Category: Hormones and Health

Your sperm needs some TLC! How to get your boys in the best shape for the swim of their lives!

It’s amazing how many of my clients are struggling with fertility. Yes the recipe requires fresh eggs, and yes it’s important to spend some time naked and horizontal to conceive.  But male fertility after years of microwaving yogurt containers (full of bad estrogens that diminish sperm), and too many soccer balls to the gonads male infertility is on the rise. 

Thanks to the brilliant Orlando urologist for suggestions on keeping your sperm in tip top shape.  
1. The Magic Number – The magic number is 15 million – sperm per milliliter, that is. Infertility could be the result if the count is much lower than this benchmark.

2. Take a Lap – While a high sperm count is good, a high ‘swimming’ sperm count is also important. In general, about a quarter of the sperm will swim and drive your chances of achieving a pregnancy. For patients that have extremely low sperm count, doctors can often do surgical procedures to obtain sperm that can be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

3. Watch the Sauna – Causes of sperm production issues include higher temperatures such as when a man is frequently exposed to hot tubs or saunas, dilated blood vessels around the testicle (called varicocele), abnormal testosterone levels such as when a man takes testosterone injections, environmental factors and certain medications like hair loss medication.

4. New International Study – Sperm counts are dropping. Data presented at ASRM last month by IVI-Reproductive Medicine Associates Global (IVI-RMA Global) found that the proportion of men with normal total motile sperm counts is declining over time.

5. Boxers or Briefs? – Men should feel free to choose whatever underwear fits best without fertility concerns. While it was thought that perhaps briefs increased temperatures of the testicles and might affect sperm production, this is truly an old wives’ tale.

Oh note on boxers. Briefs hold your boys close to your body and keep the skin of your scrotum from stretching. You don’t want to have to throw your testicles over your shoulder as you age.

It’s another reason to eat oysters…. Seafood-rich diet may help couples get pregnant faster

The sex mineral for men that helps improve erection and sexual functioning is zinc. Zinc for your dink. Oysters and other seafoods are loaded with it. Magnesium is the sex mineral for women. Seafood is a great source of that as well. Now a new study out of Washington says that “seafood consumption improved sexual activity frequency, reduced time to conception”.

So if you are trying to get knocked up the fishmonger may help.

“Couples who eat more seafood tend to have sexual intercourse more often and get pregnant faster than other couples trying to conceive, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Seafood is an important source of protein and other nutrients for women who are or may become pregnant, but concerns about mercury have led some women to avoid fish when trying to conceive. According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, 90 percent of the fish eaten in the United States is low in mercury and safe to eat. Although the agencies recommend two to three servings of lower-mercury fish per week, 50 percent of pregnant women still eat far less than the recommended amount.

“Our study suggests seafood can have many reproductive benefits, including shorter time to pregnancy and more frequent sexual activity,” said one of the study’s authors, Audrey Gaskins, Sc.D., of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “Our study found that couples who consume more than two servings of seafood per week while trying to get pregnant, had a significantly higher frequency of sexual intercourse and shorter time to pregnancy.”

In the prospective cohort study, researchers from Harvard followed 500 Michigan and Texas couples from the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) Study for one year to determine the relationship between seafood intake and time to pregnancy. Participants recorded their seafood intake and sexual activity in daily journals.

The researchers found that 92 percent of couples who ate seafood more than twice a week were pregnant at the end of one year, compared to 79 percent among couples consuming less seafood. The association between seafood and faster time to pregnancy was not completely explained by more frequent sexual activity, suggesting other biological factors were at play. These could include effects on semen quality, ovulation or embryo quality, Gaskins said.

“Our results stress the importance of not only female, but also male diet on time to pregnancy and suggests that both partners should be incorporating more seafood into their diets for the maximum fertility benefit,” she said.”

