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Libido is simply the desire to have sex, which can vary depending on many factors, including physical, psychological, social, and even cultural causes. However, experts agree that it’s normal for libido to change within the same relationship as years pass. In fact, age is one of the factors generally associated with low sexual desire, but it’s more complex than that. Here are some expert tips for naturally maintaining and increasing libido:

Managing stress and anxiety Libido, or “desire to enjoy sexual pleasure alone or with a partner,” varies throughout life, and mainly does so because it’s subject to many variables, such as stress, says Laura Moran, a psychologist by vocation, sexologist, and family and couples therapist, in an interview with Infosalus. Therefore, if the loss of sexual desire is related to stress, anxiety, or depression, seeing a therapist can be very useful.

Working on it as a couple Improving the relationship and working on the issue as a couple is another important point. The same sexologist explains the following: “The desire at the beginning of a relationship is so sensitive that it seems to appear without any kind of stimulus, there is an anticipation of novelty, it’s like desire appears by itself, there’s always a stimulus. But as time passes, this stimulus must be more powerful and that’s where couples need to work on it (…) it’s about being aware that desire must be awakened as sleep or thirst can come to you.”

Innovating in sex According to Moran, it’s “absolutely normal” for libido within the same relationship to vary with the passing of years because one of the main ingredients, such as novelty, fades over time. Hence, it’s so important to explore and introduce new stimuli that help keep sexual desire alive. The specialized site Cuerpomente offers some ideas: we can read erotic novels with our partner, introduce sex toys, try new sexual positions, change the place where we have sex, give each other massages, and more.

Exercising Physical exercise is beneficial for many aspects of health, including sexual health. And indeed, regular exercise can help improve libido in many ways. Medical News Today cites a 2015 study that found that regular exercise helped men deal with issues such as worry about physical appearance, low libido, and changes in the relationship. Likewise, a 2010 review of women with diabetes suggests that exercising the pelvic floor can be helpful.

Eating a healthy diet First, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight, and to achieve that, we need to follow a healthy diet. Additionally, some foods are associated with better sexual desire. For example, figs, bananas, and avocados are some of the foods that could help increase libido, and according to Healthline, these foods also provide important vitamins and minerals that can increase blood flow to the genitals and promote a healthy sex life.

Quitting smoking Smoking cigarettes can have a negative impact on the cardiovascular system and sexual desire. Smoking increases the risk of atherosclerosis, which reduces blood flow and, among other things, could affect the sex life of men and women. In women, atherosclerosis increases the risk of vaginal dryness and genital atrophy, which accelerates or aggravates the lack of sexual desire, says the ├Źntima blog. Meanwhile, in men, although scientists are still trying to figure out why, smokers aged 40 to 70 are almost twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction, according to WebMD.