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Revive your Sex Drive

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Revive your Sex Drive

Sexual desire is a normal and natural feeling for women and men that changes over time. All of us, men and women alike, go through the seasons of sexuality, expressing our sexuality according to our individual needs.

Sexual desire is a normal and natural feeling for women and men that changes over time. All of us, men and women alike, go through the seasons of sexuality, expressing our sexuality according to our individual needs.

A 1999 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that more than 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men in the United States have no interest in sex, can’t achieve an orgasm, or suffer from some other sexual dysfunction. Although Canada doesn’t have any nationwide statistics on sexual dysfunction, researchers agree that this study can generally be applied to Canada.

Lack of sexual desire and pleasure may be a result of pain during intercourse and inability to reach orgasm. These concerns seem to increase in women entering menopause although many women begin to have problems in their mid-thirties.

Loss of Sexual Appetite

The causes of sexual dysfunction are multi-faceted and need to be addressed at both the physical and psychological levels.

  • Depression is often cited as the most frequent cause of decreased sexual desire.
  • Chronic stress triggers the fight or flight cascade of hormones from the adrenal glands. This results in decreased estrogen and testosterone levels and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. The end result is mental and physical stress reactions which can shut down the desire for intimacy.
  • Relationship issues that lead to anger and resentment commonly cause communication and intimacy problems.
  • Low self-esteem, poor body image, and previous sexual abuse can impact a person’s sexual appetite.
  • Drugs such as antidepressants, antihypertensive agents such as beta blockers, sedatives, cholesterol-lowering drugs, oral contraceptives, anti-ulcer drugs, tobacco, and alcohol can all cause diminished libido.
  • Decreasing estrogen during the menopausal years causes vaginal dryness and thinning and atrophy of the genital structures. Testosterone decreases as well, and evidence shows that testosterone replacement can improve libido in women.
  • Often thyroid disorders are overlooked as a cause of depression, a main cause of sexual dysfunction. If you suffer from depression, have a full thyroid screen (TSH, T4, and T3).

Ways to Rekindle Desire

Lifestyle habits like smoking, excess alcohol and drug intake, too much caffeine, and lack of exercise can all interfere with sexual desire and function.

A good diet is also important for a balanced hormonal system. Vitamins A and E are important for the production of hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. B vitamins are important for energy production, with B6 helping to regulate testosterone levels. Vitamin C is important for the production of the hormone progesterone.

Potent Herbs

Herbs have been used over the centuries to regulate hormonal imbalances and boost sexual energy.

  • Muira puama, also called “potency wood,” has been used historically to treat sexual debility. In clinical trials conducted in France it was reported that Muira puama was effective in improving libido in men by 85 per cent and was 90 per cent successful in treating erectile dysfunction. In women, another French trial found a combination of Muira puama and Ginkgo biloba improved the sex life of 202 healthy women complaining of low sex drive. Muira puama is best taken as a tincture of the bark and root, one to three mL, twice daily.
  • Tribulus terrestris has been shown to improve libido in men and women by 95 percent and to prolong penile erection in men. As well, clinical studies have shown that tribulus increases the body’s natural testosterone and LH (leutenizing hormone) levels, therefore helping to relieve some of the symptoms of hormone changes in men and women. The dosage ranges between one and two 250-mg tablets, three times daily.
  • Lepidium meyenii, or maca, has been used by the Peruvians for centuries as an energy and sex-enhancing herb, and scientific research has confirmed the sex-enhancing effects of maca root. Users claim a significant increase in libido, increased frequency of sex, and enhanced sexual function after using 2,000 mg daily.

Sexual relations should be a time to share, care, and enjoy each other. A long and happy relationship takes commitment from both partners. An individualized approach to the treatment of sexual dysfunction can enable women and men to continue to have a satisfying sexual life well into the autumn of our lives.

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