Vaginal smell and issues. What to do if your girl parts are out of sorts?

vag1It’s one of those questions I get asked about in whispers and on behalf of a friend. Vaginal health is a topic that many women often are too embarrassed to ask about. Keeping your vagina healthy, fresh smelling and delightfully tasty is vital if you want to be comfortable getting horizontal and sweaty.
We all want to feel clean. Perceived vaginal pleasantness has us open to receiving oral sex (which in my opinion should be a mandatory public service provided by your partner). If the opportunity to frolic naked presents itself, we want to be ready. Given the cold of Canadian winters, most of us spend the darkest months bundled up against the elements. Houses are dry and very little fresh air is getting to our squishy parts. But what can you do if your girl bits are out of sorts this winter?

Prevention is best. You don’t want to be at a point where a doctor’s appointment is critical. So here is my list of the essential things a vagina shouldn’t be without in order to stay at its peak health, and be able to perform on demand.

1. Probiotics for feminine health. These are different than the probiotics you take for tummies. Healthy bacteria are essential for keeping yeast at bay. These are similar to the probiotics in yogurt but specifically help target yeast. If you are prone to yeast infections, then feminine probiotics need to be part of your a daily ritual. Probiotics also help keep away any of the “fishiness” of too much bad bacteria. My favourite is the rePHresh brand Pro-B iotics.

2. Cleaning out the corners with a minimum weekly bath. Showers are great, but they don’t get into the crevices the way that a good soak does. Epsom salts are great for leaving you feeling fresher longer. Most gynecologists suggest bathing a few times a week.

3. Masturbation. Most of my clients laugh when I start writing prescriptions for more masturbation. But I’m not kidding. Self-pleasure is like a genital sneeze. Healthy vaginas are self-cleaning, and discharge is your body’s way of getting rid of the gunk (bacteria, menstrual remnants etc.). But discharge can be slow. An orgasm will flush all the bad things away and leave you with a smile on your face.

4. Lubrication. The vagina is designed to be moist. If it is on the dry side you feel uncomfortable and itchy. I think all women need lube at different times of the month, or at different times during their lives. Nursing mothers need lube, menstruating women need lube, and peri-menopausal and menopausal women definitely need lube. If you are a little dry then a few drops of a great silicone lubricant (I like the Swiss Navy brand) in the morning works well. Replens is an internal lubricant that lasts up to three days by adhering to the walls of the vagina if you are feeling a little like the Sahara.

5. Douching/Bidet. The French women have it right by having bidets in most of their bathrooms. It’s a small genital bathtub with a fountain that gets into the corners. Douching with water (and possibly a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar) can achieve the same results. Do not buy the pre-packaged douches that upset your natural pH levels and make your odour problem worse. I have a couple of reusable vaginal syringes that are inexpensive and effective. I bought mine for $6 online at medicalsuppliesofcanada.ca

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Bio-Identical hormones and why you should be considering them

I had a woman just recently ask again about bio identical hormones. She was going through menopause and having a hard time justifying why she needed to take some kind of medication to deal with a plenary of symptoms. “Menopause is normal” she exclaimed to me. “So’s death” I retorted, “but I don’t want to be looking at that anytime soon” Not drooling in an old age is my standard reply when asked why I take the balancing boost which are bio-identical hormones. I think hormones are healing.

I also think the science around bio-identical hormones are sound. I’ve been on a small amount that’s right for my biochemistry since I was 40 (now 6 years with regular periods), and if I knew then what I know now I would have gone on them at 35. It keeps my hair, skin, sleep, libido, lubrication and fuzzy thinking back to the level I was at when I was 30. We have the technology, it’s safe, but there is no one size fits all. Get informed. If you are feeling lousy, consider a hormonal workup before you look at antidepressants. Or at least get all the information so you can make an informed decision.
I’ve pasted a blurb from Dr. Northup’s blog below. I think she makes lots of sense. But as I’ve said before, you need to be the expert in your own health.

