Reviewed by Lisa Blohm, PhD, MSN, RN
In This Article
Age, body image, thyroid health — your libido is ever-changing. Learn how you can take control of your sex drive with these natural libido boosters for women!
If you’re like me, you might cower at the thought of discussing something so personal — but what’s health if it’s not personal? In fact, libido is so personal that it’s unique to every single one of us. From inside factors to outside influences, your libido is largely determined by your chemical makeup, state of mind, lifestyle choices, and the list goes on. Thankfully, there are natural libido boosters for women that can help you reclaim a healthy sex drive — whatever that looks for you!
So ladies, let’s get to the root of your libido. Shake off that discomfort and read on for information about what it is, where it comes from, as well as simple tips and helpful supplements for achieving a higher libido. We’re here to help you take the wheel of your sex drive!
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What is libido and where does it come from?
We all have a libido, but do we really know what it is or where it stems from? Probably not. What Sigmund Freud once described as the energy that drives all behavior has since been limited to just sexual behavior. This drive for sexual fulfillment is a result of psychological, biological, and social factors — it can even shed light on an individual’s health!
But why do we have it?
For starters, it helps us fulfill that primal need of procreating. You know what else is a primal need? Eating, drinking, maintaining a healthy body temperature. These needs are all regulated by the hypothalamus, which also happens to play a role in the regulation of our sexual appetite. And next to the hypothalamus, we have the amygdala. This part of the brain alerts our bodies of sensory changes we may be experiencing, like a sight, a smell, or a touch that could be sending us into a state of arousal.
We are only just beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding the role that our brains play in sexual desire and healthy women’s libido. Age, hormones, diet, medical history, lifestyle choices, and relationship woes are all factors affecting your drive for sex — and that list isn’t even close to being complete! By getting to know your body better, you’ll learn to identify when a change in your libido is just the result of an extra stressful day or a sign of something more serious.
What causes low libido in women?
If that spark you once had in the bedroom now feels like a dimly lit candle, you’re probably wondering what caused this change. It’s safe to say that you are not alone. In fact, nearly one-third of women above the age of 18 will experience a drop in their sex drives at some point.
Let’s take a look at the psychological, biological, and social factors that are affecting women’s libidos everywhere!
How age affects women’s libido
The idea that libido drops as women age is actually a myth. While nearly 40% of women over the age of 60 experience lower libido, the cause isn’t only from older age.1 This common misconception originates from what women go through as they age; careers, pregnancies, raising children, and menopause. Typically, women in their early 20s — when women are perceived to have their highest libido — aren’t dealing with the intense lifestyle changes that a woman in her 30s and beyond might be.
The drop in libido for older women is actually tied more to menopausal changes. The higher your estrogen levels, the easier it will be to become sexually aroused and vaginally lubricated. So, when women reach menopause, their estrogen levels drop, most likely causing a dip in their sex drive as well — but this sudden lack of libido doesn’t usually last forever!
Stress and poor body image cause just as much of a disruption to a woman’s sex life — and women of every age experience these libido killers! The truth is, older women oftentimes have a stronger sex drive than they did when they were young!
How stress affects women’s sex drive
You’re probably not surprised. Stress is the silent killer, and that includes your sex drive! From occasional, everyday stressors to chronic stress issues, your libido is taking the hit too. Indeed, your stress is depleting your sex drive in two different ways — keeping your mind busy and altering the function of your neurotransmitters.
If you’ve just come home from an intense day of work that still has your mind reeling, chances are, you won’t be in the mood for sex. Instead, your mind is probably preoccupied. Additionally, high cortisol levels lead your mind into fight-or-flight mode, leaving behind any unnecessary functions, such as sex drive.2 When your stress levels remain elevated, your body might not be able to keep up with cortisol production. This can result in your body stealing sex hormones to assist in your stress response, completely diminishing your libido!
