There are many ways to increase your libido, either naturally or with medication. Here are a few ways to increase your libido naturally.

  • Reduce stress. Whether you meditate, take some deep breaths, seek counselling, or weed out unnecessary stressors from your day to day, reducing stress and anxiety can help your libido return to your normal.
  • Tweak your diet and exercise routine. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough exercise can help your sex drive bounce back to what it once was.

There is no direct link between your sex drive and aphrodisiac foods (like oysters, chocolate, and pomegranate), which some say boost libido. However, an overall healthy diet affects energy levels and mood, which impact sex drive.

  • Reduce alcohol or drug intake. Alcohol use can increase sexual desire at first, but cause problems when the sexual activity begins. Because alcohol can dehydrate the body, it can cause painful intercourse and vaginal dryness. Some have also reported that alcohol is linked to dissatisfaction in orgasm or an inability to reach orgasm, due to the fact that alcohol interferes with the nervous system.
  • Do things that make you feel sexy. If you aren’t feeling like getting it on with a partner, sometimes the best way to jog your libido is to start with yourself. Do things that make you feel attractive, sexy, or sensual like buying some lingerie, experimenting with sex toys, and/or masturbating. Re-discovering your sexuality can help get you in the mood.
  • Pay attention to what turns you on. Figuring out what turns you on the most is key to maintaining a healthy libido.

We need to have more sexual accelerators, the things that personally arouse us, and fewer sexual decelerators, which turn us off.

  • Communicate with your partner. If you’re feeling a disconnect between yourself and your partner, either in the bedroom or just in general, communicating your feelings is key to feeling confident in your sex life. Talking with your sexual partner can either solve the issue at hand, or get to the root of the problem so that you can work toward a better, healthier relationship. You can also communicate the ways your partner can help you increase your libido and get back to the sex life you once had/want.
  • Get experimental in the bedroom. If you feel your libido has decreased because you’ve fallen into sexual routines you find boring, try introducing new ways of experimenting in the bedroom — whether that’s using sex toys, incorporating dirty talk or role playing, or trying creative sex positions.

How can men increase their libido?‍

Those who are biologically male, may experience a lower libido for a couple of reasons specific to their physiology. For example, Harvard Health Publishing states that low testosterone levels caused by hypogonadism, which occurs when the testicles do not produce enough testosterone, can affect sex drive. Erectile dysfunction (ED) can also cause physiological and/or emotional issues that may lower libido.

Medications to increase libido for men.

If you’re finding natural methods aren’t enough to increase your libido, consider speaking to a healthcare provider who may prescribe medications to help. Here are just a few options:

  • Ask your doctor about taking a medication for erectile dysfunction (ED).Though ED medications will not directly affect your libido, knowing that ED will no longer be an issue can boost your confidence and help assure you that you will be able to perform when the time comes, therefore enhancing your drive to partake in sexual activity.
  • Check out testosterone therapy. Harvard Health Publishing cites a 2016 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism“showed that a year of testosterone therapy improved libido in 275 men (average age 72) with confirmed low testosterone. Compared with men in a placebo group, frequency of sexual arousal increased by about 50 percent, and they were able to have almost twice as many erections.”

How can females increase their libido? ‍

Those who are biologically female may experience ebbs and flows in their libido for a few physiological reasons. For example, some women may experience changes in libido throughout the menstrual cycle, with sexual interest peaking at the time of ovulation. Some women have lower libido during their period, because of cramps and bloating. Some may experience a more steady decrease in libido once they begin menopause. This is because estrogen levels drop, thereby decreasing sex drive, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hormonal changes also may occur during pregnancy and after childbirth, which can also reduce one’s desire for sex.

Medications to increase libido for women.

If natural methods aren’t enough to increase your libido, consider speaking to a healthcare provider who may prescribe medication to increase your sex drive. Here are a few medications to increase libido for women:

  • Prescription medications. Your doctor may prescribe you one of several medications to help improve your sex drive and/or help with vaginal dryness. Two FDA-approved drugs are currently available for premenopausal women experiencing low libido are Flibanserin (Addyi), a pill that you take once a day, and Bremelanotide (Vyleesi), “an injection you give yourself just under the skin in the belly or thigh before anticipated sexual activity,” according to The Mayo Clinic.
  • Hormone therapy. The Mayo Clinic recommends talking to your doctor about starting hormone therapy to subdue the symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), that being an umbrella diagnosis for multiple menopause-related symptoms, including vaginal dryness or shrinking.

Your doctor may try different types of hormone therapy including estrogen, testosterone, and/or dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) depending on your test results and diagnoses.

Your libido can be fickle depending on a variety of circumstances. However, fluctuation is generally normal and shouldn’t worry you. If you’re concerned about a steady drop in sex drive, absolutely open up to your doctor, and/or your partner, about the libido-related issues you’re experiencing. There are a multitude of avenues to walk down if restoring your sex drive is what you’re aiming for. It might just take some experimenting—but that can actually be the fun and enjoyable part.