When experiencing chronic pain and the physical effects of having an illness, it is common for a woman’s sexual desire (libido) to suffer.
Your libido is your sexual interest and desire, otherwise known as your ‘sex drive’. Libido varies from woman to woman and can be influenced by a range of different factors. Sexual desire changes depending on factors such as your health, stress levels, mood, satisfaction with your relationship and what else is happening in your life. You may have a high level of sexual desire or a low level of desire; neither level is right or wrong as sexual desire is a very individual thing.
What drives your love machine? A key component is testosterone. As a woman, you don’t have enough juice to grow a mustache or develop a burning desire for a PlayStation; but the amount you do have plays a role in your sex drive, especially just before ovulation. Every month at midcycle, women’s brains signal their ovaries, which create 50 percent of the body’s testosterone, to produce a surge of the lust-stimulating stuff. Testosterone also initiates blood flow that causes your girly parts to become plump and sensitive. This leads to lubrication and, with any luck, one hell of an orgasm.
For women with pelvic pain, a range of additional factors enters the mix. Between chronic pain, painful sex, taking medication and hormonal therapies, undergoing surgery and dealing with a variety of emotional issues, it is little wonder that sexual desire is affected. Sometimes reluctance to engage in sexual intimacy can occur on both sides, as partners may be fearful of hurting their partner or worried that raising the issue will be upsetting.
So, what can be done to increase our libidos so we can have that erotic, passionate and pleasurable experience that most of us wish it to be?
When you are experiencing pain with sex, it is worth reading my blog ‘When Sex is Painful‘ first, for some useful tips for you and your partner.
Talk it through. Rather than ignoring the problem, it’s better for the relationship and future sexual experiences to discuss the physiological and emotional changes that result from your condition, and the expectations you have of each other. Seek help from a psychologist or relationship counsellor if necessary. Just knowing what’s wrong can be enough to help ease your frustration and get you excited about the prospect of putting the whoop back in your whoopee!
Have a look at the medication you take. In the past decade, researchers have found that hormonal contraceptives, including the Pill, can sometimes dampen how often women want, think about, and even respond to sexual stimulation. Also, some prescription medications, such as some antidepressants and drugs to treat hypertension have been shown to contribute to a low libido. Even antihistamines can dry out the vagina, making for painful intercourse.
Enjoy Foreplay. Like that first minute on a roller coaster, foreplay can be an exciting way to bring you and your partner higher and higher before taking the plunge. Ensure that you both engage in pleasuring each other so you are well aroused before the big deed takes place. Apparently, the average woman needs at least 20 minutes of foreplay – without this, it would be three times as hard to get there. Talk to each other to find out what you like and don’t like, so you both get what you want.
Practice more often. Once you’re in the habit of generating some heat between the sheets, you’ll feel more relaxed and confident – not only sexually, but mentally as well.
Exercise! Exercise releases the feel-good chemical serotonin in your brain and 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.
Update your 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.
Have fun tonight! 😉