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Obstetrics & Gynecology in Augusta, GA
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Five ways to jumpstart your love life

Libido or sexual desire is a complex drive that doesn’t lend itself to quick fixes.  Because it is so multifaceted; however, it does lend itself to a variety of behaviors that may enhance an individual’s sexual appetite.  Not all of these will work for everyone, but most will at least see some improvement if adopted.

Exercise.

Studies that have looked specifically at libido and physical activity show a very positive correlation.  Simply stated, the more you move, the more you can improve your sex life.  This encompasses many aspects of low desire such as poor health, lack of energy, and emotional stress.  Physical activity can help alleviate many of the causes of a low sex drive, so it acts in a domino effect: exercise improves some factors that lower libido thus indirectly improving your love life.  And it doesn’t mean that you have to suddenly train for a marathon (actually too much exercise can have a negative effect) but simply walking 45 minutes a day is enough to get your groove back!

Take a look at your medicines.

A surprising number of medications can markedly affect sexual desire.  A prolific example is a class of medicines known as the SSRIs.  This includes such antidepressants as Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil, as well as others.  These medicines can damper desire in up to 50-60% of folks who take them, many of which were completely unaware of this side effect.  The good news is that often there are substitute medicines that can help with the depression but have less of an effect on libido.  Other medications that can effect both desire and function are  blood pressure meds (B blockers) and antihistamines.  An important category to consider, especially for women, is birth control pills.  Many of these formulations cause the liver to produce a protein that binds up testosterone, the female hormone that contributes to desire,  thus making less of it available to stoke the fires.  Some pills are less likely to do this than others, so it’s worth looking at your options if this is a problem.

Get happy.

A massive number of people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders experience a poor sex drive.  The relationship between your mental functioning and libido is complex, but remember that how you feel emotionally can drastically effect your desire.  There are physiological as well as psychological reasons for this but the bottom line is that as you improve in your mental functioning, often you improve in libido.  Noting that some anti depression meds can inhibit libido, sometimes this improvement can be masked or erased, yet there still is a positive connection between improved mood and improved desire.

Get a good night’s rest.

This may be counterintuitive as most sexual activity occurs in bed at night, but studies have shown that fatigue is one of the greatest inhibitors of libido, and one of the greatest influencers of fatigue is poor sleep.  People who get restful sleep are more likely to have an improved mood as well as more energy, both of which can enhance desire.  One caveat however is that those who use chemical sleep aids generally don’t see as much an improvement, even if they seem to sleep better.  It probably has to do with the medicines themselves having a bit of an inhibitory effect and not so much with the quality of sleep. The truth remains that a regular good night’s rest may provide the energy and desire for a healthy sexual appetite.

What? Yes, talking with your partner about life, love and everything in between helps libido.  Anything that fosters a sense of intimacy can have a profound effect on desire.  Some experts speculate that they can tell a lot about a relationship by the quality of their sex life, and this goes back to communication, trust, respect, and self esteem.  Probably the most important of those variables, as it relates to libido, is communication.  That is the fulcrum upon which the others turn.  With regular intimate communication couples can foster many of the settings in which desire can be translated into action.  Likewise, poor communication can kill the mood quicker than an Adam Sandler movie.  You communicate with words and actions, so be in tune with your partners needs and express that understanding and watch the sparks fly.