“Sourced from Dr. Northup’s blog:
I’ve been talking about bioidentical hormones for nearly three decades. And it still surprises me when women—and doctors—don’t know the difference between bioidentical hormones and synthetic ones. Bioidentical hormones are created to be an exact match in molecular structure to a woman’s body. That is what makes them “bioidentical.” In contrast, non-bioidentical estrogen, such as the estrogen in Premarin, is bioidentical only if your native food is hay. That’s because it is made from the urine of pregnant horses. Hence the name Pre (pregnant) Mar (mares) in (urine). Progestin is a synthetic form of progesterone that is derived from bioidentical progesterone. The reason for this is that you can’t patent a bioidentical hormone that naturally occurs in nature. And so—to make progesterone marketable—it was changed into a compound not native to the female human body.

For about two decades, Premarin (just estrogen) and Prempro (Premarin plus Provera, a synthetic form of progesterone) were the gold standard for many doctors. And the one-pill-fits-all-women approach was the only option women were given. Then, in 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative Studies showed that women who supplemented with synthetic estrogen or Progestin had more incidences of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots than those who were given a placebo. Once thought to confer heart health and other benefits, women suddenly became wary of these drugs.[9]

The best approach for hormone therapy is one that is unique to you. Women can have their levels of estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, and other hormones tested. Or simply pay attention to how you feel—which I find is a far more accurate way to assess hormone balance than testing your levels. The results (and how you feel) allow you and your doctor to customize a treatment plan that is right for you. Start with the lowest dose possible and see how you do. Better yet, change your diet to a low sugar, organic food approach. Add a natural herbal remedy such as Pueraria mirifica, maca, black cohosh, ground golden flaxseed, or chasteberry. And if that doesn’t work, then try the bioidenticals.

Remember that hormone therapy can take a few trials and errors. It’s a work in progress—just like you are at menopause.”

Testosterone, the hormone for both sexes

I see it in my office every day. Women come in who don’t feel sexy, men who can’t get it up, and couples for whom sex is a distant memory. Yes the issue can be that your partner is driving you nuts and isn’t doing the work to turn you on. And sometimes these problems are caused by general exhaustion, emotional challenges, baggage about sex, psychological factors, and general relationship conflicts. But more times than not, sexual challenges are created when something goes wrong with the internal power supply. For men whose heads are clear, and whose bodies are working properly, it’s usually all systems go. I think most women have a sense that men think about sex a lot. But when the man in your life starts reaching for the remote control rather than pinching your bottom, it could be a hormonal difficulty.

I call it the “Archie Bunker Syndrome”. Named after the grumpy old curmudgeon in the 70’s sitcom, the Archie Bunker Syndrome is what happens to men as they age and their testosterone starts depleting. You may be living with an “Archie”. You can recognize them as men who have beer bellies, fall asleep on the couch after dinner, and are no longer interested in chasing you around the house for sex. I have a physician friend of mine who thinks that most men over 50 should be on at least a base supplemental level of testosterone. For the men in our lives, testosterone (T) is the main hormone that keeps them active, healthy, and masculine. I also like to say it’s responsible for those sexy playoff beards. There are a few over the counter supplements for raising testosterone as well as some suggestions like increasing the amount of celery you feed your partner and suggesting they bath their testicles in cold water after a shower. You may get a better result than I did when I pitched that idea.
So it’s vital for men but how relevant is it for women? In a word, essential. As a sex therapist I spend a great deal of my day talking about how low T can impact your libido. Yet it’s one of those hormones that your doctor rarely tests you for, and you often have to ask for it specifically. I have clients send me their free testosterone numbers and often suggest they investigate whether or not a hormonal imbalance between their many hormones may be causing their depression-like symptoms. It’s certainly related (along with a few other hormones) to the physical factors causing the loss of sex drive. But testosterone is more than simply the barometer of how horny you may be. It’s what puts that wiggle in our hips, the bounce in our steps and the urge to leap out of bed in the morning.

