What’s Killing Your Libido?

There are many everyday things we either do or consume that have a negative affect on our libido. In this article, we explore the top 5 worst offenders, why they affect you and what you need to do instead.

1. Alcohol

Drinking more than 4 glasses of alcohol per week can suppress a woman’s libido by mimicing the effects of oestrogen. This in turn and can delay or prevent ovulation, which is the time when a woman’s sex drive peaks. A 2008 Australian study showed women’s libido increases in the days leading up to their period.

To cut back on alcoholic drinks during the week, swap alcoholic drinks for spritzers. Or drink tonic lime and soda without the gin to give your tastebuds a good kick. Tonic water also contains natural body relaxant called ‘quinine’.

2. TV in the bedroom

With so many couples lacking quality time together, a TV in the bedroom allows partners to tune out from each other and remain disconnected. A 2006 Italian study of 523 couples found those who had televisions in their bedrooms had half as much sex as couples who didn’t. The bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex. Other things that you should clear out from your bedroom include wireless electronic equipment, computers, mobile phones should be switched off, exercise equipment, work documents, bills and dirty bed linen.

3. The wrong diet

Refined, junk, sugary and processed foods negatively affect your hormones, glands and organs and deprive your body of libido-friendly nutrients. The best foods for increasing sex drive include chilies, avocados, dates, licorice, mangoes, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cardamom, chives, oats, nutmeg, pomegranates, strawberries, sauerkraut and wild salmon.

4. Lack of exercise

Exercise releases serotonin, the feel-good hormone in your brain. Exercise also helps to gets blood circulated to the vital areas around the body. Researchers from the University of Texas studied 35 women aged 18 to 34 and found those who cycled vigorously for 20 minutes were 169 per cent more sexually excited when presented with sexual imagery than when they didn’t exercise beforehand. And get your man in on the action too. A Harvard School of Public Health study shows 20 to 30 minutes of daily vigorous exercise cuts men’s risk of erectile dysfunction by up to 50 per cent.

5. The contraceptive pill

The contraceptive pill suppresses testosterone levels that are central to sexual desire in both men and women. This can continue for up to four years once a woman stops taking it. The pill also alters our attraction to the opposite sex because the pill suppresses pheromones or ‘copulins’, which stimulates men’s sexual interest and behaviour. Researchers from Emory University, Atlanta, studied 30 women and found those taking the pill saw the opposite sex in a more platonic manner than those who didn’t take it.

If you require support with any of these factors, please contact your healthcare professional today.

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