Have been feeling less than frisky lately? You aren't alone. Research suggests that 15 percent of men and 1/3 of women lack the desire to have sex on a regular basis. But all is not lost, make these life style changes
and you can get your libido back into high gear.
Plan more date nights
If your typical Saturday night looks like lying on the couch, watching Netflix in your sweats, it isn't likely doing much for sex drive. Try to get out of the house for an old fashioned date. It doesn't have to be fancy. Go to the movies or to dinner. If you can't afford a babysitter, ask a friend or family member to do it and offer to do the same for them in the future.
Pop a different birth control pill
Hormonal changes can take a big toll on your sex drive. One of the biggest perpetrators going is the birth control pill. They reduce your body's testosterone production which lowers your sex drive. Even if you aren't on the pill, being aware of your hormone levels can help you stay in tune with your libido. Prolactin, the nursing hormone, decreases estrogen and testosterone in breastfeeding women, which can make the hormones go wonky. Menopause is another culprit. Again, it lowers testosterone and estradiol, a type of estrogen, meaning a drop in sex drive.
Check other meds too
Take a look at any prescriptions you may be taking. Aside of birth control, major culprits include drugs for high blood pressure, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), anxiety, and depression. If this is a possible reason for you, talk to your doctor and it might be possible to find other treatments with fewer side effects.
Divide household chores evenly
After a long day at work, many of us fall into a long evening of chores, meal prep, parenting, catching up on work we brought home. Being intimate with your partner slips into the background. If you're both working full time, it is best to try to divide these duties evenly. That way one person doesn't shoulder the load and feel resentful. You'll be happier out of the bed which will make you happier in it.
Set up your room for romance
It is easy to fall into the habit of letting your children call into bed with you or to share your sleeping space with the cat or dog. Although you may love them, they are mood killers. A simple solution is to lock the bedroom door at night. It may take everyone a while to adjust to this new routine, but making the bed sexy again will relax you and free you up for some loving.
Add sex to your 'to dos'
We pretty much schedule everything these days. How else can you remember to get it all done? Doctors appointments, meetings at work, drinks with friends. Why not schedule sex? It isn't the most romantic way to get it done but doing so means you are making a commitment to having an active sex life. And who couldn't use something to look forward to in your day? Knowing it is coming is bound to get you going. Besides, making a promise of your time like that means you'll be more likely to keep up your end and not make excuses.
Use a lubricant
If sex is painful for you, getting in the mood can be next to impossible. One of the leading causes of pain during intercourse is vaginal dryness. Use a silicone based lubricant. They last longer and are more moisturizing than the water based lubes. If this doesn't help with the pain, talk to your doctor to see if estrogen therapy should be looked at.
De-stress before sex
The stress of your everyday life like work, the kids, the leaky faucet in the powder room, play a bigger role in your sex life than you may realize. Being stressed out causes your body to produce cortisol which can suppress the libido when it is produce in excess. So, before you hit the sack, find a way to unwind. Have a long bath, read a book, whatever it is that works for you.
If you want to add sex back into your life, adopting a heart healthy diet is great help. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine
found a link between high cholesterol and women who have difficulty with arousal and orgasm. When cholesterol builds, it impedes blood flow and in the pelvic area that can mean a less sensation and therefore a greater difficulty achieving orgasm. Load up on fruits and veggies and limit your animal and milk fats.
There is a lot of research out there (and more added all the time) that suggests certain food components and vitamins can enhance sexual function and desire. Avocados, almonds, strawberries, and oysters are just a few foods that may set the mood.
Examine your relationship
Lack of sexual interest may be a sign of a something else going on in the relationship. It could be one of those minor "living together" type annoyances like leaving the toilet seat up or it could be a sign of a bigger problem like lack of communication.
Go for a hike together
Or a run, or to the gym, or a cooking seminar -- anything you and your partner can do together. One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, couples that engaged in new and exciting activities had greater satisfaction in their relationships. Obviously what you consider new and exciting will be unique to you but I'm pretty confident you can come up with something. Finding this one on one time will connect you emotionally which will help you connect sexually.
Regular exercise helps eliminate stress and improve your mood, if you do it together, it can also rev up your sex drive. A recent study found that women who were taking antidepressants and were experiencing a dulled libido (a common side effect) improved sexual satisfaction by doing three 30-minute sweat sessions per week.
Listen to your body
Low sex drive can be a symptom of a larger medical problem. So if you also notice weight gain, hair loss, dry skin and fatigue, you may actually have a thyroid condition. Low libido can also be linked to depression and chronic fatigue. So if you notice any more symptoms, talk to your doctor and hopefully you can get to the bottom of what's really going on.
Still no dice? Visit your doc
If you try these tweaks and your engine still isn't starting, a script from your doctor may be in order. There are some things out there that can be used to treat low libido like testosterone and Wellbutrin. Doesn't hurt to have a chat about it at least.
Sex is such an important part of a healthy relationship. The release of feel good hormones and the closeness of another person can make you feel relaxed and contented. Give one (or more than one) of these tips a try and hopefully you'll be having unbelievable sex again in no time!