Here’s what happens. We hit 40 and we may start to feel less aroused, less able to lose weight and generally start to feel sluggish. Testosterone is the hormone that begins to decline anywhere from ages 35 to 40. Followed by a decrease in progesterone and then finally at 50 our estrogen plummets. It’s the loss of estrogen that we associate with menopause, hot flashes and sleep problems. But our hormones have been depleting over the previous 10 years during peri-menopause. According to the fabulous book about women and testosterone called The Secret Female Hormone by Dr. Kathy Maupin, it’s really the loss of testosterone that leaves us feeling old. Testosterone is responsible for our youthful bodies. It improves muscle mass, and skin elasticity. Low testosterone in women causes an increase in cellulite, dry eyes, abdominal fat, fatigue, autoimmune reactions such as arthritis, dry skin and hair loss. The problem is that those symptoms are masked among a variety of other causes that has both you and your doctor thinking about other issues besides hormonal depletion.

The problem is that finding the right amount of testosterone isn’t an exact science. Traditionally, women were given male amounts (the only thing originally on the market) which quite literally put hair on their chests. As one woman described to me who had abnormally high testosterone results “I want to kill him, not jump him”. However the science is starting to catch up. We have a few compounding pharmacies in town that make bio-identical hormones that are exactly the right amount for your blood work. We have specialists in town that know the power of balancing progesterone and testosterone based on evidence-based medicine. There really is no one size fits all when it comes to hormones. Test and use the amount that you would have naturally produced when you were 30. I think anything that gets us back to how we felt at 30 is a public service. And if it’s something your body makes anyway, and it’s done in conjunction with your physician, testosterone can be the difference between night and day in terms of how sexy you feel. I think we need to become the experts of our own bodies. That means asking questions of our doctors, keeping a journal of our own blood work results, and becoming better aware of what’s changing. Our sexual selves may need some attention. I think exploring the reasons that you may not be feeling as sexy is critically important to quality of life. There is a great quote by Judith Plaskow that reads “If sexuality is one dimension of our ability to live passionately in the world then in cutting off our sexual feelings we diminish our overall power to feel and value deeply.” So if you have lost that bounce in your step, or you live a Carol O’Connor character I encourage you to investigate further.
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Why balancing your hormones (Men- testosterone, Women-Oxytocin) eases the chaos with your partner.

hormones1Despite it being June and with summer holidays looming collectively, we should be in a great mood. That is if it would ever stop raining and we can get finally to the cottage and start our all over tans. Traditionally sunshine and time off (especially we Canadians) makes us feel better. It just seems to me that despite all we do to be happier, we feel overwhelmed. Call it a general grumpiness and a underlying disconnect between couples. Life is stressful. And busy. And if we listened to all the advice about self care we would probably pull out what is left of our hair. At least I know I would. A quick glance through the Supermarket and unread beach magazines offers up an extensive list of must do’s to make us happy, healthy and beautiful. It turns out that we must have connected date nights, exercise an hour a day, eat organically, take the right supplements, get over 8 hours of sleep, engage in meditation, along with community involvement, have fresh air and intimate time. Sound familiar? If I listened to all the propaganda about having a great life, I doubt I or anyone would get any work done. So how do you know what advice to follow and how do you fit it in a schedule bulging at the seams as it is?

If you figure it out let me know. Smile. Seriously, the longer I’ve been a shrink the more I am convinced that we are ruled by a million years of evolution and all the proteins coursing through our body. Hormones tell us how to behave, regulate our happiness to a much greater degree than they ever explained to us budding therapists back in those dusty lecture halls. It turns out that achieving hormonal health is the key to happiness. Recent scientific discoveries have proven that the difference between the sexes and how they relate to one another and can be explained by our hormones. Biologically men and women have similarities. Hormonally, we are poles apart. Men have 35 times the testosterone that women have. The higher the testosterone levels, the lower the stress. At middle age men turn into what I call “The Archie Bunker Syndrome”. The ways to increase hormone levels include watching Sports Centre (going to the man cave), fixing things around the house, (feeling competent and powerful), sex, exercise, and generally feeling protective of their mate and families.

