Guest blog by Genie James, M. M.Sc.,
Executive: Director of the Natural Hormone Institute
Author of From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well: Straight Talk Women (and Men) Need to Know to Save Their Sanity, Health, and―Quite Possibly―Their Lives
The best present you can give to the man you love is a renewed interest in your sex life.
National surveys report that more than 40 million American adults live in low-sex, no-sex relationships and forty-three percent of women say they suffer from some kind of sexual inadequacy due to lack of desire or loss of pleasure. When asked about the issue, most women and men fondly remember their randy and sexually robust 20's but then, as the decades roll by, mistakenly resign themselves to an increasingly infrequent and lackluster sex life. Age, stress and fatigue are common excuses. And, as pounds pack on and breasts and buns begin to droop, the thought of getting naked is more likely to spawn a full-blown anxiety attack than a ready and primed sexual engine.
The real reason your sex drive is in the toilet: "It's not your age, your stress or that your body has some road miles on it --Honey, it's your hormones!" So what's a gal or guy supposed to do? Here are a medically-proven, all-natural and wallet-friendly three step plan to boost those lagging hormones and turn back your sexual clock no matter your age.
In Your 30's
Signs that your hormone production is starting to slack off: You would rather fold an extra load of laundry than have sex in the morning. In addition to a dip in your sex drive- if you can no longer fit into your skinny jeans, you don't have the energy you used to, you are suffering from post-partum depression and/or you are irritable and snapping at your children or husband, -your body is waving red flags that it is missing its much needed progesterone.
Solution: 1.) Start using an over-the-counter bioidentical progesterone cream, 2.) eat foods shown to help restore the balance between estrogen and progesterone levels (such as cruciferous veggies, citrus fruits, flax seed/flax seed oil and whole grains) and 3.) get off your buns and move for at least 30-40 minutes five or more days a week.
In Your 40's
Signs that your production of more than one hormone has shifted: You feel that having sex once a month, vs. three to four times a week, means you are still healthily 'sexually active'. Other signs of an underlying hormone level imbalance can include: you are wearing jeans with elastic in the back or you have resigned yourself to giving away those great clothes now 2-3 sizes too small, you can't sleep through the night, you are burning up with hot flashes and you believe you are either chronically depressed or suffering from early Alzheimer's or both.
Solution: 1.) if an over-the-counter bioidentical progesterone cream is not doing the trick, try adding an over-the-counter bioidentical estrogen (estriol) product to your daily regimen, 2.) Eat more phytoestrogen-rich foods such as soy (soy beans, soy milk, miso, edamame and tofu) and, also, try some centuries-old herbal aphrodisiacs and orgasm enhancers such as L-arginine, ginkgo or horny goat weed, 3.) Turn up the heat on your work outs: vigorous exercise for 45 min- 1hr at least five days a week (Remember: what is good for your heart is good for your genitals).
In Your 50's, 60's and Beyond
If you have not had a period for more than one year, you are officially a menopausal mama. This is the time of life that, when your husband wakes you up wanting a little action, you might be tempted to hand him a $100 bill and tell him to go buy a sheep. The biochemical reality is that you have not fallen out-of-love, your body is truly out-of-hormones. Progesterone production has slipped to almost zero, estrogen levels are in the toilet and odds are that your testosterone production has shifted from a regular flow to an erratic dribble.
You now need a full-court press approach to rejuvenating your hormone health and restoring your sex life.
Solution: 1.) Try adding a herbal testosterone booster (such as Peruvian gingseng or nettle root) to your over-the-counter bioidentical progesterone and estrogen regimen. If your symptoms persist, it may now be time for you to see a physician who can analyze your hormone levels, determine your specific hormone deficiencies and, then, prescribe for you an individualized dosing of bioidentical hormones, 2.) To increase testosterone levels and restore your sexual urge through your daily diet, eat more foods rich in essential fatty acids and L-arginine (flaxseeds, nuts, dark leafy green veggies and oily fish like salmon or mackerel), zinc (liver, oysters, whole grains), and 3.) Start weight lifting. Research shows that an exercise program that works your large muscle groups such as squats, dead-lifts, bench presses and rows increase testosterone levels.
SEX-tra Benefits: More Sex Can Be Your Fountain of Youth
Medical research and clinical studies show that more sex can:
-Give you a better body: sex is a calorie-burning, body-toning exercise.
- Improve heart health: a half hour of steamy sex can increase your pulse rate and get your heart pumping as if you have just run a mile or two.
- Reduce stress and lower blood pressure: people who have more sex stay calmer even under duress.
- Make you a nicer person: sex releases a hormone called oxytocin that has been shown to cause people to act in more kind and loving ways.