How to Increase Sex Drive

Man and woman leaning in for a kiss in black and white
Written by

Content by

Last Updated

Last Updated

Science means that ED can be optional.

Discrete next day delivery. No subscriptions. No fancy packaging. Thousands of 5* reviews.

A healthy sex drive is an important part of any relationship, as partners express their feelings for one another in a physical way. For many men and women, their sexual performance abilities are tied to their feelings of self-worth and virility. 
If you’re among those who are accustomed to a healthy sexual appetite, any experience with a decline in your desire may be something to investigate. The first question you are likely to have is 'Why do I have no sex drive?'. Although it is perfectly normal for sex drive to decline with age, there are many factors that could contribute to a premature drop in sexual interests. A decline in performance could be the result of an emerging medical condition that is affecting you physically and mentally. 
This article will examine how you can re-ignite your passions and improve your sex drive – here are 12 tips for men and women to boost sex drive.
Note before we start: This article references the term "libido". Libido is the medical term which means "low sex drive".  


Why do I have a low sex drive?

Non-existent or low sex drive can be caused by a number of different factors. Before we explore the ways you can attempt to get your sex drive back, let’s take a look at the contributing elements that could be lowering your usual level of excitement:

Medical condition

Certain conditions such as low testosterone, depression, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney and liver failure or hypothyroidism can all reduce sex drive.


In men, testosterone levels peak in the late teens. As you grow older, testosterone levels decline, which is a major contributing fact to a reduction in male libido. In women, hormone changes brought about by menopause can lower sex drive.


Certain medicines can contribute to reduced libido such as those used to treat high blood pressure, as well as various antidepressants (such as sertraline) and steroids. Hormonal contraception can also cause fluctuations in mood and reduce sexual libido.


Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, just after having a baby or during the breast-feeding period can cause low sex drive in women. Fatigue, a negative body image or the pressures of pregnancy are all factors that can contribute to a woman’s reduced sex drive after having a baby.


Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to nerve damage in both the clitoris and the penis, and negatively affect the body’s serotonin, testosterone, and dopamine levels.


Smoking lowers testosterone production in the body as a result of elevated carbon monoxide levels. The increased levels of carbon monoxide have a direct effect on the body’s ability to produce testosterone, the hormone that is primarily responsible for sexual libido.

Drug use

In addition to a reduction in libido, excessive drug use can limit a person’s ability to function during sex, specifically as related to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. 


The body reacts to heightened stress by releasing adrenaline and cortisol. Chronic stress affects the body’s hormone levels, resulting in a decreased libido. A restriction of blood flow through the arteries in response to stress can also result in ED.

Mental health issues

Depression and anxiety can affect sex drive. Depression can change the body's biochemistry and therefore reduce libido. Anxiety associated with a negative self-image can further the inability to achieve heightened levels of arousal. The chemical processes in the body that encourage healthy sexual function can be compounding influenced by mental health issues. This is likely to be the issue if you and young, fit, but have no sex drive.

Poor sleep

A lack of sleep can elevate cortisol levels, contributing to a low libido. Rest replenishes our body and facilitates the production of hormones like dopamine – exhaustion leaves men and women with lowered levels of sex-enhancing chemicals.


12 tips on how to increase sex drive

Now that we’ve examined the factors that contribute to a reduced sexual appetite, it’s time to discuss ways that you can positively influence your libido. The following tips represent the variety of methods both men and women can undertake in order to regain feelings of sexual arousal.

Hormone therapy

In the event that a hormonal change or imbalance is the culprit behind your lowered libido, a blood test can effectively determine where the issues lie.

If it is determined that hormonal imbalance is causing your lack of interest in sex, your GP may be able to prescribe you with a treatment protocol designed to counter the effects by regulating your hormones. Here are some of the effective treatments related to improving sexual function:

  • Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT): This treatment essentially replaces the testosterone that a male is deficient in. It is normally administered as a skin patch, or as a gel that is applied to the skin.
  • Estrogen therapy: A medical professional may prescribe a combination of oestrogen and progesterone to help increase libido in women. Pills, dermal patches or spray mists containing oestrogen can be ingested or applied in order to combat the effects of a lowered libido. 

Medication changes

Your doctor or health care provider may be able to alter your medication in the case of a reported negative effect on your sex drive or mood. Some antidepressants and antihypertensives can cause low libido. Switching to an alternative medication may improve your sex drive. 

In the event of a perceived impact on your sexual appetite stemming from medication, consult your physician as soon as you notice the effects. Ignoring the symptoms or assuming they’ll subside can inhibit the speed with which this issue can be resolved.  

Sex therapy and counselling

Sexual desire is a process with both physical and psychological contributing factors. Talking to a professional about your loss of sexual appetite, either on your own or with your partner, can have a transformative effect on feelings of self-worth or sexual performance capabilities. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment that can help increase your libido. CBT recognises the problems that arise from events and the associated meanings behind them, and works to reform thought patterns in order to impact physical outcomes.

Sex therapy, counselling, and CBT work by talking through worries, experiences and feelings.


One of the most effective methods you can deploy in order to get your sex drive back is engaging in an exercise program. Weight loss and an increase in muscle mass can play a part in boosting testosterone levels and sex drive.

Women benefit from exercise thanks to the effects upon hormones, neurotransmitters, and autonomic nervous system activity. Just 20 minutes of exercise could boost sexual arousal by 169%.

