Low Libido In Women

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Low libido (or low sex drive) is a common problem among women. Various factors, including hormonal imbalances, stress, relationship issues, and certain medications, can cause it. Fortunately, several natural remedies can help increase libido in women. A naturopathic doctor and an expert on women’s health shares the causes of low libido in women and some natural treatments that can help improve sexual desire.

What causes low libido in females?

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are a common cause of low libido in women. When estrogen, testosterone, or progesterone levels are not in balance, it can decrease sexual desire. This is particularly true during menopause when estrogen levels drop, and testosterone levels may also decrease.


Stress is another major factor that can contribute to low libido in women. When you are stressed, your body produces high cortisol levels, which can affect the production of sex hormones. Additionally, stress can impact your mood and make it difficult to feel aroused or interested in sex.

Relationship Issues

Relationship issues can also contribute to low libido in women. If you are experiencing problems with your partner, such as a lack of emotional connection or communication, it can be difficult to feel sexually aroused. Additionally, if you are not happy with your partner’s sexual performance, it can lead to a decrease in sexual desire.

Certain Medications

Certain medications can also cause low libido in women. For example, some antidepressants can decrease sexual desire, as can some hormonal contraceptives. Medications for high blood pressure or anxiety may also impact sexual desire.

Natural Treatments for Low Libido in Women

Low libido, or low sexual desire, is common among women of all ages, and various factors, including hormonal imbalances, stress, relationship issues, and certain medications, can cause it. If you are experiencing low libido, several natural treatments can help improve sexual desire and function.

Exercise is an excellent natural remedy for low libido in women. Exercise can help reduce stress levels and increase blood flow to the sexual organs, improving sexual function. Exercise increases the production of endorphins that can help improve mood and make it easier to feel aroused.
Regular exercise has been shown to improve sexual function in women of all ages, including those going through menopause.

Dietary Changes
Making dietary changes can also help improve libido in women. Eating a balanced diet of whole foods and nutrients can help improve overall health and wellness, leading to increased sexual desire. Certain foods like oysters, dark chocolate, and avocados are thought to have aphrodisiac properties.
One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who consumed a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains had better sexual function than those who consumed a Western-style diet high in processed foods and red meat.

Herbal Supplements
Several herbal supplements can be used to improve libido in women. The most commonly used herbs include ginseng, maca root, and ashwagandha. These herbs help increase energy levels, reduce stress, and improve sexual function.

Mind-Body Techniques

Mind-body techniques (e.g., meditation and yoga), can also help improve libido in women. These practices can help reduce stress levels and improve mood, making it easier to feel sexually aroused. Additionally, yoga and meditation can improve flexibility and strength, improving sexual function.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are another natural remedy that can improve women’s libido. The most effective essential oils include ylang-ylang, clary sage, and jasmine. These oils help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase sexual desire.
A study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine found that women who inhaled ylang-ylang essential oil had improved sexual function compared to those who did not inhale the oil.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is another natural remedy that can be used to improve libido in women. Massage can help reduce stress levels, improve mood, and increase the blood flow to the sexual organs, improving sexual function. Additionally, massage can help increase feelings of intimacy and emotional connection with your partner, increasing sexual desire.

Counseling can effectively treat low libido in women when the underlying cause is related to relationship issues or stress. A trained therapist can help women identify and address the root causes of their low libido and develop strategies to improve their sexual desire and function.

By addressing the underlying causes of their low libido and developing strategies for improving sexual desire and function, women can enjoy a more fulfilling and satisfying sex life. If you are experiencing low libido, consider speaking with a trained therapist to explore your options for treatment.

Here we discuss this topic with Dr. Erin Lush, a naturopathic doctor specializing in women’s issues, including low libido and pelvic and sexual health.

Low Sex Drive And Pelvic Health

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. We will discuss a sensitive topic for all women, sexual health. Nobody wants to talk about it, but we want to discuss it with Dr. Erin Lush. She is a naturopathic doctor in our studio, specializing in women’s issues, including low libido, Pelvic, and sexual health; welcome, Dr. Erin.

