You might have heard tales whispered in dark corners that aging kills your sex drive. This is not written in stone; you are not doomed to a sexless life without physical intimacy.

Physical and mental changes can indeed occur over time that can decrease your libido, but you are not powerless against them. You can feel vibrant and sexual regardless of age or circumstances.

What is Libido, and Why is it Important?

Libido is simply your biological desire to engage in sexual activity, aka your sex drive. Perhaps the essential function of having a strong libido is that it motivates people to create close, intimate relationships with each other. Connection is essential for human beings to maintain mental and physical health. We are, ultimately, social creatures.[1]

Although a waning sex drive can be related to normal hormonal changes that come with age, it can also be a warning sign about certain medical and mental health conditions. It’s important to discuss any changes you notice with your primary care provider.

Causes of Reduced Libido in Women

Causes of Reduced Libido

1. Menopause

The decrease in estrogen and progesterone that occurs during perimenopause and menopause frequently causes a gradual decline in sexual desire. Research shows that the number of women who experience low libido jumps to around 52% once women reach natural menopause.[2][3]

2. Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Researchers have proven that chronic stress, depression, and anxiety can all negatively impact women’s sex drive. Many of the medications used to treat anxiety and depression also have a suppressive effect on libido and can make it more difficult to reach orgasm.[4][6]

3. Certain illnesses

Some diseases are known to disrupt normal sexual functioning. High blood pressure, for example, tends to lower libido, and it’s suspected that antihypertensive medications can worsen sexual dysfunction in women. Diabetes also can significantly lower sex drive, decrease vaginal lubrication, and interfere with orgasm.[7][8]

4. Relationship Problems

Not surprisingly, women in supportive, loving, long-term relationships tend to maintain higher libido over time. Hostile and unsupportive relationships lower women’s desire for sex with their partners.[9]

5. Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices

  • Not Exercising
    Sedentary lifestyles can lead to low libido due to poor cardiovascular health and weight gain.[10]
  • Eating an Unhealthy Diet
    Eating a healthy, well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet not only improves fertility in women but is also suspected to improve their sexual health. Try to build your diet mostly around eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sodium as much as possible. [11]
  • Substance Abuse
    Alcoholism and drug abuse can lower your sex drive. In fact, up to 50% of alcoholics report lasting sexual dysfunction even after they’re in treatment and no longer drinking. This is possibly due to damage to the nervous system caused by long-term alcohol abuse. Opioid drugs such as heroin have the most dramatic negative effect on libido in users.[12]

Natural Ways to Boost Libido in Women

Boost Libido in Women

1. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients that support sexual health. Eating fatty fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains will ensure you get Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, plenty of low-glycemic foods, and foods rich in antioxidants.[11]

2. Exercise regularly. Exercise is great for your sex life for several reasons. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your body image. Feeling comfortable with your body and being physically fit tends to increase interest in sex. Exercise also improves cardiovascular function, which appears to improve sexual response and the ease of achieving orgasms.[13][14]

3. Learn how to manage your stress. Find ways to bring some ease into your day-to-day life. Exercise, yoga, and relaxation techniques offer benefits to mental well-being. Research shows mindfulness techniques can improve your sex drive and sexual satisfaction and lower stress levels.[15][16]

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need support managing your stress, anxiety, or depression. Sometimes therapy or medication are the best choices for improving your quality of life.

4. Improve communication and intimacy in your relationship. Research shows time and time again that women are more sexually responsive when they are in an emotionally satisfying relationship. If you don’t have that with your partner, improving communication, alone or with the help of a therapist, can go a long way to strengthening your bond and increasing your sexual desire.

Keep in mind that intimacy can take many forms other than sexual activity. Talk to your partner and figure out what makes you both feel close to each other. Connecting frequently in little ways can strengthen your relationship and ultimately stimulate your desire for physical intimacy.[17]

5. Try natural supplements. A few small studies have shown the positive effects of certain herbal remedies for female sexual function. Specifically, maca root powder may improve low libido caused by using anti-depressants. Supplementation with red ginseng, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, was observed to enhance libido in menopausal women. Finally, a pilot study showed that supplementation with ashwagandha for eight weeks improved women’s sexual arousal and satisfaction.

There are also several herbal supplement blends on the market which target enhancing female libido. Many contain antioxidants, herbs, and ingredients that improve circulation to the female genitalia. Zenofem is one option that contains a blend of herbal ingredients linked to increased sexual desire and responsiveness, such as Damiana. It also includes clove, a substance that has shown promise for increasing libido in animal studies.[18][21]

While Zenofem’s propriety blend has not been directly tested for effectiveness or safety, many users report being happy with this product’s results, and a money-back guarantee is offered for extra peace of mind.

Remember that supplements are more loosely regulated than foods or medications. Even products with “all-natural” ingredients can have side effects and medication interactions. Discuss these options with your doctor before you start using them.

Medical Interventions for Low Libido in Women

Talk to your doctor if you aren’t getting your desired results. If you’re a good candidate, menopause hormone therapy can dramatically improve your libido and enjoyment of sex. Your doctor can also prescribe Viagra, or a medication called Addi to enhance sexual arousal.

Vaginal estrogen creams and suppositories improve vaginal dryness and pain (dyspareunia) during intercourse, indirectly improving libido by removing the fear of pain and directly improving the enjoyment of sex. Pelvic floor physical therapy that strengthens vaginal muscles can also improve sexual function for some women.[22][26]

Conclusion

If having a low libido diminishes your enjoyment of life, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Highly effective natural and medical remedies can energize you and help renew your sexual vitality. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you need it.

Intimacy and connection are essential components of a healthy and happy life; you don’t have to live without them. With the proper care and support, you can have great sex no matter how old you are.