What’s the status of your libido right now?
When doing your job right means long, onerous days at the office, it’s difficult to have much enthusiasm in the bedroom. You wish you could be on the same level as your partner, but you still have work on your mind and you’re just exhausted. Frankly, you’d rather get cozy on the couch with Netflix and some snacks than get intimate. The problem is that lately you’re more excited to watch the next episode of ‘Supergirl’ than your man take off his clothes, and that’s gotta change!
If you’re under 40, low libido is definitely a cause for concern. The good news is that we have an answer: it’s likely you have a hormone imbalance. The other good news: you can do something about it. This article is all about the relationship between, and restoration of, your libido and balanced hormones.
There are 3 common causes of hormone-related libido issues:
#1 The Pill
If you aren’t on birth control and your hormones are balanced, estrogen and testosterone will begin to rise after your period. Estrogen thickens the uterine lining to prepare for a potential pregnancy, and testosterone makes you want to have sex!
However, birth control pills contain either synthetic estrogen or progesterone or a combination of both, which is used to suppress your natural menstrual cycle. Because of the hormones from the pill, your testosterone levels (and other hormones) are affected.
The synthetic hormones in the pill or an IUD disrupt your hormone balance. The thing is, even though you’re no longer using hormonal contraceptives your hormones may still be out of whack.
How do you increase libido?
Learn to use (and trust) a non-hormonal method of birth control like FAM paired with condom use. Once you’re no longer introducing synthetic hormones into your body, you can focus on balancing your hormones with food and lifestyle changes. Check out our recommendations to detox from the pill here.
Chronic stress is often the root of imbalanced hormones. When we’re under stress of any kind, cortisol (our stress hormone) increases. In response, other hormones such as thyroid, progesterone, and your ‘libido hormone’ testosterone naturally decrease. This occurs in both men and women.
So why does this happen? When high cortisol triggers the ‘flight or fight’ response, the body prioritizes survival and puts reproduction on the back burner. This means production of sex hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen decrease, all of which affect the libido.
How do you increase libido?
Minimize the external stress that you have control over. For example, politely decline extra commitments like caring of a friend’s dog while she’s away. In addition, develop strong boundaries around your time (this is a big thing we work on with our clients). Since caffeine increases cortisol, you can also cut out coffee temporarily and see if it helps.
As you are well aware, life is often out of our control. Work to improve your stress management skills so you can stay in or return to a relaxed state as often as you can. Some ideas include deep breathing techniques, brief meditations, or adaptogenic herbal teas. Adaptogens such as damiana and also holy basil (Madeline’s personal favorite) help reduce your reaction to stress.
Ultimately, you need to find an in-the-moment stress reduction technique that works for you. Your libido (and your relationship!) depends on it. If this is your issue and you want to learn more, check out our blog that’s all about stress and period issues here.
So you aren’t on the pill and you handle your stress well but your sex drive is nowhere to be seen. What’s going on? In this case, low libido could be a sign that you aren’t ovulating, otherwise known as anovulation.
Your testosterone could be so low that in addition to low libido, there isn’t enough to cue ovulation. Anovulation is typically related to amenorrhea, or lack of a period. However, Dr. Jerilynn Prior, Canadian menstrual health researcher, has proved that your period is not an indicator of ovulation. So even if you get a regular period, anovulation is something to investigate.
How do you increase libido?
Talk to your health care practitioner about diagnosis and treatment for anovulation. It may be necessary to try bioidenticals or natural testosterone therapy to balance your hormones and restore your libido.
In the meantime, try passion flower tea. Passion flower has aromatase inhibitors which stop the metabolic deterioration of testosterone in the body.
If your libido has been low for some time and you’ve had enough, do a self-assessment. Are you, or have you been, on hormonal contraceptives? Are you struggling with stress? Or do you suspect you have anovulation? Once you determine the probable cause of your low libido, you can work efficiently to balance your hormones and restore your sex drive.
If you’re struggling with a painful period in addition to your low sex drive, there may be other factors to consider before to work to increase your libido naturally. If you want some clarity around your period and your low libido, book a Period Pain Audit Call with us.
During this complimentary phone call, you’ll discover
- How to get relief from your painful period so you can recover hours of your life
- A simple way to feel in control of your body without going back on the pill
- The secret sauce to completely healing your body naturally
- Plus a whole lot more…
Click here to access our schedule and book your Period Pain Audit today!
If you want to read more about our take on the pill, check out our article on how the pill won’t balance your hormones here.
A study from 2001 on passion flower and its effect as an aromatase inhibitor here.