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How Normal Is Your Sex Drive?

Posted in Sexual Health 23 Feb, 2015

When it comes to your sexual appetite, how would you rate it? If your drive is declining then you might be putting it down to age or lifestyle factors. Perhaps you're feeling too stressed to think about sex, and after a hard day spent in the office or looking after the children, the last thing you want to do is get frisky.

A low sex drive could be affecting your mood and your relationships, especially if it has always been higher in the past. There are various health conditions that affect both men and women in this department. Take a look below for some of the most common.

Pregnancy

Hormones fluctuate during pregnancy as the body goes through many changes and some women may report an improved sex drive, perhaps due to increased blood flow around the body. Other women may lose their sexual desire as they begin to feel more tired and bloated, especially during the first few weeks of the pregnancy. It's important for a woman to look after herself during this time, through eating a healthy diet to ensure adequate nutrient intake and getting a good quality night's sleep.

Menopause

In the years leading up to, during and after the menopause it's common for a woman to lose her sexual drive as oestrogen and testosterone levels drop. Women may find it more difficult to become aroused due to a loss of sensitivity to touch. The blood supply to the vagina is affected by the lower level of oestrogen, reducing vaginal lubrication and potentially making sex painful.

You can increase your sex drive by eating a healthy diet with plenty of magnesium and zinc rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oily fish. To treat vaginal dryness, try using water-soluble lubricants or a vaginal moisturiser. You may also like to speak to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Reduced blood flow to the male genitals can make it difficult to get and to maintain an erection, a prerequisite for sexual intercourse. There is a strong connection between erectile dysfunction and loss of libido. ED can affect a man's self esteem and confidence in the bedroom. Even if his sex drive is strong, it's likely that sooner or later a man will feel anxious about his condition and may no longer want sex.

It's very important to get erectile dysfunction symptoms checked by a doctor to ensure there are no underlying health problems such as heart disease. Testosterone replacement therapy may be recommended to boost sex drive, although it won't necessarily improve a man's erection. Alternatively, taking oral prescription treatments for erectile dysfunction may help to boost his confidence as restore his desire for sex.

Depression

Around 1 in 4 British adults experience mental health problems in any one year according to The Office for National Statistics. Mental health conditions such as depression impact on all daily activities, including sex.

People with depression will often experience a loss in sexual desire, find sex less enjoyable and take longer to reach orgasm. Sexual desire is about pleasure, and a one of the symptoms of depression is a loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed. On top of this, some treatments for depression can also inhibit your sex drive.

If you are concerned about your mental health, talk with your GP as soon as possible as they may be able to prescribe antidepressants or recommend a herbal remedy such as St John's Wort, which may help in treating mild to moderate depression. Visiting a counsellor may also help you to work through any emotional issues that could be having a negative impact on your sex drive.

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