You love your partner(s), but your libido is low. Between late nights, early mornings, work stress, family obligations, and a million other balls in the air, there is little time and energy left for sex. But relationships change, and sex drive softens as we age… so, it’s perfectly normal, right?
It can be, but not necessarily. In fact, some reports suggest that our best love-making years are the ones that may lie ahead of us. A recent survey of 5,000 singles of all ages, ethnicities and income levels across the U.S. revealed that the best sex happens between the ages of 64 and 66. It is at this time that our youthful self-consciousness wears off, communication becomes more comfortable, and greater creativity is embraced. So, if others are having the best sex of their lives as they grow older and this is something that has changed for you (and you’re unhappy about it), perhaps it’s worth considering why?
There are a number of factors that impact libido. One of the biggest influences is hormonal. Hormones affect so many different parts of the body that when one aspect is out of sync, it can cause a complex brew of issues. Hormones that specifically have an impact on libido include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Estrogen & Progesterone
When our bodies slow down on progesterone production, the balance between progesterone and estrogen can change, potentially contributing to low libido. This can happen naturally during perimenopause, but it can also be brought on by stress.
Yes, stress can actually throw your hormonal balance out of whack. When we’re running top speed on life’s hamster wheel, we produce an excess of cortisol – our stress hormone. The spike in our cortisol levels can then end up blocking our progesterone receptors. The irony is that sex can actually be a huge stress buster for many.
Symptoms of a sub-optimal progesterone can include decreased clitoral sensitivity, vaginal dryness, loss of vaginal muscle tension, as well as more general mood killers like fatigue, headaches, and depression. Interestingly, a lack of estrogen can also cause similar symptoms. If any combination of these issues sounds familiar to you, it might be your hormones blocking your path to pleasure.
If you’ve always thought testosterone was only important for some, think again. Reduced testosterone levels can have an impact on libido for folks of all genders.
In women, testosterone is what gives orgasms their oomph, heightening the sexual experience. As you can imagine, low testosterone is going to have the opposite effect, reducing sexual desire and satisfaction. Low testosterone levels can also result in lethargy, depression, and muscle weakness. In post-menopausal years, reduced ovarian function and hormone imbalances can reduce the amount of testosterone that is produced.
Meanwhile, testosterone levels in men gradually decline with age. Testosterone deficiency not only diminishes libido and causes erectile dysfunction, but it can also result in a wide range of other symptoms including anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, poor memory, and reduced muscle and bone mass. And take note that low testosterone levels can be found at all ages.
One of the reasons people often associate a low libido with aging is due to the decrease in energy that comes with getting older. The same could be said about life after kids. For many reasons over time, our sleep patterns can be interrupted with more frequent awakenings. The libido-crushing effects of a poor-quality sleep and feeling sleepy and irritable can happen to any of us. Those who suffer from insomnia, irregular sleep patterns, or have sleep apnea may also relate.
In one study, sleep apnea was shown to have an impact on testosterone levels in men. And as mentioned before, fatigue and lethargy can also be a result of hormonal imbalances. You see, when it comes to our bodies, everything is connected, which is why it is so important to think of our health as a whole and not in separate parts. In order for us to get better, we need to identify and treat the cause, not just the symptoms.
Solutions for a Low Libido
1. Get Your Hormone Levels Checked
Our bodies are constantly changing, and the longer we ignore symptoms, the more out of balance we can get. When it comes to conditions brought on by our hormones, there is no reason why we have to “learn to live with it”. Start by getting your hormone levels tested properly in order to identify if an imbalance might be at play. Hormonal support options exist and can help get you back on track to feeling like yourself again.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Sure, “mindfulness” might sound like a cure-all buzzword, but there is a lot of truth to its power. Mindfulness, whether practiced through meditation, yoga or other means, helps us to reduce stress. When we reduce stress, we lower our cortisol levels. And as we already know, when our cortisol levels spike, it has a way of messing a lot of things up inside our bodies.
A moment of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By starting each morning with a few minutes alone in quiet reflection, we can set the stage for a better day, and more easily ground ourselves when life begins to get busy.
Let’s not forget that a more mindful day can also help lead to a more restful night. According to the Journal of Sex and Medicine, getting just one more hour of sleep per night could increase your libido by 14 percent.
3. Dietary Supplements
There are a lot of supplements out there that purport to help libido and “performance”. This is definitely a buyer-beware scenario, as many unregulated products (those without an NPN or licenced Natural Health Product Number) found in health food stores are often adulterated or simply not helpful.
That said, depending on the root cause, there are some potentially helpful tools. Things like maca, saffron, and even watermelon (!) have been studied in relation to libido and performance.
So. Do you feel that you’ve lost your mojo? Fear not. We can help you get it back. If you have been experiencing a low sex drive or suspect imbalanced hormones might be at play in other areas of your life, please do not hesitate to contact us at Kura. We can help rebalance your system naturally. Low libido can affect your enjoyment of life and your relationships – if you feel that’s the case, let’s talk.