What is libido?
Libido is a global term that indicates principal human mental states and biological analogs involved in the inception of sexual behavior. Mental processes, physiological, neurological, and biochemical mechanisms are factors that determine human sexuality. It is a state of sexual desire and is not associated with any specific feelings, such as sexual arousal.
What are the factors that govern libido?
Studies have suggested that human reproductive hormones- androgen in males and estrogen in females are crucial to maintaining satisfying human libido.
- sensory organs
Five senses- smell, taste, touch, hearing, and vision act like windows for external sexual stimuli. Biologically, they contain receptors, which are proteins that understand signals and pass them to the CNS. Damage to any of these can also affect libido trends in humans.
- development of the genitals
Research has demonstrated that humans with poorly developed external genitals have low libido. It is evident in some congenital diseases as well as developmental disorders.
- menopause in women
Though menstrual age varies in women, most attain at the age of 50 and above. There is a direct correlation between declining estrogens with a decrease in libido levels in females.
These include mental or physical sexual arousal disorders, sexual dissatisfaction, orgasmic difficulties. They have been shown to contribute to the depleting levels of libido in humans.
- other aspects
Factors such as medicine, drugs, alcohol, smoke, and mental health-related problems such as anxiety, depression, chronic stress, health-related disorders such as blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis, and cholesterol can modify the libido levels in individuals.
Dysregulation in any of the factors mentioned above can give rise to low levels of libido. Though your work life may be electrifying, you are indeed looking into providing the same impulses to your personal and sexual life.
Therefore, we provide you with ten simple tips to increase your libido levels and boost your confidence in life!
- Figure out!
The first step is to understand where you stand in the crowd. Answer questions like, Do I experience low or moderate levels of libido? Is it the first time that it has occurred to me?
Is it my growing age or stress? You might find answers to some of your questions if you ponder on them for quite some time. However, if you are unsatisfied, visiting a gynecologist or a sex specialist is the right time to keep all your thoughts at bay.
- Be a self-detective!
Identify the cause of your reducing libido trends. It is very relevant if you are in your 50s or 60s; due to a decrease in the sexual hormones, you may experience a drop. It is alarming if you are relatively younger and see no valid reasons. Is it the cigar or alcohol? Or is it the work stress? If so, be natural and be positive towards changing your lifestyle for good.
- Spice it up with spices!
Typically known as aphrodisiac spices that increase sexual instincts and desires or performance in individuals. Some of these spices include:
Fenugreek- popular in ayurvedic medicine, it is an antioxidant and a libido-boosting spice. Fenugreek contains trace elements such as zinc, magnesium, and pyridoxine, which boost humans’ sex hormone levels. However, individuals taking blood-thinning medications are advised to avoid it as it interferes with the medications.
Saffron- being one of the most expensive spice by weight, it is used in alternative therapies for anxiety and depression. In a study setup, it enhanced erectile function in men. It has been shown to downregulate libido levels in individuals taking anti-depressant drugs.
Hot chilies- capsaicin, the active ingredient in chilies, is said to increase sexual desire by stimulating the gustatory (oral) receptors leading to the release of sex-driven hormones. It causes stimulation of the nerve endings, which pass on the signals to the CNS.
- Natural sources to your rescue!
These are particularly aphrodisiac food backed with strong scientific evidence of increasing libido in males and females.
Honey- the primary component here is boron that maintains hormone levels and Nitric Oxide (NO). Release of NO causes the blood vessel to open up during erection and clitoral engorgement.
Chocolate: Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a core stimulant that evokes excitement and a feeling of well-being. Dark chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa explicitly and releases serotonin and endorphins that boost your mood well.
- Veges- the redeemers!
Maca, aka “Peruvian Viagra”- its roots are rich in magnesium and fiber that is excellent in improving stamina.
Pumpkin- being high in potassium, it again boosts your stamina and well-being.
Celery- contains minute levels of male hormone- androgen.
Asparagus- surplus vitamin E and potassium makes it an excellent candidate to boost blood flow to the genitals.
- Uplift with exercise!
Individuals can lift their libido levels by making changes to their diet or workout routine.
Swimming- enhances muscle tone, endurance, and a great cardio workout.
Weight lifting- particularly in men, enhances the release of testosterone levels.
Yoga- enhances increase in body flexibility by increasing stretching, which can potentially increase libido levels.
- Make some space for mental health!
Being stressed can lower your sex drive. Meditatation is the critical approach to tune out all the unwanted stress and workload. Deep breathing exercises often accompany meditation to keep all the recurring unpleasant thoughts away. It will enable you to get enough sleep and balance your work life and personal life well. Increase stress can also lead to conflicts between you and your partner, again declining libido levels. Unresolved conflicts can often give rise to imbalanced sexual relationships. Communication is the key, and therefore, you need to resolve all your issues and make peace instantly.
- Start with weight management!
Overweight and obesity are linked to low sex drive and also associated with factors leading to infertility. Lower body confidence can be one of the consequences of being obese and affecting your libido proportion. Sustaining a healthy body weight has been said to maintain a person’s sexual drive, both physical and mental. Therefore, eating a healthy diet and boosting it with regular exercise is useful in maintaining your libido and weight balance.
- Boost with therapy!
There needs to be a balance between physiological and psychological components to perpetrate sexual desire. Therapy can be a life savior by counseling individuals and addressing their opposing views about sexual desire, self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Sessions of mindfulness therapies aiming for cognitive behavior development can enhance sexual desires, arousal, and women’s satisfaction.
- Go in for hormone shots!
Consult your doctor about your decreased libido trends as one reason can be a reduced sexual hormone level. A standard blood test will measure the concentration of circulating hormones in your bloodstream. If you detect a decrease, hormone replacement therapies or hormone supplements will be prescribed to you by your physician.
These therapies will help improve your regular hormonal levels and improve your libido levels subsequently. You must consult your doctor or therapist before making any changes to your regimen and going in for any medication available in the market.
Take home message
Your sexual hormones are generally high in your early 20s and 30s, and so is your libido. Post-40s and 50s, your sexual drive can reduce due to the various factors discussed above. Health-related diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, cholesterol, and obesity are core health-related aspects that result in a decreased libido.
Therefore, the first step is to ponder on the causes, hunt for the reasons and then make up your mind to make your condition better. Eat a healthy diet. Workout routinely, meditation, and a good sleep should be your mantra in your mind. Do not forget to resolve conflicts with your partner. It will aid you mentally and physically. However, if you do not find yourself feel contented with these approaches, you are advised to meet a gynecologist or a sex therapist at the earliest!