Over the course of their lives, some people will experience periods of lowered libido. This can occur for various reasons, and it can potentially interfere with sexual chemistry in couples. Here's a look at the factors that can cause low libido, and some natural supplements that could help alleviate this issue.
Lifestyle Factors and Low Libido
Low libido is a condition in which a person experiences interest in sex that is less-than-normal for that person. It's characterized by a decrease in sexual arousal, a decrease in thoughts and interest in sex, and even a decrease in sensitivity to sexual stimulation. A range of factors could contribute to low libido in both men and women. There is some overlap among these between the two sexes, while some factors are exclusive to one sex.
Age: Aging is a notorious contributor to reduced libido in men, because testosterone production decreases with age.
Stress can diminish sexual desire in men and women by interrupting hormone production.
Depression can affect a person such that their interest in sex is diminished.
Other factors that can contribute to a decreased libido in men and women include chronic illness, obesity, alcohol and drug use, sleep issues, and certain medications. Lifestyle factors that can improve libido include eating healthy, getting sufficient sleep, managing stress, and exercise.
Natural Supplements to Improve Libido
Some OTC supplements can contribute to an increased libido, and the positive outcomes that come with it. Because of their effect on libido, these substances are considered to have an aphrodisiac effect.
Ginseng is an ancient herb with a reputation as an aphrodisiac. Studies have drawn correlations between taking ginseng, and improved libido and sexual performance.
L-arginine is an amino acid with the potential to mitigate erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. It does so by supporting dilation of the blood vessels, which improves blood flow.
Tribulus terrestris is a leafy plant with a long history of use in eastern medicine, and it is available as an oral supplement. It is potentially effective at stimulating sex drive in both men and women. In women, daily supplementation with tribulus terrestris has been shown to improve sexual function in both pre- and post-menopausal women. In men, some studies show it can bolster sexual desire, and possibly address ED.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement that can help raise levels of nitric oxide, which improves blood flow. As a result, it has the potential to bolster sexual arousal in men, as well as treat ED. Ginkgo biloba is most effective to these ends when taken alongside other compounds such as L-arginine.
Fenugreek. This is an herb that could improve libido in men and women. Studies show it can improve sexual function and possibly even testosterone levels in men, as well as increase sexual arousal in women.
Maca is an herb with a history of use as an aphrodisiac. It has been well-studied for this use. A maca root oral supplement is the most accessible way to take in this herb.
If you (or your partner) are struggling with low libido, consider how the above supplements might help. One of these, or more than one taken together, could potentially have a significant positive effect on your libido and sexual functioning. These are not a replacement for healthy lifestyle choices, however. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking one of these supplements for the first time, as some of these can interact with certain medications.