A low libido in women or ‘frigidity’ is generally used to describe a long term lack of sexual drive and response.
Both psychological and physical factors can contribute to the development of low libido in women. It has been noted that a woman’s sexual desire can be affected by medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, neurological problems, and coronary artery disease.
Female sexual arousal disorder can also be caused by some medications like chemotherapy medications, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants. Loss of sexual desire in women can also be caused by hormonal changes due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, stress, history of sexual abuse, negative body image, low self-esteem, drug and alcohol use, and fatigue.
Currently, no medications are available to increase the sex drive of women. Causative factors can include:
1. Anxiety is the main cause to turn off when it comes to sexual performance
2. Conflict within relationship is another main cause. If a couple has arguments and one partner is resentful of the other, it can lead to problems in bed.
3. If one is tired or worried about other things in life, it can affect libido.
4. Some of the health problem like multiple sclerosis, vaginitis, cystitis and diabetic condition.
5. Pain with sexual activity or intercourse and little pleasure in the activity.
6. Feelings of guilt and shame about sex, history of sexual abuse.
Signs and symptoms of low libido in women
1. Sexual drive may vary and fluctuate for all types of reasons.
2. A serious lack of sexual interest while making love and an inability to enjoy the sexual activities of the partner.
Treatment of low libido in women
In the condition of frigidity, sukra dhatu of female is generally affected. But based on the cause of disease other dhatus may also be affected. Dosha predominance can also vary according to etiology.
Concept of Dhatu Dhatu
There are seven types of body tissues which forms physical body. They are
1. Rasa – Purified subtle part of properly digested food.
2. Rakta – Blood
3. Mamsa – Flesh
4. Medas – Fat
5. Asthi – Bone
6. Majja – Bone marrow
7. Sukla/Arthava – Reproductive tissue
Each of these dhatus are subtler or purer than the previous dhatu and nourished by the same.
For example fat (medas) is nourished by flesh (mamsa) and flesh (mamsa) by blood (raktha). The fire (agni) inherent in fat cause digestion and supply of nutrient or subtler part of fat to the subsequent bone (asthi) dhatu. Similar metabolism causes production and nutrition of next dhatus namely marrow (majja dhatu) and reproductive tissues (Sukra dhatu). Subtle and most purified part of Sukra dhatu enrich Ojas or life force of body. Ojus gives libido, vigor and all positive mental qualities.
In frigidity, functions of sukra dhatu and Ojus are disturbed. This is the reason why positive mental qualities diminish to a great level.
Ayurvedic Management of Low Libido in Women
Investigation of the cause of frigidity is the first step. After finding out the real cause, treatment is designed accordingly. Based on the cause, predominance of dosha will be different.
After achieving health through equilibrium of doshas and dhatus through treatment, mental health is ensured through counseling, sex education and lifestyle modification.
Physical health for Women with a Low Libido
This is achieved by treating each physical condition which lead to frigidity. Based on the cause of frigidity, treatment procedures and choice of formulations will vary.
1. Internal or External application of ghee or oils – This includes oral administration of ghee or oils processed with bitter and astringent herbs. External application of medicated oils is also useful. Choice is made by physician after assessing patient’s condition.
2. Sweating – After above oleation process mild to moderate sweating or steaming is done with boiling herbs in water.
3. Medicated purgation (Virechana) – Medicines suitable to each patient’s condition will be given for purgation.
4. Vasthi – This is a very important treatment process for vatha predominant conditions. Here medicated oils, ghee, honey, powdered herbs, rock salt, herbal decoction are mixed in a very peculiar manner. This is administered through the anus as an enema. Here medicines reach emulsion form which causes increased bio assimilation.
5. Vaginal douche – A douche can be done with suitable decoctions or medicated oils. These treatment procedures are very useful in hormonal imbalance, vaginitis, cystitis, painful intercourse etc.
After achieving normal health of the body by these purification procedures Samana or pacification formulations are given. After pacification Rasayanoushadhas or rejuvenatives are given.
Mental health for Women with a Low Libido
Blindly trying to do better in bed is less useful than improving the basic relationship. So talk with your partner about all of your problems, hopes and fears, and try to solve them together. Still if one finds it hard to communicate, it is better to consult a doctor and a trained counselor.
Useful herbs for Women with a Low Libido
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) , Ginger and fenugreek are best and easily available herbs for frigidity.
These herbs can enhance the libido. These natural herbs used in the herbal remedies not only increase the desire for lovemaking, but also enhances the pleasures of sexual activities.
These remedies help to improve the overall health of the woman by strengthening the organs of the body.
Do’s and Don’ts for Women with a Low Libido
• Smoking and drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, and packaged or processed foods should be avoided.
• Sex drive in females can be boosted with the use of fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, almonds, raisins, figs and prunes.
• A good nutritive as well as balanced diet helps reduce frigidity.
• Taking daily warm milk at bed time is good..
• Exercise is the best home remedy for frigidity.
• Avoid use of white flour and polished (white) rice ; use whole-wheat flour and brown rice instead.
• Increase the use of spices like fennel, ginger as they are known to boost the sex drive for females.
• Body massage with sesame oil helps to revive muscular vigor and stimulate the nerves.
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