Low Libido - Men And Women
Low libido, or poor sex drive, is a common problem in both women and men. Loss of libido is about reduced sexual desire.
The greatest destroyers of the libido include:
- When the level of the sex hormones of both the male and female variety are low, the sex drive will suffer. In women, this may occur for six to twelve months after childbirth and also gradually after the age of 45 to 50 years, as the menopause approaches. In men, although they do not go through the dramatic hormonal changes associated with the menopause, they do undergo a slow decline in testosterone production which becomes more pertinent after the age of 50. The fact that some men are affected more than others is partly due to genetic differences. Insufficient production of male and female sex hormones can also be aggravated by an unhealthy lifestyle and diet, and laboratory testing shows that men and women who drink and/or smoke excessively have lower levels of sex hormones in their blood. Women who smoke heavily are more prone to an early menopause which will further reduce their libido.
- In men, the fear of poor performance or premature ejaculation causes stress and reduces libido. Thankfully, women are far less prone to this type of stress.
- Menopausal women are susceptible to vaginal shrinkage and dryness and so may experience pain during intercourse. Furthermore, if shrinkage of the vulva and clitoris occurs, normal lubrication and orgasmic capacity become very difficult. Understandably, many menopausal women in this situation avoid sexual contact.
- Various prescription medications may affect sexual function causing loss of libido, arousal difficulty, orgasmic dysfunction or reproductive impairment. The most common drugs to cause these problems are appetite suppressants, some muscle relaxants, some drugs for epilepsy, some drugs to prevent migraines, some drugs to treat high blood pressure, some sedatives and antidepressants, some anti-ulcer drugs and some hormones, particularly anti-male hormones and the oral contraceptive pill. Discuss this with your doctor, as there may be a suitable alternative drug which does not have the same side effects.
- Boredom and routine may creep into a long-term relationship, especially if the male partner is unaware of the needs and changes in the sexuality of a woman as she ages.
- Children! The demands of a young family can certainly put a dampener on any couple's sex life. At the end of a tiring day, when you finally flop into bed, sleep definitely takes priority. There is also the worry of that unexpected intruder into the bedroom. Young toddlers and babies also seem to have an inbuilt antenna that tells them when their parents are up to something. When you are murmuring sweet nothings in your partner's ear, the sound of a crying baby quickly provides a definite turn-off!
Treatment and general recommendations
- Improve your lifestyle where possible. Avoid smoking and minimize alcohol intake.
- Regular exercise is also helpful.
- Try to get plenty of sleep. New mothers may need to catch up on much needed sleep by napping during the day.
- Take a look at the quality of communication between you and your partner. Is it blocked by fear, guilt, poor self-image and low self-esteem, embarrassment, anger, frustration or other negative emotions? If so, you need to go back to basics and receive some counselling from a professional psychologist or sex therapist. This can be combined with counselling from a marriage guidance counsellor, if necessary. If any of the advice given here or below cannot rekindle the lost flame of passion and desire, it's well to remember that libido normally has its own biorhythms and you may be in a temporary natural low. Take heart, for within the next few months your libido may soar.
For our male readers - Don't despair!
Hormone replacement therapy is available for men also. It is a simple matter for a man to see if his testosterone level is down by asking for a blood test. However, in a man suffering reduced libido with testosterone levels still within the normal physiological range, this may be because the levels are much lower than they used to be and he is sensitive to the decreasing levels. It is therefore still reasonable to consider a short trial of hormone replacement therapy with testosterone, in such a situation.
The male hormones or androgens can be administered in a tablet (oral), injection, troche (lozenge) or implant form. Oral androgens often prove to be unsatisfactory in their effect. A three to four month course of monthly injections of androgen is probably the best way to determine the efficacy of male HRT. If a patient decides to continue with testosterone replacement long term, then we recommend a hormone implant. Three 200 mg testosterone implants inserted at once will provide good blood levels of testosterone for six months. The implants are buried into the fat of the abdominal wall or buttock.
You need to be aware that long term testosterone replacement therapy can increase the size of the prostate gland. This can cause symptoms such as difficulty in beginning urination, dribbling after passing urine, slowness in completing urination and urinary frequency.
If these problems persist, surgical removal of the prostate gland may be required. There may also be an increased risk of cancer of the prostate gland. In this regard, an annual check up from a urologist may be advisable.
Finally, if testosterone doses are excessive, they may produce an unfavourable influence on blood cholesterol patterns, thus increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Excessive doses may also produce an abnormally high level of red blood cells called polycythemia.
- Follow the eating principles in "The Liver Cleansing Diet" book. Good liver function is vital for hormone balance. Eating the right diet can provide your sex glands with all the raw materials needed to manufacture those vital sex hormones.
- Include often - seafoods; unprocessed grains, nuts, seeds and legumes; raw salads and raw fruits; free range eggs - three to four per week; raw fruit and vegetable juices.
I have known about the incredible healing power of raw juices from a very young age. My grandmother’s life was saved by raw juicing back in the 1930s.