The University of Texas at Austin published results of a study entitled The Effects of Acute Exercise on Physiological Sexual Arousal in Women which claims a direct correlation between physical activity and sexual desire levels.

Stress less

If you feel as though your stress levels are putting a damper on your libido, practising stress management techniques may have a net-positive effect on your sex drive. Mindfulness, meditation and plenty of good old fashioned sleep can help reduce the elevated cortisol levels that are impacting your ability to experience sexual arousal.

Left unmanaged, the physical and psychological manifestations of elevated cortisol levels can impact your sexual performance.

Eat well

There is a lack of scientific evidence which can directly link a particular type of food to improve libido. However, a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, nutrients and vitamins is likely to have a positive effect on your overall health and state of mind.

Get enough sleep

Most men receive their daily dose of testosterone in the early hours of the morning, while they’re sleeping. Testosterone is generated overnight while the body recovers from the rigours of the previous day. This is science behind an erection in the morning. Lack of sleep can lower testosterone levels in the body, impacting libido.

Sleep has a profound effect on women’s arousal levels as well. The Journal of Sexual Medicine published results of a study that indicates women were 14% more likely to engage in sexual activity with their partners if they had even one extra hour of sleep.

Stop smoking

If you’re a smoker, you may want to consider the effects that this decidedly unhealthy habit is having on your sex drive.  

Several research studies have linked smoking and a decline in sexual arousal, noting the effects of cigarette smoke upon decreased libido in both men and women. The act of smoking permits thousands of powerful toxins to enter the bloodstream, which can impact the health of our internal organs and negatively affect ovarian and testicular function.

Quitting smoking can promote healthier blood flow, since smoking causes plaque to build up in your veins. Healthier blood flow can improve a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection, and increase sensation in the clitoris for women. This augmented sensory arousal can help overcome the feelings of inadequacy that can negatively impact sexual appetites.

Stop drinking 

Excessive alcohol consumption in women can negatively impact sexual arousal and function. For both men and women, a drink of two may aid in lowering sexual inhibitions and temporarily boost confidence. However, excessive drinking has the opposite effect.

Reducing alcohol consumption – especially in instances where drinking has become an addiction – can improve blood flow, ease strain on the liver, and contribute to a healthier mental state. Subsequently, individuals recovering from a reliance on alcohol may notice the resurgence of their sexual appetites.

Keep time aside for intimacy 

Many men and women struggle to find time to connect with their partners, even if a healthy sexual relationship remains a priority for both. In order to ensure feelings of intimacy are reciprocated – and to maintain a healthy sexual appetite – scheduling private time can help to increase the bond between partners. 

If the concept of a calendar event seems too mechanical and forced, consider making a mental note to engage with your partner on a certain day, or at a certain location. This will allow for some fluidity and spontaneity in the moment but ensure you’re keeping an eye on the frequency with which you’re being intimate. 

By sharing a plan with your partner, you can create a level of excitement – the dopamine release associated with anticipation can also provide a chemical boost towards recharging your libido. 

Talk to your partner

Many men and women are embarrassed to share changes in their feelings, especially in regard to a decreased sex drive. Some fear that their partner will feel that they are to blame for the gradual lack of interest, and that their relationship could suffer as a result.

In most cases, the opposite is true – increased communication is key. Your partner will often be supportive and have your best interest. A problem shared is a problem halved, and often, you may find that the

To effectively communicate, the focus should refrain from moralising or emphasising what you don’t like about a partner. By gently explaining how you feel, you can work together to help find a solution.

Try supplementation

There are a number of supplements readily available on shelves today that may work to enhance your libido. In the event that you’re feeling a lack of sexual interest towards your partner, you may want to try the following:

  • Zinc: This NIH study links zinc deficiency to a reduction in the production of testosterone. Supplementing Zinc, either through whole foods rich in this essential mineral – such as eggs, vegetables, and shellfish – or by taking supplements, you can help to restore levels which may help in increasing libido.
  • Magnesium: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach – as well as legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains – are rich sources of magnesium. Magnesium works by stopping testosterone from latching onto proteins. By facilitating more unbound testosterone in the in the bloodstream, your sex drive is strengthened. Although women have roughly 20 times less testosterone than men, it is an essential hormone for regulating sexual function in either gender.


Important note: You should be careful when purchasing any unlicensed products which claim to be libido boosters, or products which claim to increase libido instantly.

Are there pills to increase sex drive?

Currently there are no medications licensed in the UK to treat low libido. The best way to improve sex drive is by treating the cause of it. 

Medication such as Viagra, or ‘the blue pill’ –  are licensed to treat erectile dysfunction in men; however, they have no effect on sex drive.  

Contrary to popular belief, Viagra does not boost sex drive for men following a treatment protocol; the medication simply aids in the ability to achieve and maintain an erection. ED treatments can help affected men by improving blood flow to the penis, but do not assist those suffering from a loss of libido.


No sex drive can ruin a relationship

Remember, the lack of sex drive in a relationship can unfortunately contribute to its end. By communicating with your partner, and seeking the necessary support – from a professional, or a physician – you can augment your ability to treat and overcome this condition. 

Simply ignoring your symptoms or allowing your lack of sexual interest to grow over time can have damaging effects on your physical and mental well being, as well as the health of your partner.

Take action to improve your sex drive by remembering these 12 tips and understanding the value of communication. You’re not alone in this – by engaging in a new protocol, or by seeking the counsel and support of loved ones and trained experts, you can get your sex drive back.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.