by Odette Limosnero
Integrative medicine approaches women suffering from low libido from a holistic point of view to uncover possible root causes and then prescribe treatment using an individualized approach. First, it is important to assess lifestyle factors such as excessive caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as smoking and high levels of stress, which can interfere with sexual desire and response. Restful sleep and a diet that avoids spikes and drops in blood sugar also are valuable. Birth control pills or progesterone only contraception and antidepressants can contribute to low sex drive.
Assessment of thinning skin in the vaginal atrophy is critical, especially in perimenopause, menopause or while nursing. For these women, vaginal moisturizers or estrogen can be helpful, along with vaginal massage (by a partner or herself) which will thicken the skin of the vulva and vagina, increase elasticity and improve the ability to enjoy sex.
Treatments for stress-related or hormone-related low libido can be treated with herbal medicine such panax ginseng, epimedium (horny goat weed) and maca. Chinese medicine with acupuncture, especially in combination with herbs, can be effective.
Lastly, treatment with bioidentical hormones using an individualized approach with estrogen alone, or sometimes with progesterone and/or testosterone, may be appropriate.
Dr. Odette Limosnero, M.D. is an integrative physician and owner of Roots Integrative Gynecology, in Carrollton. For appointments, call 972-822-3365. For more information, visit RootsIntegrativeGynecology.com