by Prudence Hall | November 4, 2015 2:21 pm
For millions of women, October is a “pink letter” month. That’s not just because it’s breast cancer awareness month, but also because doctors will be able to prescribe the recently FDA-approved “little pink pill,” (known by the trade name Addyi) for the first time. Addyi is said to help increase sexual desire by normalizing levels of serotonin (a libido inhibitor) and dopamine (a libido booster) in the brain. Its proponents are calling it the great sexual equalizer, and the biggest breakthrough in women’s sexual health since the birth control pill.
It’s tempting to want to fall back on this seemingly quick and simple panacea for waning or absent sexual desire. But often, moving forward means taking a step back, and that’s why I urge clients who come to me with low libido to do just that. Together, we need to examine the root causes of low libido. And then, we can look at natural ways to increase desire and improve the sexual experience.
There are three key factors in low libido and unsatisfactory orgasms: hormone levels, “mechanical” issues, and of course, the state of your relationship.
1. Hormone levels: As we age, natural estrogen, testosterone, thyroid and adrenal hormone levels become depleted, and that means that libido naturally decreases too. Your doctor can perform blood work that will reveal exactly where your hormone levels are. For example, we look at testosterone and DHEA, both of which affect the female sexual response, and we check to see if you might be in perimenopause. Low estrogen and low libido go hand-in-hand.
The blood analysis will help your doctor suggest the best course of action for you. This may include a customized regimen of bio-identical hormones and supplements that will restore balance naturally. Now, instead of putting a “band aid” on the problem by popping a pink pill, you are helping the body activate its very own healing mechanisms on the most profound level. This is one of the major goals of regenerative medicine.
2. Mechanical issues: Many women come to me complaining of poor orgasms, so let’s look at the mechanical reasons and see how they can be addressed. It’s normal to lose vaginal muscle tone with age, and especially after giving birth. But there are several natural ways to remedy the problem. I often give my clients homework – using a Kegel machine every night to work out those vaginal muscles and get them strong again. Yoga asanas create core strength which help tone the pelvic area. The upward abdominal lock (Bandha) is especially helpful with the same muscles that increase orgasms. Bandha with downward dog is a classic example of a helpful libido and orgasm enhancer.”Another option is a topically applied amino acid mixture that dilates blood vessels in the labial area…my clients love it so much it could be called “dream cream.” Then there’s the safe “love hormone” – oxytocin. This can be taken orally in lozenge form, and it is also naturally produced by the body. Your doctor can help you and your partner discover some ways to stimulate the production of oxytocin.
3. Your relationship: Of course, your libido is inextricably linked with the state of your union, and that’s something that no pill – pink or blue – can improve. Women must feel safe and emotionally connected. Communication – always a two way street – is key. In my practice, I often see partners together, because low libido isn’t just a female issue, it’s a couple issue.
The clinicals for Addyi, which point to only a slight increase in the number of “sexual events,” don’t warrant risking long-term side effects, which of course are still unknown. Women deserve so much more. In every area of my medical practice, I encourage my clients to expect the very best, and never to settle for “good enough.” That extends to the bedroom.
Regardless of how effective it may or may not be, Addyi doesn’t have the ability to treat the core causes of low libido. Fortunately, with the natural solutions and techniques we have at our disposal, there’s a safer, healthier way.
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