Raw juices are an incredibly powerful healing tool and can improve the function of the liver, bowels and kidneys. This increases the elimination of toxins and waste products from the skin. Appropriate juice recipes can be found in the "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" book, like the following recipe:
Libido Enhancing Smoothie
This smoothie will enhance sensuality and improve circulation of blood to the pelvic areas.
- 150 g (5 oz) guava fruit (also known as Fejoa) or 150 g (5 oz) kiwi fruit, skin removed
- 2 passionfruit
- 2 strawberries
- 1 raw egg (make sure it’s fresh)
- 1 cup coconut or A2 dairy milk
- Put all ingredients in blender and blend.
- "The Liver Cleansing Diet"
- "Magnesium - The Miracle Mineral"
- "Increase Your Sex Drive Naturally"
- "Hormone Replacement - The Real Truth"
Orthodox medical treatment
- Hormone therapy can be extremely effective in restoring libido. It is wise to consult a doctor who is interested and experienced in this type of treatment. Firstly, the use of conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) containing natural oestrogens and natural progesterone will restore the capacity for a normal sex life in the majority of women suffering with a sex hormone deficiency during pre-menopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal years (see Menopause).
- For those women with a dry over-sensitive or fragile vagina that fails to lubricate adequately, the use of vaginal oestrogen creams or pessaries applied to the vagina, vaginal lips or vulva can be extremely beneficial. Some menopausal women have shrinkage of the vagina, vulva and clitoris and painful scar tissue forming in the roof of the vagina which can make it impossible for the penis to penetrate without pain. These problems can be overcome by regularly massaging the inside of the vaginal walls with oestrogen cream and gently stretching apart the vaginal walls with your fingers. In some women, a male hormone cream used together with an oestrogen cream and massaged gently into the vulva and clitoris nightly, can greatly rejuvenate the vagina and clitoral area, improving the capacity for natural lubrication and orgasm. A compounding pharmacist can make up such a cream using ampoules of pure testosterone. Ask your doctor to write you a prescription for an oestrogen/testosterone vaginal cream. Some of our patients have found that their hormonal creams act like an aphrodisiac and make them feel very sexy!
- Another alternative in HRT is the use of injectable hormones. Many women find that injections of natural female and male sex hormones produce a return of a healthy libido and increased mental and physical well-being. These injections can be very helpful for menopausal women experiencing total loss of libido associated with severe anxiety and depression, and are also effective in overcoming loss of libido and depression after a hysterectomy.
- Another suitable way to administer natural oestrogen and testosterone is in the form of implants, which are small pellets that are embedded into the fat of the buttock or abdomen under local anaesthetic. The hormone pellets are slowly absorbed into the blood and will produce a beneficial effect upon libido and sexual well-being for a variable period lasting three to twelve months.
- Finally, hormone troches (lozenges) can be tailor-made to contain just about any combination of sex hormones. These troches can provide much smaller doses of hormones to fine-tune the body and restore physiological amounts of sex hormones to avoid over dosage and side effects (see Menopause). Many women find that they tolerate the non-oral forms of natural hormones better than they tolerate hormonal tablets and so they are a valuable alternative to bear in mind.
In women, the physiological effects of male hormones are to increase the size and sensitivity of the clitoris, which may have become very tiny, about the size of a match head. There is now increased responsiveness to sexual stimulation, either partner or self-induced. Male hormones may increase the intensity and frequency of orgasms or enable a woman to have an orgasm for the first time in her life! The results can be astonishing and women who have always found sex a bore or a chore may change after two to six weeks, and thereafter progression often occurs without hormone therapy. Sexual pleasure and arousal may set off hormonal changes that are self-perpetuating. The use of male hormones, however, can have some drawbacks that are important to mention. If they are used for long periods of time or in excessive doses, they can cause facial hair, slight weight gain, greasy, pimply skin and sometimes deepening of the voice. Older women may notice a desirable increase in pubic hair. Thankfully, the desired effects of male hormones usually occur before unwanted side effects appear. If male hormones are taken intermittently for no more than three months at a time, these possible side effects should be minimal or non-existent and will only be temporary. It is important to avoid pregnancy during hormone treatment for sexual problems and for eight weeks after finishing treatment. Many women are more than happy to accept a few facial hairs or pimples for the benefit they gain from a course of natural male hormones.
Recommended supplements for low libido
Take daily. This is a natural performance tonic for men to enhance libido and energy. Helps overcome poor male performance and lack of desire. All natural formula with no "Viagra-like" side effects.
Take 2 capsules twice daily before food - A good formula should contain a mixture of phytoestrogens from herbs and foods combined with vitamins and minerals. Specific nutritional supplements may help your sex glands to produce hormones and will aid in balancing the biochemistry of the brain centres that are involved with libido and mood control.
Take one capsule (25 mg) daily or as directed by your doctor. DHEA is also a precursor to testosterone and will increase testosterone levels. DHEA should only be used after consulting with a health care practitioner. It is wise to establish each individual's base line level of DHEA, and to continue to monitor DHEA levels as part of a rejuvenation program.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.