Because your cortisol is produced within your adrenal glands, consider supporting your adrenal health for a healthier stress response and an improved libido. Try Lively Vitamin Co. Adrenal Boost — complete with adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha and Schisandra as well as a touch of reproductive support from Ginseng and Black Maca.
How body image affects women’s libido
Another leading cause of a diminished sex drive is how we, as women, perceive our bodies. If we’re not comfortable in our own skin, how will we be comfortable in just our skin?
This can be a distracting thought for women of every age. In fact, about 83% of women aged 18 and older are dissatisfied with their bodies.3 This thought alone can dampen your chances of becoming aroused, staying aroused, and reaching orgasm. Poor body image makes the largest impact on the arousal stage, making it difficult for a woman to even begin if she’s not content with the appearance of her body.4
On the bright side, as women age, studies show that dissatisfaction with their bodies begins to dissipate! Becoming comfortable in your own skin takes time and it does have its benefits. Because older women tend to appreciate their bodies more (especially their health), they may engage in sex more easily and with more enthusiasm.
But if you’re looking for a natural way to increase sex drive now — consider changing how you view your body. Practice self-affirmations. Keep a list of all the things you love about yourself. Give yourself compliments in the mirror — because, ladies, you definitely deserve them. These practices are shown to help improve self-confidence and a sense of self-worth!
Thyroid health — the quiet killer of women’s libido
Maybe you didn’t expect this to make the list of leading libido killers, but it’s a heavy hitter when it comes to your sex drive. And women are ten times more likely than men to experience thyroid issues, making an area of frequent complications for women even more complicated.
Your thyroid is constantly carrying out countless functions that your body relies on. Metabolism, heart rate, and hormone levels are all regulated by your thyroid. These hormones include the ones crucial to your libido — testosterone and estrogen. Yes, women need testosterone too! Healthy testosterone levels in women aid in sexual desire and arousal while healthy estrogen levels help increase vaginal lubrication to reduce the risk of painful intercourse.
With hypothyroidism, the most common form of thyroid disease, thyroid hormone levels are lower than normal. This results in low energy levels and weight gain. Each of these factors can lead to a depleted sex drive.
If you’re having thyroid issues, you’ve probably already chatted with your doctor or naturopath. If you haven’t and you suspect that you’re struggling with thyroid problems, absolutely get yourself to a holistic medical provider for some help!
And of course, we’re here to help too. Fortunately, if thyroid problems are the root of your low libido, there is some simple support that delivers great results. Lively Vitamin Co. Thyroid TLC provides your thyroid with the iodine and selenium it needs to maintain normal function alongside holy basil leaf for extra adaptogenic support.
If you’re experiencing an abnormal dip in your sex drive and you’re struggling to find the cause, consult with your doctor about what could be the source of this change. A healthy libido can be a helpful indicator of a healthy life!
Relationship woes and your low libido
The highs and lows, the woos and the woes. Relationships are complicated. Interest and sexual desire can rage on in the beginning until it reaches a plateau. The novelty diminishes, real life takes over again, and couples discover the comfortable amount of sex that works for them.
It goes without saying that relationships aren’t always easy. Whether it’s a rough patch together or a difficulty that one-half of the relationship is facing, sexual desire could be the last thing on your mind. Maintaining a healthy relationship is integral to maintaining a healthy sex life — and communication is the key. Get to know your partner’s desires and tell them your own so your sex lives can stay in sync!
Natural ways to increase sex drive for women
If there’s one thing you know about The Healthy Place by now, it’s that we strongly advocate for natural options in caring for our health. Nutrition, diet, exercise, and lifestyle are key in staying healthy in all areas of life. Try the natural way of boosting your libido. This is the fun part — let’s take back the wheel of your sex drive with four simple tips you can implement into your daily life!
Is exercise the answer to everything? It certainly seems that way! There are numerous ways exercise will fan the flames of your bedroom spark, such as:
- Increasing your blood flow to all areas of the body: Genital arousal has been shown to increase following bouts of moderate exercise.5
- Relieving stress and encouraging feel-good hormone production: The release of endorphins following exercise boosts mood and can get you feeling frisky.
