Ladies, we all know there are plenty of ways to say you’re not “in the mood”, however, if you find yourself using excuse after excuse, this could be a sign of bigger hormonal problems. It’s estimated that 40 percent of adult women experience low libido, and I suspect that’s an underreported number. Men love to use those “blue diamonds” (read: Viagra). But they don’t often stop and think, “Does my girl want to do this too?” I mean, it always looks so mutual in the commercials, doesn’t it?
Ladies, why is it that when your man is revved up on Viagra, you don’t feel very frisky?
Ask yourself, do you take any medications? These can be a factor in crushing Cupid. Drugs, such as those that treat hypertension and depression, can squash libido in a woman in about 2 weeks flat. Estrogen medications like birth control pills, patches and shots can do it too. Ironic as it sounds, these drugs reduce otherwise healthy levels of testosterone, the hormone which ignites libido in both men and women.
As a pharmacist, I saw this time and time again… a woman takes birth control for 6 months and then suddenly there’s no interest in sex, and worse, she has to start thyroid medicine and/or antidepressants. It’s from that notorious “drug mugger” effect on both testosterone and on the minerals that support thyroid and mood. This is a known fact. Everything I just said could be applied also to estrogen-containing medications (creams, pills and patches) that are used for menopause. And menopause itself can make sex uncomfortable due to vaginal dryness. I wrote my book Drug Muggers, available here on Amazon, to help you understand how many common medications can rob your body of nutrients, vitamins and hormones.
Another cause of that less-than-flirty feeling is pregnancy and breastfeeding. The surge in hormones during this time in life can fluctuate drastically. One minute you are laughing and happy, the next minute you are a puddle of a mess in tears and want to curl up with a tabloid magazine instead of your man.
Generally speaking, bio-identical hormones can be the fastest way to get your sex drive up, more specifically testosterone, which I mention later in this article. There is also a balance between all the hormones like estradiol, estriol, estrone, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone. There isn’t one dose. The medicine that contains these hormones is custom-made for you, based upon your own personal make up. It is based upon a urine metabolite test, or perhaps a blood test in combination with the urine metabolite test. I strongly recommend you see a bio-identical hormone specialist or OB/GYN, don’t have a regular MD order these for you because they don’t usually know the correct tests to do, and they usually order pharmaceuticals which are kind of one-size-fits-all, if you know what I mean. It’s trial and error with hormones, you will have to tweak the dosage a time or two (or three).
Always check with your practitioner before starting any supplement regimen, ESPECIALLY if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Here are a few natural, easy ways you can get your va-va-va-voom back:
DHEA. Improving levels of “the fountain of youth” hormone can help with libido by increasing testosterone levels. A study confirms that DHEA supplementation in peri- and postmenopausal women improved sexual function.
Yoga. A study was done in women 45 years and older, and after 12 weeks of yoga, participants noted significant improvement in the areas of desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. Yoga also increases flexibility… a bonus for both of you!
Ashwagandha. This thyroid-loving herb also increases DHEA which goes on to amplify your testosterone levels. The aphrodisiac effect usually requires a dosage somewhere between 100 to 500 mg/day.
Testosterone. This one isn’t sold over the counter, you have to get creams or shots of it by prescription from a doctor, but just know that Testosterone in women works in a similar way as it does in men. It revs up sex drive.
Garlic. Yes, garlic. You’ve always heard that you should avoid eating garlic if you plan to do any kissing, but guess what… the opposite is true! Garlic contains allicin, which can improve circulation. Other foods that improve circulation include those with Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and halibut. Just be sure to bring along a dinner mint!
Dark Chocolate. My friend literally hides her chocolate in the freezer and take a few bites in between tucking her kids in bed, and then tucking her hubby in next. Chocolate stimulates dopamine, a.k.a. “the love chemical.” Researchers who studied female libido concluded that women who consumed more dark chocolate enjoyed greater sexual satisfaction than women who did not eat chocolate.
So, ladies, if I bump into you in the chocolate aisle wearing a big hat, sunglasses and a trench coat … I’ll know that you might have more than cheating on your diet up your sleeve!
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.