February is often referred to as the “month of love” as we all are being bombarded with messaging around Valentine’s Day and romance. As a result, this time of year can bring sexual health and libido to the forefront.
Low libido and sexual dysfunction can be a sensitive topic for many, but the reality is that data suggests that 52% of men experience some form of libido-related sexual dysfunction in their lifetime and that total increases from 5 to 15% between ages 40 and 70.
Similarly, the Journal of American Medical Association showed that 43% of women suffer some form of sexual inadequacy at some point in their lives. Fortunately, it may be possible to alleviate libidinal issues by optimizing various elements of health. Below are potential hidden causes of a low libido and how you can resolve them:
Testosterone, Testosterone, Testosterone
When dealing with a low sex drive in men, any knowledgeable endocrinologist will turn to testosterone levels.
Unfortunately, testosterone levels are an increasingly prevalent conversation in integrative wellness communities as there is a crisis of frighteningly low hormone levels in young men: The average 22-year-old today has the same testosterone levels a 67-year-old had in 2000. In the last two decades, testosterone levels have fallen over 50%.
Across a large body of research, the total amount of testosterone and amount of bioavailable testosterone in the body, directly correlates to sex drive and ability to have satisfying sex. Moreover, testosterone is not just critical for sexual health, for men it is essential for metabolic function (weight loss), energy, muscle mass, hair growth, mental clarity, heart health and more.
How can you boost testosterone levels?
- Exercise to improve muscle mass: An increase in muscle mass naturally increases testosterone levels
- Remove endocrine disruptors from your surroundings: Our modern society is filled with environmental toxins. From the air we breathe to the food we eat to the products we use; we are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis. In fact, on average, we are exposed to over 700,000 toxic chemicals every day in the United States. Make sure you are using hormone-friendly deodorant, cleaning products, an air filter, and other tools to limit the amount of hormone disruptors in your life.
- Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT): BHRT restores youthful hormone levels by utilizing synthetic hormones that are structurally identical to hormones that are produced by your body.
Holtorf Medical Group’s bio-identical hormones are derived from plants and are received from a highly trusted compounding pharmacy. This therapy can promote libido in addition to boosting energy levels, supporting weight loss, decreasing recovery time, improving mood and mental clarity, and so much more.
Interested in BHRT? Call us at: (844) 844-2981
Get Your Sleep
Lack of sleep can elevate cortisol levels, which leads to low libido in both men and women. This is because high cortisol suppress testosterone, reducing sex drive in both women and men. When cortisol is out of control from chronic stress, the body thinks it doesn’t need testosterone at that moment. Over time, levels of testosterone continue to decline and sex drive wanes.
Moreover, with a lack of sleep comes a lack of mental clarity to be present with your partner. A specific study on overworked physicians demonstrated the clear connection between sleep and mental performance. This study found that doctors with moderate, high, and very high sleep-related impairment were 54%, 96%, and 97% more likely to report clinically significant medical errors.
Thus, it is essential to prioritize getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep daily for improved libido, overall health, and your longevity. Learn more about the importance of sleep here.
Supplement with Libido-Boosting Amino Acids
Amino acids are organic compounds that act as the body’s building blocks. There are many types of amino acids, each with unique qualities and benefits. Of these, there are two specific amino acids that may provide notable libidinal support; arginine and ornithine.
As mentioned above, nitric oxide is an important part of increasing blood flow and sexual performance. Arginine is an amino acid that is used in the production of nitric oxide. Research shows that increasing values of arginine has a similar, although slower, effect on erectile function. Taking an arginine supplement provides erectile support after a few days rather than an immediate response. However, despite delayed results, studies show that taking arginine can improve sexual satisfaction while being completely risk-free.
In a similar fashion to arginine, the amino acid ornithine can improve erectile function. The major difference between arginine and ornithine is that the effects of ornithine last for a longer period. The body naturally converts ornithine into arginine at a slow rate. This elongates the effects of arginine allowing men to maintain an erection for a longer period. You can improve levels of arginine and ornithine by supplementing with tablets, powders, or capsules. You may also consider eating more whole foods such as fish, meat, dairy products, nuts, rice, soybeans, and wheat which are rich in arginine and ornithine.
Consider Your Oxytocin Levels
Oxytocin is a hormone that peaks at orgasm and can stimulate libido, a climax, and a sense of closeness and bonding. It is active in both sexes and helps stimulate pleasurable sexual interactions between males and females and is also involved in social interactions between family and friends. It can be prescribed by a physician and can be made into a nasal spray to be used before intercourse. It can also be effectively used on a daily basis for anxiety and depression and to counteract the loss of libido associated with antidepressant use.
Thyroid health is important for a healthy libido as well. Studies show that even slightly reduced thyroid levels, even considered still in the “normal” range can dramatically decrease libido in women as well as causing fatigue, weight gain, and depression. In order to detect such dysfunctions, people need to find a doctor that uses the more sophisticated method of testing for thyroid levels that includes the free T3/reverse T3 ratio.
We’re Here to Help
Identifying and improving libido-inhibiting elements in your life comes with more benefits than just restoring your sex drive. For example, if hormonal deficiencies are the cause of poor performance and sexual dysfunction, there are significant health benefits, aside from greater sexual satisfaction, that comes with restoring them. Many of the above elements are interconnected and improvement of one area may positively affect others resulting in a powerful boost to your performance. If you experience sexual dysfunction, consider implementing some or all of the libido-restoring tips discussed above.
At Holtorf Medical Group our physicians are trained to utilize cutting-edge testing and innovative treatments to uncover and address the underlying cause of low libido. If you are experiencing low libido, call us today at: (844) 844-2981