Sexual Health

Omega-3 for sex drive: Know how it can affect libido

Stress or hormones can affect your sex drive. Want to boost your libido? Go for omega-3 to increase your sex drive.

Hormones, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and age are some of the factors that can affect libido or sex drive. Addressing changes in sex drive involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause. You may require medical attention or you can just try out ways to reduce stress and fix problems in your love life to improve sex drive. You can also improve your nutrient intake to increase your libido. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods such as fish and walnuts, are said to improve sex drive, and people also consider consuming Omega-3 supplement to boost libido.

What is sex drive?

Sex drive, also known as libido, refers to a person’s natural, instinctual desire for sex. It encompasses both the physical and psychological aspects of arousal and desire for sexual intimacy, says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Hirday Kapoor. Sex drive can vary greatly among individuals and can be influenced by various factors.

A couple in bed
Sex drive is influenced by various factors. Image courtesy: Freepik

What affects sex drive?

Sex drive in women can be affected by a variety of factors, both physical and psychological. Some common reasons for changes in sex drive include –

1. Hormonal fluctuations

Changes in hormone levels that occur during menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause can affect libido. They may lead to vaginal dryness, making it uncomfortable during sex.

2. Stress and mood disorders

High levels of stress, anxiety, and depression not only affect mental health. Mood disorders can dampen sexual desire in women, says the expert.

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3. Relationship issues

All the couples have arguments or issues. But if the conflicts happen frequently along with communication problems, lack of emotional intimacy, or dissatisfaction within the relationship, they can impact a woman’s sex drive.

4. Body image and self-esteem

Some women are able to accept the way they are. But not everyone has a positive body image. Negative body image and low self-esteem can contribute to decreased sexual desire.

How does omega-3 help to improve sex drive?

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like salmon, mackerel, sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. People consume omega-3 supplements as well. According to a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Researchomega-3 supplementation could improve sexual function in pregnant women by preventing increased anxiety during pregnancy.

If vaginal dryness is the reason behind your low libido, omega-3 can help women, especially in the menopause phase. High intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (types of omega-3) can help relieve menopause symptoms, which can include vaginal dryness, according to a 2019 study published in the Climacteric journal.

Besides this, Omega-3 can also play a role in overall health and can indirectly affect sex drive:

1. Cardiovascular health

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to promote cardiovascular health by reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. Better cardiovascular health can enhance circulation to the genital area, potentially improving arousal and sexual function, says Dr Kapoor.

2. Brain health

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health, as they support the structure and function of brain cells. They can indirectly influence mood, and sexual desire in women.

A woman holding omega-3 supplement
Omega-3 can help to do away with vaginal dryness. Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Hormone regulation

Omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in hormone regulation, including the production of sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Balanced hormone levels are important for maintaining a healthy sex drive.

4. Reduced inflammation

Chronic inflammation can negatively impact sexual function and overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body and improve overall well-being, potentially leading to a healthier sex drive, says the expert.

Are there side effects of omega-3 supplements?

Omega-3 fatty acids are generally considered safe for most people when consumed through food sources. However, there are some potential side effects and considerations to be aware of while taking omega-3 supplements:

  • Some people may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, or indigestion when taking omega-3 supplements, especially at high doses.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have blood-thinning properties and may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly in people taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin.
  • Fish oil supplements can sometimes cause a fishy aftertaste or burping, which some people find unpleasant.
  • Omega-3 supplements may interact with certain medications, including blood pressure medications and cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Omega-3 may have potential benefits for sexual health, but make sure to maintain a balanced diet. Also, exercise regularly, manage stress, and prioritise overall health and well-being to support a healthy sex drive.

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