Dr. Erin: Thank you so much for having me today.

NourishDoc: Absolutely. So let’s start with this, this is a sensitive topic for many women we don’t feel comfortable talking about; hey, we have low libido or low sexual health; how do you get started? I mean, explain what happens when we have all these issues.

Dr. Erin: Absolutely. So like you said, it is a more sensitive topic, and it’s exciting because many women are experiencing these issues. However, they don’t know where to go. They’re too embarrassed to talk About it, they don’t want to bring it up, and it’s something that for me I value, so I’m putting out that information. Then when they see it, they’re like, I saw this, and I’m coming to you because I’ve never seen anybody address it before, and I’m like, well, I’m so happy that I can be that person for you.

So encompassing Sexual Health Pelvic Health, basically anything that’s going on in your lower pelvis if it’s related to any issues, the sexual issues you’re having, any issues you’re having with like your libido, even any issues you’re having with like holding your urine incontinence frequency anything like that, generally, I can help you with some of it so that’s what I do That’s what I specialize in and that’s what I love just helping women in that area.

What is Pelvic Health?

NourishDoc: Sure. So let’s understand the root cause. This is just a 15-minute session, not intended as a piece of Medical advice for everyone watching. So just understanding the root cause of what happens with our Pelvic Health.

Dr. Erin: Okay, pelvic health, so your pelvic floor is generally not something you think about until you know something wrong. I mean, and I would say the typical historical way we’ve thought about it is that after a woman has a baby, she might have trouble holding her pee. It’s funny, or like she laughs too hard, and she pees a little bit, and that’s kind of funny, and that would be Say like the typical what you think of. But your pelvic floor is a whole group of muscles that attaches from the front to the back of your pelvis, holding all your organs up.

So yes, it is responsible for when and how you pee, when and how you have a bowel movement, and how you enjoy sex if it’s painful, so that’s what you’re encompassing. So when it’s working great, it Is excellent. Then if any of those things start, you have some dysfunction. So generally, I would say the most common thing people have heard of are Kegels like a kegel Is; if you can’t Hold your pee or something, you need to do Kegels and strengthen your pelvic floor.

I cannot entirely agree with that statement; the most prominent problem women today have is that we have very tight Pelvic floors that are weak. So when you think about it, we walk around holding our stomachs in, we want to like look good, We hold our stomachs in, we’re concerned with that, We’re not breathing necessarily into our bellies as much as we should be and so what that’s is it’s creating our pelvic floor. It’s very tight, it’s tight, and it doesn’t move the way it’s supposed to, and so what we need to do for like pelvic health is we need to get back in touch with that pelvic floor and make it flexible again so that it can Contract when we wanted to. It can relax when we want it to.

So that’s what we’re looking to do with the pelvic floor. A lot of the time that can be done with questions you’re asking them, but it can also require a vaginal to do a full assessment of the pelvic floor and see how it’s functioning.

NourishDoc: Wow, and so what causes low libido? Is that a cause of menopause when women reach menopause or earlier? After, I mean, women go through; we go through so much, childbirth and menopause and before that puberty. So where does this whole thing come that’s going down?

Low libido & hormonal health

Dr. Erin: Okay, libido is complicated like that can happen at any time, any part of the woman, like being a woman at any age, any stage. So it’s something that you need like a full assessment for, so when someone comes to me and says they have low libido, I run through a checklist and on that. It gets personal, like I’m going to ask you very personal questions that you’ve probably never even thought about or no one’s ever asked you.

You might think that’s a lot, but that helps me figure out what’s happening. So with your libido, a few factors need to be considered; first, we need to consider your hormonal health, so starting right there, We need to look at like you said, menopause; so yes, in menopause, our estrogen. Progesterone levels change, and that can cause a change in our sex drive. So yes, menopause is a cause of libido changes 100%; being on birth control can change our libido; on birth control, sex hormone binding copaline gets up-regulated, So we don’t have as much free sex hormone floating around in our body, We don’t have as much testosterone, and as women, we do have testosterone. Our sex drives those decrease, which will impact our libido.

