Cannabis: The Doctors discuss impact on libido
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Losing your libido isn’t life-threatening but it can cause a lot of tension in relationships and lead to low mood. There are many reasons why you might feel less fiery in the bedroom, from stress and anxiety to medication and menopause, but there are ways to improve the situation. Express.co.uk chatted to Dr Deborah lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to find out how to increase your libido.
It’s not uncommon for your sex drive to wax and wane from time to time, avodart dutasteride reviews but when it’s severe, has been present for at least six months, and threatening your relationship, it is known by the proper medical term hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
Up to 43 percent of women and a fifth of men admit to experiencing HSDD, and this is an extremely underestimated statistic as people are often too embarrassed to go to the doctor, so it is frequently underreported.
Whether you’ve got HSDD or your libido just isn’t what it once was, there are plenty of tricks to improving your sex drive.
The first step to improving your libido is to find out the cause, and it may well be that there is more than one cause.
If you go and see the doctor, they will ask lots of questions to try and work out what might be underlying the problem.
Possible causes are:
- Relationship difficulties
- Stress and anxiety
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Chronic illness
- Pituitary tumours
How to improve your libido
You need to ask yourself what might be underlying your problem and take steps to put this right. However, don’t be afraid to seek medical help.
You can get help if you are worried about your libido from your GP, the Sexual Health Clinic, Relate or a psychosexual therapist, but there are eight easy things you can do to get the ball rolling.
Reduce stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety is such a major cause of low sex drive, according to Dr Lee.
She said: “Many of us do not realise how stressed we are – you need to slow down and learn how to relax.
“Make time for relaxation in your day. There are numerous ways to do this such as taking exercise, connecting with those around you, challenging yourself to take up a new skill or hobby, and becoming a volunteer.
“All these options detract you from your own worries and stresses and help you focus on other things.”
Get plenty of sleep
Getting more sleep can improve your libido.
In one study of college students, getting one extra hour of sleep per night led to a 14 percent improvement in the chance of having sex the next day.
Dr Lee said: “The women who noted an improved sex life were having on average seven hours and 22 minutes of sleep per night – so this was only around what is currently recommended.
“Similar findings have been found in studies of older people.
“A lack of sleep leads to a rise in cortisol levels, and high cortisol levels and interferes with levels of testosterone.”
Eat a healthy diet
It’s certainly true your diet can have a major influence on your sexual wellbeing, the doctor said.
She explained: “In one study, women with the strongest adherence to the Mediterranean diet – a diet full of fruit and vegetables with high levels of antioxidants – had the lowest levels of sexual dysfunction.
“In a 2017 review of medical studies involving overweight or obese men with erectile dysfunction, those who followed the Mediterranean diet lost weight and showed significant improvements in erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels.”
Many studies have shown that losing weight improves your sex drive and even losing 10 pounds can be enough to get things back on the rails.
Dr Lee explained: “Weight loss has many benefits – physiological benefits from reducing oxidative stress and insulin resistance – to physical benefits resulting in a more positive body image.”
Take regular exercise
Physical exercise improves the health of the cardiovascular system, and as fitness improves, libido may well follow.
Dr Lee pointed out: “Exercise improves blood flow, strengthens muscles, and improves stamina. It also stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) – the unconscious nerve pathway that springs into action if we are startled as part of ‘fight, fright, and flight’.
“The responsiveness of the SNS, and its counterpart the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS, are integral to the sexual response.”
Reduce your alcohol consumption
Many people believe erroneously that alcohol will help them relax and improve their sexual experience.
Dr Lee added: “In fact, in women, alcohol has been shown to numb the genitalia and dampen the sexual response.
“In men, alcohol has also been shown to cause reduced genital sensitivity.”
Smoking is all about dealing with nicotine withdrawal.
After a cigarette, it doesn’t take long for cravings to set in and anxiety to increase.
Any stress and anxiety are counterproductive for sex, and nicotine has been shown to inhibit some of your body’s natural sex responses.
Numerous studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of stopping smoking on erectile dysfunction, Dr Lee said.
Work on your relationship
Having a satisfying sex life is crucial for complete physical and mental wellbeing.
Dr Lee advised: “Sex therapy is extremely successful. 93 percent of those who have attended Relate Sex Therapy sessions say it was beneficial”
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