- Boosting your body image and improving self-confidence: Feeling like your exercise is paying off by seeing a healthier, more fit body is an excellent way to get yourself in the mood.
So get exercising today! Try 30 minutes of biking or running to get your heart pumping or an hour of yoga to increase your blood flow. Just 20 minutes of exercise alone can increase your sexual arousal by 169%!6
- Eat the right foods
You know what they say — go through the kitchen to get to the bedroom! Aphrodisiacs have been around forever. You’re probably familiar with oysters and chocolate, maybe from anecdotal evidence or maybe an old-wives-tale. But what makes these sex-spurring foods? Turns out, there’s more to aphrodisiacs than just the shape or texture. There’s actual science at work here!
- Oysters are rich in zinc. Zinc assists in the production of testosterone for both men and women, which plays a crucial role in sexual desire. Eat foods high in zinc, or take a zinc supplement to help your body create sex hormones.
- Dark chocolate helps release serotonin and phenethylamine that increase mood and it contains antioxidants and caffeine that increase blood flow and encourage heightened sexual stimulation.
- Watermelon contains citrulline, an amino acid that encourages healthy blood flow and leads to sexual arousal.
- Avocados contain high amounts of Vitamin E, another essential nutrient to your body’s production of testosterone.
- Almonds are rich in selenium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids! These nutrients support testosterone production and healthy hormone levels as well as boosted blood flow.
The list definitely doesn’t end there. Alongside these foods, there are plenty of herbs you can include in your diet as natural female libido enhancers! These include:
- Horny Goat Weed
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Tribulus Terrestris
While these foods can encourage a healthier sex drive, there are also foods that can hurt it. Try to avoid foods high in added sugars, sodium, trans fats, and saturated fats. This includes white bread, sodas, baked goods, fried food, and candy. These foods affect hormone production and blood flow which can lead to a lowered libido.
- Best female libido supplements
With exercise and the right diet, helpful supplements are the cherry on top of your heightened libido! These nutrient-rich supplements contain robust blends of herbs, vitamins, and minerals that will get you spending more time in the bedroom ASAP.
- Lively Vitamin Co. Get Even: This women’s balance supplement is loaded with powerful ingredients that are essential to a healthy sex life. Shatavari and magnesium brighten your boost and enhance your libido while L-theanine and chamomile encourage relaxation to help you get in the mood.
- Terry Naturally Red Ginseng Female Sexual Enhancement: This supplement contains both sex-boosting and adaptogenic herbs. Korean Red Ginseng and Maca are known to enhance sexual desire while also supporting healthy reproductive function.* Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are stress-diminishing herbs so you can have other things on your mind.*
- Gaia Herbs Women’s Libido: This supplement consists of the sex-boosting herbs you never knew you needed. Horny Goat Weed has its name for a reason — this herb increases arousal and blood flow for healthier reproductive function.* Additionally, Tribulus, Maca, and Damiana promote vaginal lubrication as well as sex drive.*
- Try aromatherapy!
Oftentimes, a sexy aroma can help to rev your engine. A scented candle, a basil-rich dinner, and some sexy cologne can all lead to getting you in the mood. In fact, your olfactory function can directly impact your state of sexual arousal.7
Prep your next romp with a few drops of Plant Therapy Sensual Synergy Blend in your essential oil diffuser! This rich scent helps to ease your nerves, calm ‘busy-brain,’ and supply both you and your partner with that extra prompt toward intimacy that you’ve been longing for.
It’s important to remember that there’s no template for the perfect libido. As women, we experience constant changes to our hormones alongside our demanding lifestyles. Whether yours is naturally low or high, your libido is unique to you! Monitor your changes and follow your lifestyle choices for better insight into your sex drive.
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Questions About Your Libido? Let’s chat!
It can be difficult to know exactly what herb is right for your libido. If you’re looking for personal recommendations, contact us! Our certified Wellness Consultants are happy to help you Find Your Healthy Place.