Keys to Preventing Women’s Sexual Health Problems
If you’re a woman wanting to prevent sexual health problems there are many positive steps and life choices you can take to ensure a long and satisfying sex life. Good places to start include avoiding drugs – both recreational or prescription meds like anti-depressants – which can lessen sexual desire and sexual response – and getting a better understanding your own body and sexual response. Research by scientists like biological anthropologist Dr Helen Fisher has helped to reveal a lot more about how and why we feel attracted sexually, although she doesn’t claim to fully explain the “mystery of love.” Her work with MRI brain imaging shows that the sex drive is just that – a physical drive, not an emotional response – and that falling in love in the result of a neurochemical cocktail of hormones that naturally changes from intense attraction to attachment over the first few years of a relationship. For many of us the challenge is how to maintain that sense of strong attraction once it is replaced by the more secure, stable but less exciting phase of attachment.
Five Steps to Prevent Sexual Health Problems
1) Take Care of Your Health
Getting regular exercise, eating well, moderate alcohol intake, getting enough sleep and controlling stress levels are all important for your general sense of well-being and energy levels. It’s recognised by sex therapists that “everything that happens in a woman’s day” affects how sexy she feels so be aware of how much stress you are placing on yourself and how you respond to it.
2) TAKE CARE OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Put a high value on maintaining good communication with your partner and making time and space for sex. Relying on it to “just happen spontaneously” is not realistic as your relationship becomes habitual.
To keep the spark alive, Dr Helen Fisher recommends three simple tools:
- Do novel things – that drives up the dopamine system.
- Stay in touch physically – hold hands, lie in your lover’s arms. Touch drives up oxytocin.
- Say nice things to each other on a daily basis – positive illusion is the ability to look past the negative and accentuate the positive. Research shows you need five positive comments to every one negative to maintain a good relationship vibe.
3) REVIEW ALL MEDICATIONS
Many medications, but particularly anti-depressants, contraceptive birth control pills and diabetes treatments, can reduce libido and sexual response. If you suspect something you have been prescribed or have bought over the counter is having a negative effect on you, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor and seek an alternative treatment.
4) SEEK EXPERT HELP
If you have experienced past sexual trauma, like sexual abuse, rape, or a negative sexual experience when you were younger, don’t be afraid to seek specialist help from people who are trained to recognise the problem and understand.
5) UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN SEXUAL RESPONSE
Get to know your own emotional and physical response and let your partner know your needs. Don’t be pressured by unrealistic Hollywood-derived fantasies of what your sex life should be. Women’s sexual response is “not about erections.”
Every encounter doesn’t need to result in orgasm to be pleasurable. Intimate touching and non-penetrative sex is totally fine as an option if it suits both of you at times. Using a natural lubricant to supplement nature and changing sex positions to acknowledge physical changes with aging in normal and not to be seen as some “admission of failure”
Tenderness closeness and intimacy rather than a grand performance are what quality sex is about.
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