Short lived exercise routines were found to increase libido, while long-term exercise also enhances sexual satisfaction.

How to Support Healthy Female Sexual Function

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Diet, exercise and lifestyle habits can have a significant impact on healthy sexual function. Changing your daily routine and dietary intake can improve your libido and your sexual appetite. It can also increase your fertility and general feeling of wellbeing. In this article we discuss our tips to support your sexual performance and function and live a healthier life. Remember, every woman is different, so it’s important to speak to a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle and diet.

  1. Get more exercise

If you’re looking to increase your libido and sexual satisfaction, getting more exercise is a great place to start. A study in the Sexual Medicine Review found that both short lived and long-term exercise regimes have a positive effect on female sexual functioning. [2] Short lived exercise routines were found to increase libido, while long-term exercise also enhances sexual satisfaction. A second study also found that participation in physical activity was associated with lower risk of female sexual dysfunction. [1]

The precise amount of exercise needed to improve sexual functioning in women varies for each individual but a good place to start is the amount recommended for general health – around 2.5 hours of vigorous activity, or 5 hours of moderate activity per week.

  1. Eat better and supplement your diet with vitamins

Having a healthy diet and the right intake of vitamins and nutrients can impact your libido, energy levels, and even fertility. Food fuels your body and provides necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients to repair, maintain good general wellbeing and boost performance. Eating right will help you to function at your best, both in and out of the bedroom.

In terms of diet, research has shown that traditional Mediterranean foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood and healthy fats from nuts and olive oil) has been shown to improve sexual function in women with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. [4][5] One of these studies found that the whole of female sexuality may find benefit from dietary improvement.

Vitamins are also important. Ensure your diet has adequate levels of vitamin B, A and E to avoid loss of libido, and boost energy.[6] Zinc is another important intake, as lack of zinc can cause low libido, and this mineral may even be an aphrodisiac. You can also consider an energy enhancing supplement such as Naturopathica’s Horny Goat Weed, which contains Ginseng, B vitamins, Zinc and caffeine, to increase energy levels. The herb horny goat weed which has been used in traditional Chinese medicines to address sexual performance problems and low sexual desire. [3]

  1. Change poor lifestyle habits

While diet, supplements and exercise can improve libido and support healthy sexual function, poor lifestyle habits can reduce arousal and engagement in the bedroom.

Heavy smoking can be a cause of sexual dysfunction in women. A study in 2013 found that severe nicotine dependence gave women almost a threefold chance of sexual dysfunction symptoms than other women in the sample.[7] Another found that high cumulative smoking dose and nicotine dependency were associated with higher risks of dysfunction. [8]

Alcohol may also impact healthy sexual functioning when consumed in excess [1]. It’s best to moderate alcohol intake, especially before sex.

References

[1] Allen MS & Walter EE, Health-Related Lifestyle Factors and Sexual Dysfunction: A Meta-Analysis of Population-Based Research, J Sex Med. 2018 Apr;15(4), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29523476

[2] Stanton et. al, The Effects of Exercise on Sexual Function in Women,  Sex Med Rev. 2018 Oct;6(4), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29606554

[3] Charles P. Vega, Physical Exercise Improves Sexual Health in Men, accessed December 2018, https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/847107

[4] Giugliano F et. al, Adherence to Mediterranean diet and sexual function in women with type 2 diabetes,  J Sex Med. 2010 May;7(5), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20214715

[5] Esposito K et. al, Mediterranean diet improves sexual function in women with the metabolic syndrome, J Impot Res. 2007 Sep-Oct;19(5),  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17673936

[6] Readers Digest, 9 vitamins and herbs that can boost your sex drive, accessed December 2018, https://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/vitamins-that-boost-libido/

[7] Alessandra Diehl et. al, Female sexual dysfunction in patients with substance-related disorders, Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2013 Feb; 68(2), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3584261/

[8] Joohee Choi et. al, Dose-response relationship between cigarette smoking and female sexual dysfunction, Obstet Gynecol Sci. 2015 Jul; 58(4), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4515480/