For women, it’s all about the hormone Oxytocin. This is the cuddle hormone that your brain starts pumping out when we are first sexual with our partners. It lowers our stress levels and makes us feel connected. We build the most Oxytocin when we give and receive nurturing support. But who has time for nurturing support when we are stressed and busy!!! By nurturing I mean everything from baking healthy muffins for your kids, to ranting to your friends about your co-workers. Sleep, massages, and chocolate also help.
I’ve listed below the best 5 foods that lower your cortisol levels, balance your blood sugar and give off that sharing and giving love feelings.
1. Ginger, lemon and cinnamon tea with honey. It’s got 4 of the ingredients that soothe your inflamed cells, and is something I dink by the potful daily.
2. Coconut Oil. It has become the cooking oil of choice. It stimulates the body to burn more fat, and well as deals with the inflammation of hormonal imbalances. 🙂
3. Acai berries. I use 1/2 teaspoon of dried berries in my daily smoothie. Acai berries are known to raise your metabolism without caffeine and lower your stress.
4. Maca Powder. It’s derived from a root from Peru and has been long been associated with sexual functioning. Maca can help stop hot flashes and increase libido.

So you’re a little dry… What to do with vaginal dryness beyond the need to find a new bottle of lube.

drynessIt’s called the 7 dwarves of menopause. Itchy, bitchy, dopey, sleepy, leaky, achy and all dried up. It turns out that the all dried up part is really the first sign that peri-menopause is well established and you are traveling down the yellow brick road to full-on menopause.
Other symptoms include memory change, depression, insomnia, low energy, bladder control issues (peeing when you cough), dry mouth, aches and pains, and poor quality of sleep.

So what’s a girl to do?

A great lube helps. I like the silcone extra-slippery that doesn’t break down like a water based lube. A little Replens or other long-term adhering lubricant also helps. But the truth is you may need more than that.
Here are the rules beyond lube.
1. Masturbate when your body tells you to. It’s like a sneeze, it cleans out the vaginal cavity that regular discharge used to do. It’s even more important for those tissues as you get closer to menopause.
2. Find out your hormonal blood levels. Here is the list of test I usually request that gives me a starting point.:
Estrodiol
Estrone
FSH
Progesterone
DHEA-5
Testosterone
Free Testosterone
Cortisol AM
High Sensitivity CR Protein
3. Decrease the carbs (especially the refined sugars) and increase the protein in your diet.
4. Get some liquid, green chlorophyl from the health food store. It will balance your PH levels and clean out your hoo-hoo.
5. Finally, call your doctor and don’t take no for an answer. It really won’t get better on its own, and if your progesterone and estrogen dip too low then you also will start having problems orgasming. Gasp! I know, that would have me pounding my head into a wall. If you need some help, I’ll see you in person, or by skype and will make a difference within three sessions.

How being masculine and watching sports increases your testosterone levels. Hockey and sex hmmmm.

andersonIt’s hockey playoff time. I have for many years wrote about the sexiness of playoff beards. Everyone has something that makes then catch their breath and bite their tongue. For me it’s burly, sweaty men and facial hair. I like men that look like men. It turns out that there is some physiological reasons for this.

Being hyper masculine, square jawed, broad shouldered, with a 5 O’clock shadow makes men look more virile. Meaning their boys can swim and they make good genetic choices for our ovaries. Those qualities have women thinking about baby-making (or at least practicing) in our primitive or limbic “we want to have monkey sex” brains. The opposite is also true. Feminized women who smell nice, are pink, cute, and sway their hips are also trigger heat from their partners. There is something about playing those exaggerated roles of masculine and feminine that has our primitive brains hard wired for sex.

These behaviours bump up our sex hormones, testosterone and progesterone. This in turn makes us friskier.

It also turns out that watching sports also increases our testosterone. But only if our team wins. This was the abstract of a great study that tested the hormones in saliva during basketball and soccer games. And those guys don’t have playoff beards. Smile. So test my hormones on Friday night when the Ottawa Senators win game 2 of the second round. Maybe that’s why I’m inclined to have halftime or intermission sex.

