Sexual activity and response is a complex symphony of interchange between emotions, physiology, experiences, and relationships. Disintegration of any above mentioned features can affect sexual response, satisfaction and cause sexual dysfunction.
Research studies conducted by various scientists showed that engaging in sexual activity is not a priority for many women. One sex survey published in Time Magazine indicated that women prefer food to sex; other surveys found that women may prefer to be more in touch with their sexuality but might not have the desire to do so.
There are different kinds of sexual problems in women:
- Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorders - When you have chronic lack of interest in sexual activity
- Sexual Arousal Disorders When you have persistent or recurrent inability to attain or maintain sexual excitement
- Sexual Aversion Disorder– when you have persistent or recurrent phobic avoidance of sexual contact with a partner
- Sexual Orgasmic Disorders When you have a chronic difficulty in attaining orgasm following sufficient arousal
- Sexual Pain Disorders When you have pain during sex (Dyspareunia), involuntary vaginal spasm (Vaginismus), or genital pain following stimulation during foreplay.
There are various psychological and physiological factors that might contribute to a low sex drive. Below is the list of the most common ones:
- Hormonal imbalances. Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are three (3) important hormones needed for your sexual health:
- Physiological factors such as poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise can all affect your sex drive.
- Poor nutrition related to a diet low in healthful fats and high in simple sugars might cause insulin resistance and decrease the production of sex hormones.
- Lack of sleep increases physiological stress to your body as it increases cortisol levels and decreases the production of sex hormones.
- A regular exercise regimen increases testosterone levels, which are responsible for your sex drive, while a sedentary lifestyle decreases testosterone levels.
- Psychological factors including negative attitudes about sex, past unpleasant experiences with sex (such as abuse), a poor body image, low self-esteem or a history of depression in one of the partners are all factors that may greatly impact your sex life and subconsciously cause aversion to sex and create a low libido.
- Emotional factors play an important role as well. The brain is considered the biggest sex organ for women. So, any emotional issues such as unresolved conflicts between partners, a lack of communication of sexual needs, increased emotional stress at work or with family members, difficulty communicating with a partner, and infidelity of a partner may all potentially have a negative impact on your sex drive.
- Medications such as antidepressants, birth control pills, pain medications (i.e. opiates), and blood pressure medications are known to cause side effects such as a decreased libido.
- Dyspareunia or pain during intercourse results from a decline in estrogen levels especially during the premenopausal and menopausal years. This decline causes physical changes in the genital region. The tissue lining the vagina and vulva becomes thin, dry, and tight. This often leads to pain and discomfort during intercourse.
If you suspect you may be suffering from Sexual dysfunction, we might need to perform a variety of diagnostic tests and a physical assessment to confirm your condition. We would need to find out if the problem is related to hormonal imbalances, medications, or any emotional or psychological issues that need to be resolved. If your symptoms are side effects of your medications, we might need to prescribe a different medication. We might recommend you to visit a psychologist or a therapist to get assistance to help you resolve any psychological or emotional traumas from the past that are affecting your sex life.
Depending on your symptoms and causes of sexual dysfunction you might benefit from a supplement called ArginMax. This product contains an herbal combination of ginseng, L-arginine, ginko biloba, damiana, multivitamins, and minerals, which might help to improve your libido.
Another herbal blend to consider is Zestra—a topical blend of oils and extracts containing borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, angelica extract, coleus extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Zestra has been shown to increase sexual sensations, arousal, and pleasure when applied topically to the genital area.
What can I do to help?
Besides visiting sexual dysfunction doctor and balancing your hormones, there are a lot of other things that you could do to reawaken your sex drive.
Here are some examples:
- Talk to your partner. It is a well-known fact that women do like to talk, but unfortunately, they do not do so in the bedroom. Many research studies found a lack of communication between partners is one of the most common causes of a low sex drive in women. Your partner is not a mind reader, so please do teach, coach, and tell him what you want and what gives you pleasure. The majority of men state that they are more than willing to pleasure their partners if only they knew how to do it.
- Be open to new exploration. It is not uncommon for couples who have lived together for several years to have their sex life become perfunctory or boring. Sometimes it can help to spice it up a little bit. Try something new. Choose a different place in the house where you have never done it before, or maybe try a different pose. As you and your partner move on through your life and change, your sexual needs might change as well. Talk to your partner, and add variety to your sexual routine. Enjoy a mutual journey of intimacy and exploration. When sex is done with respect, love, and mutual interest, it can enhance your relationship on many levels.
- Keep intimacy ongoing. Our busy lives and a long list of responsibilities often keep us preoccupied, and we spend less and less time with each other. It is important for couples to keep intimacy going. Perhaps you can give each other a hug and a kiss in the morning or soft touch and cuddling while watching TV in the evening. Try to let go of your responsibilities during these moments and relax during sex, opting to deal with the responsibilities later.
- Have morning sex. If a busy life prevents you from having sex at night, try it in the morning. Your cortisol levels are naturally elevated in the morning, so you should have enough energy to enjoy sex. You don’t necessarily need a lot of time; you might enjoy a quick sexual encounter with your partner for 10–15 minutes. This offers benefits such as a feeling of satisfaction from your mutually loving experience as well as a broad smile, good mood, and boost of energy for the rest of the day.
- Spice it up. Some couples watch erotic movies to add a little spice to their sex lives, but if it is something against your nature, you can choose any type of movie, including a thriller. Adrenalin produced during a fight or flight response might have similar effects on your arousal because both of these hormones are produced in the same part of the brain.
- Reawaken your sexuality. A majority of women require longer sexual warm-ups than men do. So help your partner, and get yourself in the right mood during the day. One way to do this is to wear sexy and sensual underwear that you like under your working clothes during the day. This may help you to feel more sensual and release your “feel-good” hormone oxytocin, which causes you to experience those tingling and pleasurable sensations when you are aroused.
- Use lubrication. Menopause, birth control pills, and breastfeeding can all contribute to vaginal dryness and discomfort. To decrease the pain and discomfort caused by vaginal dryness you might benefit by using one of the water-based lubricants stocked in pharmacies, such as K-Y jelly or other brands.
- Visit a sex boutique. Explore different options, including sexual aids, and discuss these with your partner. If you feel uncomfortable visiting a sex boutique, there are many online stores that offer a wide variety of sex toys including Ben Wa Balls, French ticklers, scented oils, and lubricants.
ReBalance of Radiance Aesthetics & Wellness
Aesthetic, Integrative Health & Functional Medicine Specialist
635 Madison Ave #1400
New York, NY 10022