We look at your thyroid panel. Suppose you have any changes in your thyroid health. If your thyroid is not optimizing well or your libido decreases, we’ll examine your cortisol curve and cortisol response. That’s your stress response, and I mean, especially with the pandemic, Everyone’s stress response is high. However, suppose you think about what a stress response is. In that case, it’s only allowing for the Optimal necessary functions to survive, and, like, yes, sex is great.

However, you don’t need sex to survive, so cortisol will decrease your libido. Even things like insulin regulation, so as diabetes, or even before you get to diabetes, poor diet, unregulated insulin, and glucose curves cause inflammation in the body, and inflammation can change how your body responds and hormones and hormonal concerns.

Pain or emotional trauma?

We have to check those off; then, after that, we’re going to look at your pain, is the reason you have no libido, maybe because it’s causing you pain, and why is that is pain because you have a tight pelvic floor? Do you maybe have endometriosis or fibroids or cysts? Those are things that we can address. Have You had sexual trauma in the past that you’re still working through, and you’re scared and anxious? That needs to be addressed when we’re looking at your libido, and then we’re going to look the other thing right to want to have sex. It would be best if you generally felt good. It would help if you felt good about it.

So we’re going to look at how you feel about yourself right now and fully assess how you feel about your body, How you feel about partners seeing you naked, and how you feel about seeing yourself naked? There’s a ton of research on women with a poor body, image, or self-esteem being thirty to 40% less likely to have sexual desire. So that’s something that we need to look at. Yeah, so like lots and lots of factors like it’s not necessarily one quick thing that we do, but we go through all of those, giving me a better idea.

Then even in that, I haven’t even talked about relationship satisfaction that we address relationship satisfaction if you like your partner; do you want to engage in sexual activity with them, or is that something that you’re excited about, and do you engage with sexual activity with yourself? Does that make you excited? That’s another, That’s a whole other thing as well, that needs to be looked at; you need to think about because if you can become aroused on your own by yourself, but maybe not with a partner, Where’s the block there as well. Hence, those are kind of the Major components that we’re going to look at to start when we’re thinking about why someone libido might have problems but now do you want to talk about like how we can go about making it better.

Okay. So, as I said, there are so many things that could be happening and the things that will make it better depending on what’s wrong. However, there are some 100%; there are some basics that I get everyone to start with to get you going again.

Does sleeping naked help sexual health?

So first thing if at all possible, I get all the women who come to see me to sleep naked And even for you does that sound something that’s like a little bit extreme and that’s the thing like you do need to be naked to the sexual health but sleeping naked as it’s not even about your partner at this point, it’s honestly, it’s all about you, it’s one of the main things you can do to start feeling comfortable in your skin so There’s no mirror you’re not looking at yourself, there’s no necessarily like pressure, you’re in your bed, you’re covered but you’re just getting used to spending time that way you’re just getting used to be just spending time without your clothes off and if we think about it like how much time do you spend in a day without your clothes off like this is something that you need to be comfortable with it, it also completely improves your sleep and you sleep better.

It’s better for your temperature regulation It helps you fall asleep faster, it’s better for your body detoxing because you detox a lot through your skin at night and if you’re wearing pajamas all of that staying on your skin surface and going right back in, so you’re stopping that process from happening. and it improves your immune health as well. So it has a lot of excellent benefits, and it just it’s more of like a mind thing making you feel better about your body.

So that’s where I start, and I know that’s extreme like this is where you want to be. You want to fall in love with yourself, you’re your number one relationship is with yourself, and then obviously, like, once you’re feeling better, have your partner come back in, or if you don’t have a partner, that’s okay too, you’re still going to feel better and going along with that improving your sleep will improve your libido because your sleep is one of the things that determine your cortisol curve or your stress response.

So better sleep, less stressed, less shut down in that sense, So that’s a big one; Exercise also will help, so exercise improves circulation, releases more endorphins, and makes you feel better. that also will make you happier to have sex, trying to decide where the other ones are. I also describe the whole female arousal cycle.

