Meet The Expert

Dr Catherine Hood:

Sexual health expert and psychosexual specialist Dr Catherine Hood, comments: “Many women find their interest in sex decreases from time to time, even if they are in a secure relationship and a low libido is one of the most common sexual problems I encounter. It is a complex issue which can be affected by psychological issues such as stress and depression, physical issues such as anaemia and even hormonal imbalances that can be caused by the menstrual cycle.”

Follow Dr Catherine Hood’s top tips on boosting libido:

1. Food for love

The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables can help encourage blood flow to all areas of the body. Add plenty of tomatoes, broccoli, berries, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale to your diet. Pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and almonds all have high levels arginine, an amino acid that helps increase the levels of blood in the genitals.

2. Watch the booze

Whilst a modest amount of alcohol (one or two drinks) does not have an effect on sex drive, over doing it can have a dampening effect on desire.

3. Get moving

Exercise helps to release feel good chemicals called endorphins, eliciting feelings of happiness and confidence.

4. Enjoy chocolate

Good-quality chocolate that's high in cocoa solids (60-70%) contains phenethylamine, which is the chemical that we produce in our brains when we fall in love.

5. Have a romantic meal

Get the candles out and enjoy bottle of wine and a romantic dinner together. Many couples I see lose that loving feeling because they don't prioritise enough time for each other. Spending time and enjoying each other’s company will strengthen the bond between you.

6. Be happy

Stress can dampen libido so try and keep it under control. Even something as simple as having a bath or a massage can help you switch off and hopefully switch you on!

7. Intimacy

Try and maintain intimacy - even if you don't feel like sex. Continue to cuddle in bed and show affection. Intimacy can be difficult to restore once it's gone.