(Most) Humans are sexual beings. Sex is one of the fundamental ways that we experience pleasure, explore, and connect with not only other people but also ourselves on a deep level. Sex gives us opportunities to connect with our creative sides, lift our moods, and just feel all around amazing.
For most adults, sex is a quintessential part of life, and typically the better your sex life is, the better you feel overall. This is why it can be so hard when your sex life isn’t where you want it to be. Life happens. People have kids, get jobs, travel, all sorts of things can interfere with the amount you’re able to have sex. But one factor that often gets swept under the rug, especially for women, is changes in libido.
Low libido or sex drive is sometimes a part of life. But there are steps you can take to get your sex drive back on track. Although this isn’t the right option for everyone, some women can benefit from libido-increasing medications. Ready to learn what your options are?
What Causes Changes in Libido For Women?
Women and female-bodied people tend to go through a lot more physiological changes in their lifetime than men do. Between periods, pregnancy, and menopause, we are constantly going through shifts and changes. Many of these are beautiful and pretty magical, but they can also lead to unpleasant side effects like mental health issues, low energy levels, and loss of libido.
What else can cause low libido in women?
- Mental health disorders like depression and anxiety
- Certain medications like hormonal birth control and antidepressants
- Health issues and diseases
- Pregnancy and lactation
- Difficulty in your relationship
- Reproductive health disorders like vaginismus and endometriosis
As you can see (or have found out for yourself), there are a lot of factors that can impact your sex drive. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way though. You have options!
Who Uses Libido Medications?
Anyone who has a chronically low sex drive may be a good candidate for libido-increasing medications. The clinical term for women with low libido is female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSAID). This tends to affect people who are perimenopausal or postmenopausal more often. One study found that 3.3 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 44 had experienced female sexual arousal disorder, while 7.5 percent of participants between the ages of 45 and 64 had it.
Older populations are more likely to turn to libido medications. They are also more likely to have physical health issues that may affect their libido, or be on medications that lower their sex drive. Still, everyone deserves the sex life they desire at any age.
Libido Medications for Women
The kinds of libido medications available to you depend on what country you live in. The two most commonly prescribed libido medications for women are Flibanserin and Bremelanotide.
Flibanserin is the generic name for Addyi, a libido-enhancing medication for people who haven’t gone through menopause yet. This pill is taken once daily at bedtime. Possible side effects include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and low blood pressure.
Bremelanotide is the generic term for Vyleesi. This is an injectable medication that is also intended for women who haven’t gone through menopause. You inject the medication yourself in the belly or thigh right before sexual activity. Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, and a skin reaction where it was injected.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is commonly used in people who are menopausal or post menopausal. It’s sometimes used to regulate energy levels and osteoporosis, but it can also benefit libido if that’s been affected. HRT can help with vaginal dryness, vaginal atrophy, and boost sex drive overall. There are some groups of people who are not yet menopausal but may benefit from HRT like those with thyroid conditions, PCOS, and ovarian cancer.
If you have had impaired libido for quite some time, you may have already tried natural libido enhancers. Medication isn’t your only option. There are many lifestyle changes you can make, and natural supplements that can enhance your libido.
Here are some natural ways that people enhance their libido:
- Foods like oysters, bananas, chocolate, and figs.
- Herbs like maca, shilajit, and damiana.
- Treating underlying mental and physical health conditions.
- Decreasing stress levels.
- Experimenting in your sex life.
- Not smoking and limiting alcohol.
- Better communication with your partner.
- Increasing intimacy with your partner through bonding activities and slowing down.
Medication and natural remedies aren’t mutually exclusive. The best approach to healing your sexual health is one that is holistic and takes into account all the factors that may be impacting your sex drive. That could mean medication as well as couples therapy, increased physical activity, and stress relief activities.
Your Body, Your Choice
As with anything related to your health, deciding to get on a libido medication is a personal choice that only you can make. Libido-increasing medications could make a huge difference in your sex life and relationships, but every medication comes with possible side effects. It may be worth it to try a few lifestyle changes first before turning to pharmaceuticals, but again – you know your body best. Be sure to reach out to your OB/GYN for more information on what your next steps are.