Basking in reflected glory, in which individuals increase their self-esteem by identifying with successful others, is usually regarded as a cognitive process that can affect behavior. It may also involve physiological processes, including changes in the production of endocrine hormones. The present research involved two studies of changes in testosterone levels among fans watching their favorite sports teams win or lose. In the first study, participants were eight male fans attending a basketball game between traditional college rivals. In the second study, participants were 21 male fans watching a televised World Cup soccer match between traditional international rivals. Participants provided saliva samples for testosterone assay before and after the contest. In both studies, mean testosterone level increased in the fans of winning teams and decreased in the fans of losing teams. These findings suggest that watching one’s heroes win or lose has physiological consequences that extend beyond changes in mood and self-esteem.

I’ve just finished a book called Men Chase, Women choose. If you want to read more about this I highly recommend the book.

Heal your metabolism, and improve your libido. 5 Tips.

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One of the big perks of being a media shrink are the book review copies I get sent to me. Interesting new reads that come out just magically appear in my office mail compliments of all the mainstream publishers. It’s like Christmas. And I devour all the new material in the area of sex, relationships, intimacy and health. Given my lifelong struggles to keep my figure from blowing up and resembling the Micheline Man, I am always looking for new insights in the field of diet and weight management. So, without exaggeration I can honestly say that I have read 40% of all of the new health/weight loss books put out by major publishers in the last few years.

These books all have seem to have a sameness about them. I’m always excited to get a book with with new insights, or new information. So I was so happy to read Haylie Pomroy’s, The Fast Metabolism Diet. Pomroy a young, hip, California celebrity nutritionist has had fantastic results with her plan that claims to “lose 28 pounds in 28 days” healthy weight loss plan. Pomroy has had incredible word-of-mouth results because hers works. She’s even had the King of Jordan fly in for a consultation. What’s interesting to me is that she aims to heal wounded and broken metabolisms and in doing so can heat up other aspects of overall health. Including…your libido.

She outlines five tips that seem to work. I’m heading into week 3 of my 28 days and I’m down close to 10 pounds. If I continue to lose, I’ll start posting pictures of my svelte new body. Her information works in conjunction with my Libido Diet (which I use supplements and brainwashing to find your sexy self). The basic premise works on ways to stoke up your internal furnace.

Here are the 5 steps that my Libido Diet and Pomroy’s Fast Metabolism kick-start have in common. Get on them, get skinny and find your inner sex tiger/tigress.
1. No dairy, no breads, no peanuts, no rice, no sweets. No exceptions.
2. Eat 5 times a day. Even if you don’t feel hungry. You need fuel to keep the furnace burning.
3. Pomroy ‘s plan follows a 2 day moderate protein, moderate carbs, no fat. 2 days of no fat, no carbs but lots of meat and veggies, and 3 days of good quality fats (like nuts), low carbs (like beans and steel cut oats) and lots of fiber.
4. The Fast Metabolism Diet has you doing only moderate exercise for brief periods 3 times a week.
5. No wheat, corn, soy, no alcohol, no refined sugars, eat within 30 minutes of waking, eat every 3-4 hours when awake.

It sounds draconian but I admit to losing weight quickly. You need to stay the distance over 28 days. What’s interesting to me as a sex therapist is that if you rev your weight loss engine, your ‘hello Sailor” engine increases too. Start thinking of your body in one way and it will have added benefits. It’s time to look fabulous and feel sexy. Drop me a line and I’ll plug you into the group of us who are re-shaping our bodies and kick-starting our libidos.

Low Sex Drive, Metabolism, and your Thyroid. New ways to heal yourself and boost your desire.

thyroidSo what do you know about your thyroid? It’s that butterfly shaped gland at the base of your throat that acts like a thermostat to your metabolism and heat regulator. It turns out that Thyroid disease affects 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 10 men, yet over half of the people with thyroid disease is undiagnosed. I’m always saying that sex is your early warning system. Libido is the first thing that goes when your health is compromised.
I’ve been blogging about hormones, lists of fun and sexy things to do and all the latest aphrodisiacs that make you want to get sweaty in bed.

