Valentine’s Day is coming up, but where is your libido? If you suffer from a low sex drive, first know you are not alone. Many women (and men) actually struggle with this, too. And while it’s a common problem, did you know your sex drive is a strong sign of hormonal health? If you’ve been wondering why your libido has been MIA, it’s time to look at these common causes of low libido.
Libidio is a synonym for your sex drive or sexual desires. And, surprisingly, your libido is quite complex. While it’s often tied to hormone health, there are many other factors at play, such as: emotional well-being, stress levels, trauma, nutrient deficiencies, and more. All of these things, and more, can affect your libido or sex drive.
As mentioned, your libido will often go MIA during/after times of stress, trauma, or malnourishment. Alternatively, when our bodies are fully nourished and relaxed, they are more readily available for acts of pleasure and enjoyment. Again, this often points to hormonal balance (or lack of) in the body!
There are many contributing factors to low libido. Yet, as a Functional Medicine Dietitian, these are the most common causes of low libido that I see:
This is arguably the most common cause of low libido that I see regularly. Consuming too little calories on a daily basis can alter your hormonal balance, causing estrogen levels to dip, as well as your libido. Under-eating can also contribute to nutrient deficiencies, which can contribute to low libido, too.
All medications come with side effects, which is why it’s always wise to weigh the benefits vs. risks of each medication. In this case, certain medications, such as antidepressants or birth control, have the potential to alter your libido.
Lack of connection or communication with your partner will have lasting impacts on your libido. Make sure you’re taking time to connect outside of the bedroom! For example, plan a date night, enjoy a mutual hobby, or simply make time to laugh together.
High stress levels or unmanaged stress leaves you in a constant state of fight-or-flight, which makes enjoying sex nearly impossible! Learn to effectively manage your stress levels to naturally and quickly increase your libido.
Too much exercise or too little exercise can wreck your hormones. Over-exercising increases stress, while under-exercising can result in low testosterone levels– both of which have negative impacts on your libido.
Hormonal imbalances come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to low libido, this could mean low estrogen, low testosterone, high sex hormone binding globulin– or a combination of these. It’s important to work with a practitioner to understand your hormonal imbalances and address them appropriately.
Where you are in your cycle will impact libido. Leading up to ovulation, libido tends to increase. Alternatively, post-ovulation, it typically drops. This is a natural monthly rhythm to expect. However, problems arise when libido remains nonexistent.
These are the most common causes of low libido. However, not all hope is lost. There are many functional approaches that can heal your low libido just in time for the Day of Love!
As with most bodily imbalances, I’m passionate about taking a food-first approach. This means using whole foods to nourish and re-balance the body. In the case of low libido, the following foods have been shown to help increase libido:
These foods are well-known for improving sex drive, especially in women. So, I highly recommend taking a food-first approach to low libido. However, if hormonal imbalances are at play, it’s important to work with a practitioner, who can address the root cause of hormonal issues. Learn more about my hormone-healing programs, here.