People have explored ways to increase their sexual desire for centuries, trying animal products, herbs and minerals with limited success that may lead to negative side effects. Considering its poor track record, it's likely that taking vitamins offers you only a remote chance of increasing your libido, but some vitamins might be worth a try. However, other methods could give you a far better chance of improving your sex life.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Read more: What Hormones Are Responsible for Libido?
Increase Libido With Supplements
Older women often report pelvic changes after going through menopause. A July 2018 report in the International Urogynecology Journal looked at the possible impact of vitamin E on sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women. After 12 weeks of daily use, the vitamin increased libido and other markers of sexual function compared to a placebo.
The amino acid arginine also allegedly has a positive effect on libido. A May 2017 paper in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Security tested this amino acid in diabetic men with sexual dysfunction. Compared to a placebo, men taking arginine daily for four weeks had an improved libido. They also showed improvement on other measures of sexual performance.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, might also help with sexual function. The authors of an October 2018 article in Endocrine tested the hormone supplement in premenopausal women self-reporting sexual dysfunction. Women using DHEA for four to eight weeks showed increased arousal and desire. The supplement also increased circulating testosterone levels.
Read more: Symptoms of Low DHEA in Women
- Older women often report pelvic changes looked at the possible impact of vitamin E on sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women.
- The authors of an October 2018 article in Endocrine tested the hormone supplement in premenopausal women self-reporting sexual dysfunction.
Increase Libido With Proper Nutrition
Effect of Exercise on Sex Drive
A surprisingly large number of women and men have low libido at some point in their lives, according to a February 2016 report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Proper nutrition can increase your libido by improving your overall health. Adding specific foods such as the popcorn-like gorgon nuts may help as well.
Read more: 9 Foods for Better Sex for Women
Increase Libido With Regular Exercise
A December 2018 review in the International Journal Studies of Advance Medical Science also described how healthy lifestyle choices can increase libido. These authors noted that men who regularly exercise show increased sexual function and more testosterone, both of which typically increase libido. The men only had to work out an hour a day, three to four times a week, to get this result.
Women can also increase their libido with exercise. A February 2015 report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine tested the effects of pelvic floor muscle training in women with pelvic problems. After 26 weeks, combining muscle training and lifestyle advice outperformed lifestyle advice alone. Women given the training showed an increase in desire and in other measures of sexual performance.
- A December 2018 review in the International Journal Studies of Advance Medical Science, both of which typically increase libido.
- A February 2015 report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine tested the effects of pelvic floor muscle training in women with pelvic problems.
Effect of Exercise on Sex Drive
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- Nutrire: The Action of Herbal Medicine on the Libido
- International Urogynecology Journal: Vitamin E as Alternative Local Treatment in Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause
- Journal of Nutrition and Food Security: Effect of Oral Supplementation of L-Arginine on Sexual Function in Men with Type 2 Diabetes
- Endocrine: Effects of Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Supplementation on Sexual Function in Premenopausal Infertile Women
- Electronic Physician: Effects of a Food Product (Based on Daucus Carota) and Education Based on Traditional Persian Medicine on Female Sexual Dysfunction
- International Journal Studies of Advance Medical Science: Role of Exercise, Fitness And Nutrition in Prevention of Male Sexual Dysfunction
- Journal of Sexual Medicine: Can Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Improve Sexual Function in Women With Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
- European Psychiatry: A New Neurobiology of Libido
- Journal of Sexual Medicine: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in Women and Men
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- Rizk PJ, Kohn TP, Pastuszak AW, Khera M. Testosterone therapy improves erectile function and libido in hypogonadal men. Curr Opin Urol. 2017 Nov; 27(6): 511–515.doi:10.1097/MOU.0000000000000442
Tomas Linnaeus is a psychologist, scientist and activist. Extensively trained in neuroscience, he has been published in professional journals like "Physiology and Behavior," "Journal of Sleep Research" and "Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews." Linnaeus has been writing for over 25 years and received a doctoral degree in psychology from Bowling Green State University.