It turns out that often the sexual sluggishness is related to thyroid. I’ve been guilty of missing it as well. The symptoms of thyroid imbalance can often be mistaken for something else. So if you are feeling sluggish, you might want to consider a thyroid test. The problem is that most physicians only test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), and not the levels of T3, T4, and RT3 which blocks the uptake of thyroid response. I’m not trying to geek out describing lab work but I do think it’s important to ask the right questions. Everyone should be the absolute expert in their own bodies.

So here are some of the symptoms of a thyroid imbalance:
Course hair, dry skin, cold all the time, constipation, fatigue, low sex drive, heavy menstrual bleeding, PMS, infertility, difficulty losing weight, and thick skin and fingernails.

Not suggesting that you shouldn’t see your doctor, but there are some natural thyroid products that contain T3 and T4. Your doctor can prescribe a more potent hormone. I just have seen (many more cases lately than ever before) thyroid imbalances as the root cause of low libido. And there can be an immediate improvement. Get yours tested. Ask what your number was. If its 3.8 or less, than you should be asking your doctor about possible treatments that work for you. It’s not okay to not have a sex drive. A Thyroid imbalance may be one of the answers.

5 foods I eat to keep my sex drive up

foods1I postulate at nauseum about things you should and shouldn’t do to keep your libido intact and healthy. I’m a sex therapist, it’s what I do. And low libido is the scourge of these frantic, 21st Century lives. However it is because we are so busy, stressed and running hard that we don’t have a sex drive in the first place. A hundred years ago we went to bed when the sun went down and ate, whole, pesticide-free foods. We made love often, knew our roles and weren’t exposed to light while we slept. Our bodies were in rhythm with our environment.

So amidst watching too much late night Grey’s Anatomy, updating my blog, connecting with my kids, partner, and extended family, groceries, laundry, homework and oh yeah work, I need shortcuts when it comes to keeping my libido healthy. I look for shortcuts in working out, in the housework I have to complete,
I don’t want to look for shortcuts to having sex.
With this in mind I make sure I have some of the top 5 sexy foods as part of my diet.

1. Lemon/Ginger. – I serve this as a tea to all the patients in my office and drink it (and run to the loo) all day long. Ginger warms up the body and increases the heart rate, much in the same way that chilli does. It mimics how the body feels during sex, and makes you start thinking about it. Lemon balances the PH in your system and keeps your squishy parts at optimum health.

2. Artichokes. This natural aphrodisiacs are rich in such substance as inulin, which in conjunction with vitamins A, B and C can substantially improve metabolism. This can stimulate and tone the body, as well as increase the libido.

3. Spring foods like asparagus and rhubarb. Asparagus. This is one of the most effective spring aphrodisiacs which is rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and vitamin A. At that, asparagus can be used by both men and women. Rhubarb is known in diminishing hot flashes, and is extraordinarily high in calcium.

4. Unpasteurized honey. Honey is a super food. It also appeals to my sweet tooth and I can drizzle it all over my sweetie during sticky sex. It’s one of the 5 things that the new Blue Zone book which discusses what people do to live the longest use to increase longevity. It has proved libido enhancers.

5. Basil. The fragrance, the blood stirring properties and the healing herbal elements makes it a great sexy food. I plant a herb garden and grow fresh basil every spring. I use it fresh in recipes throughout the year. Try basil ice cream (recipe to follow), it is incredible.

Check out what’s new in aphrodisiacs.

123You don’t need mail-order powdered rhino horn — there are much easier ways to get aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day. But do they work? Find out what works and what doesn’t as well as tips and ideas for a grocery list of romantic foods that will put you in the mood. Join our panel: Martha Hopkins is the author of The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook that features couple-tested recipes, Wendy Walsh is a clinical psychologist and former co-host of The Doctors who is currently CNN’s human behaviour expert and the author of several books, including The 30-Day Love Detox, and Sue McGarvie, a registered sex therapist, radio host and author of four books on sexuality and relationships. McGarvie’s research on libido and bio-identical hormones for sexual desire has brought her international attention.
Check out the full discussion at:
http://www.canada.com/life/food/Live+Chat+Aphrodisiacs/7859982/story.html