Female Arousal Cycle

Have you ever heard of the female arousal cycle? I know it honestly this is I think this is a major part of life like this is enjoyment and joy and pleasure and all of these good things that if you’re not focusing on it, you’re missing out it just it gives you many benefits but the female arousal cycle It’s not the same, It’s we don’t have the same arousal cycle as a man right a man like gets an erection they look at something get an erection they want to have sex, You’re good to go females, It’s funny, but it’s fair like you don’t feel the same way like We’re not necessarily programmed that way and we like connection and intimacy and Have a whole different cycle that they don’t portray in movies that we don’t even know that we’re supposed to have and so if you think about it like our Arousal starts earlier in the day, it’s how you talk to your partner in the morning when you came home from work are they listening, Were they attentive how much time did they pay attention to yo, Did they hug you did they kiss you all of these things and then instead of just getting into bed at night, turning the lights off and having sex and being expected to be turned on That’s not Exactly how it works.

Can masturbation help sex drive?

So all these factors lead up to it, and then interestingly enough, doing all of those things, we will have a release of oxytocin, which is our happy hormone, which makes us more willing to engage in sexual activity, but even then we can become aroused on sexual activity starts so I don’t necessarily recommend starting this with a partner right away, but even starting with yourself like through masturbation, you don’t have to be turned on to masturbate you And like if you are that’s great but if you waited to be turned on every time that you wanted to have sex, you might not be having it that often, and you might not be having an orgasm as frequently as you should and orgasm is just stress relief, immune boosting, it increases circulation to your pelvic floor like it’s so many benefits, but if you’re waiting for it and like I don’t know I don’t feel like it I don’t think about it, it might not happen, But once you star,

The female body responds and can become turned on and engaged, and that’s what I recommend I recommend for people to start by themselves just to start introducing masturbation into their daily life. If every day is too much, start once a week. The more and the more arousal and more orgasms that you have the more your body wants them, so it’s like a positive feedback loop, and so in that sense, it that helps as well,

That’s a great way to do it, And then if you’re looking for some like other things and you’re like this is very extreme, I’m not quite there yet, I don’t know how I feel. I would say start with your labs and all those hormones that I was talking about, check, figure that out, and see if you have an autoimmune and that needs to be addressed because, again, that will be inflammation in the body; inflammation is going to be killing your sex drive if you’ve identified stress as one of your causes. Your cortisol is out of whack; you still need to work on some of the stress reduction techniques we’ve discussed for the past year.

You generally connect with friends through meditation, yoga, and walking. Then you can also take some female-like libido-boosting herbs that have been traditionally used, like Shatavari; Maca those have been traditionally used. They are quite good for giving you a little bit of an extra boost in that area.

NourishDoc: This is beneficial information; if anyone has questions, you’re welcome. Don’t feel shy; You’re welcome to ask these questions. I think Shatavari and Maca, there’s much research out there too in Ayurveda that’s been used for many, many years, thousands of years for that matter, for women’s health and to your point, it is hormonal imbalance, and hormonal imbalance affects everything in our bodies, and that’s also the low libido, or low sex drive is related to hormone imbalance.

Dr. Erin: Yeah, hormonal imbalance, It would be like a root cause; Maca and Shatavari, like they’re not addressing the root cause, they’re going to help you, but you’re always going to need them. Some of those other things I was talking about will help you get to the root cause of just feeling better. However, while you’re on that journey, there are things you can take to help you along.

NourishDoc: Well, thank you so much; very informative and exciting session, I must say, but a vital session critical for all the women out there. So for everyone watching, feel free to ask us questions; this is a sensitive topic; you don’t feel shy about it, but we bring up all kinds of topics every day. We are launching very affordable, accessible programs from experts from all over the world. We are also going to launch this program on female sexual health. It’s an essential program that we should not be shy about. Thank you so much, Dr. Erin, for your fantastic knowledge and for everyone who supports us daily. Have a great day, everyone. Bye-bye.


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