The Sex Therapist’s recipe for increasing libido by Sue McGarvie
I have been seeing some commonalities in the libido patients who have come to my office. Smart, savvy women who self identify as “being in fantastic relationships” struggling with low libido.
They come to me so frustrated that nothing has worked up to now. Man of them talk to me about seeing their doctors who suggest that “It’s normal to have no sex drive, you have kids”. Or “take a holiday and it will all be fine.” Well it’s rarely fine and these women think about their lack of desire as a failure and find themselves obsessing about how to fix it.
The truth is that with some women relationships or emotional/psychological reasons impact their sexual feelings. However I’m seeing strong, sane women who are newlyweds still very much sexually attracted to their husbands. I’m seeing women who describe their marriages as “a 9 out of 10”. They love their husbands and don’t know why they rarely get in the mood.
I’m convinced it’s physical or organically based. Few of the women in my office feel what I call “the squoogies”. These feeling are the butterflies, that sensation of horniness or wiggly feelings of a need for sexual fulfillment.
I’ve been seeing some trends lately. I’ve asked these women to provide me with a blood work analysis from their doctors. The challenge is that most physicians don’t test younger women for hormones, and libido is the micro management or tweaks to find that sweet spot of abundant health where the libido returns. Most doctors don’t have the training, time or resources to figure out the formula.
And the longer I’m a sex therapist the more I know that everyone is unique and there is no “one size fits all”. The commonalities I’m seeing include food allergies or gastrointestinal sensitivities. Other common characteristics include history of being on the oral contraceptive, and/or anti depressants, along with a confirmed elevated cortisol level. Cortisol and adrenal are the two of the major hormones that regulate stress. If animals are stressed, they rarely go into heat. Which is why if 85% of North American adults are chronically stressed, why are we so surprised when the libido is missing?
Women have to become advocates for their own health. It doesn’t work for marriages on a long term basis to be without sex. I did my thesis on the question of “what happens when couples stop having sex?” It turns out they start to feel like roommates or “friends that co-parent”. The long suffering partners also feel like exploding and often feel they have no choice but to look for outlets outside of the marriage.
So here is what I recommend for couples struggling in this cycle.
1. Get a copy of your blood work including your adrenal, cortisol, thyroid, insulin, DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, estrogen levels.
2. Start immediately on some desiccated adrenal supplements (2 capsules twice a day).
3. Add some high quality Omega 3 capsules or oil. I like Udo’s oil or Jamieson capsules. I recommend (brace yourself) upwards of 8 to 10,000 mg a day. That a lot of flax or fish oils.
4. I encourage a multi vitamin with at least 30mg of zinc, and 240 mg of chromium.
5. I add 3000 mg of evening Primrose oil daily to my patients.
6. Followed by 300 mg of magnesium/glycinate.
7. Decrease the amount of carbohydrates you eat and increase the protein.
8. Get yourself a good vibrator like a Hitachi magic wand that plugs in for increased power. I also suggest buying some tickling panties or a small low level vibrator you can insert into your underwear for a few hours before sex.
9. If you are not already GET OFF THE BIRTH CONTROL PILLS, and look for a barrier method of contraception.
10. Plan a weekly date night where you have lots of privacy, lead time and anticipation of a sensuous evening. Consider your date nights as important as a doctor’s appointment.
11. Take 3 oz (1/3 of a bar) of 85% or higher dark chocolate and 1 glass of RED wine an hour before your date night. You can also use your vibrating panties to get in the mood about an hour in advance of sex.
12. I always suggest using a silicone lube for any kind of sexual encounter. If it hurts you are less likely to want it again.
13. Ask your doctor to consider monitoring you on 0.6% progesterone cream from day 10 to the end of your cycle. I rub it in before bed and it helps me sleep better.
14. You also need about 25mg of DHEA daily. In Canada it is a prescription medication, but in the US you can buy it over the counter. The rules about hormones are this:
a. You always test.
b. You try and use bio identical hormones if they are available at your pharmacy
c. You never use more than you need
d. You test again.
e. Make sure you keep a baseline of your blood work. It will make working with your doctor and understanding your body so much easier.
14. 5HTP, CLA, Vitamin D (4,000 ,g from September to May), and 40 mg of Vitamin B12 I take in addition to the multi vitamin.
15. With couples who have been struggling for awhile I also add two activities.
a. The first, I suggest they use a signal to initiate sex, Think about tugging on your ear, using a code word or some external trigger that let’s your partner know that sex is on your mind. That way nobody gets pushed away.
b. The second activity I suggest is non-genital touch for a couple of minutes 3 times a week. Couples who aren’t having sex often don’t cuddle as much for fear of turning on the other partner. Gentle, non-sexual touch is critical for keeping marriages connected.
If none of this works – or it feels too overwhelming to do on your own then call me for an appointment. No matter where you are, I can do a phone, webcast. skype appointment that will take serious steps to re-claiming your libido.
This IS NOT the mountain you have to live your life on, and we can get back that sexy girl you used to be.
Find me at www.sexwithsue.com, (613) 355-1786 or firstname.lastname@example.org