiety are known to increase sexual dysfunction which kills a person’s desire to have sex.
Work on your relationship
Over time things may become dull and the couple may lack intimacy. Relationships too need care and maintenance. To ignite intimacy, one may plan a dinner, have open communication, or have some time for themselves.
A nutritious diet
Eating nutrient-rich foods improves circulation and provides nutrients to all body parts. Fresh fruits and vegetables, low-sugar food, and lean proteins promote libido.
Keep yourself active
Leading a sedentary lifestyle decreases the sex hormone and thus lower libido. Being active improves the level of sex hormones and can help people with low sexual desire.
Maintain ideal body weight
Being overweight and obese decreases sexual desire and can also contribute to infertility problems. Maintaining an ideal weight is good for physical and mental health. The intertwining of both improves sexual desire.
Herbs such as ashwagandha, shilajit, shatavari, etc have a beneficial effect on improving sexual desire. Certain herbal medicines may react with other medicines. Consult your healthcare provider before trying any herbal supplement for low libido.
Smoking is injurious
Everyone knows smoking kills but smoking also kills sexual desire. Consuming tobacco affects heart health and this adversely impacts sex drive. When you quit smoking there is an enhanced energy level that supports your sex drive.
Taking therapy is an effective way to deal with low libido. When a person is suffering from chronic illness, therapy works to boost mental health and improve sex drive.
Sex drive is not an embarrassing topic to be discussed. A low sex drive may originate from certain underlying health issues (mental or physical). When the problem is affecting your life and your relationship, it is time to seek professional help and get the best treatment options to overcome low sex desire.