By Dr Sandra Cabot

If you are a woman, you probably said YES !

Your libido is your sex drive or your interest and enjoyment of sex. When it comes to libido, John Gray, the author of the famous book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, was right ! The sexes are different.   I often hear the complaint from my female patients, that they have forgotten what it feels like to really enjoy sensual sex with their partner - yes they do complain about it, so don’t feel alone!

To illustrate why men and woman are different here is a cheeky little story! A married couple are at home getting ready for work and the wife in her pyjamas is in the kitchen cooking the breakfast. Her husband comes downstairs fully dressed for work and ready to eat breakfast, but as soon as his wife sees him, she says "quick get your clothes off now, we must have sex." Her husband says “sure thing” and quickly undresses himself, rips her pyjamas off, and puts her on the breakfast table and they have sex. When it's over, her husband, feeling good about himself, says "wow thanks for that, why did you need sex so strongly this morning?" In a matter of fact way, his wife says "oh the egg timer was broken".

Ok, so women are thinking about it intellectually whilst men are "thinking" or conscious of sex in an animal way. It could be funny, but for many women it’s not, as they feel they are missing out and they worry that their relationship with their partner will become weaker and more superficial.

So what can we do about this MARS/VENUS sexual thing? Hundreds of books are written about it and there are some excellent sex therapists out there who are psychologists or medical doctors who have a special therapeutic interest in helping couples with sexual problems and imbalances - yes these things can really help.

Over more than 30 years of practising medicine I have found the most important thing for women is to get their hormones balanced so that they feel mentally, emotionally and physically sexual and female again.

If a woman is pre-menopausal

The most important hormones for libido are progesterone and testosterone and I have found that progesterone cream has helped many of my patients feel not only sexier but also more relaxed emotionally and mentally. Natural progesterone can help you to have a better night’s sleep and is helpful for insomnia. The best way to try natural progesterone is in the form of a cream such as Fem Pro. Start with one pump of the cream at night and after one month, if there is no improvement, use two pumps at night. Rub the progesterone cream into your skin thoroughly after a shower. You do not need a script for natural progesterone cream.

Testosterone levels can be measured with a blood test - if they are found to be low, I recommend a testosterone cream, for which you will need a doctor’s prescription.

Now when we are getting close to menopause

Our older eggs are no longer pumping out the youthful levels of sex hormones, so we often need to use a cream or troche (lozenge) that contains a mixture of natural estrogen and progesterone plus or minus testosterone. For some peri-menopausal women there is significant thinning and fragility (atrophy) of the vaginal opening and walls and this is experienced as dryness, burning and discomfort during sex - in such situations the use of a natural hormone cream containing all three hormones can restore a youthful vagina. What’s more, this really helps with the ability to feel good down there during sex.  A doctor’s script is required for any cream containing estrogen and/or testosterone; but natural progesterone is available without a script.

Another product I recommend for women with poor libido is FemmePhase capsules, which contain herbal estrogens and wild yam; FemmePhase can help to improve the libido, as well as reduce hot flashes and sweats. FemmePhase contains calcium, antioxidants and silica so it’s great for the hair, nails and skin. FemmePhase contains kelp so it’s helpful for thyroid gland support. Women of all ages can benefit from FemmePhase because it acts like a great multi-vitamin-mineral formula and not just as hormonal support and balance.

I have written a helpful and practical book on menopause and hormone problems which covers all forms of hormone treatment, as well as natural therapies for anti-aging and to reduce osteoporosis. This book is called HORMONE REPLACEMENT THE REAL TRUTH -Balance your hormones naturally and swing from the chandeliers! In chapter 7 of this book, it explains all about the hormone creams you can use for libido, and if you are struggling with your sex life, you really will find this life saving!

You know many women are a little shy to talk about these things, and that’s why I write books that explain the practical details that your busy doctor may not have time to do.