How Gut Health Affects Your Sex Drive
The gut has a major affect on your health, as you well know if you ever have to deal with constipation, gas, acid reflux, or any of the variety of other problems that people encounter on a regular basis. But your gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria that reside in your digestive tract – can also have a substantial affect on your sex drive.
How does gut health affect your libido? Here’s some information as to why this is the case.
How the Connection Works
The digestive tract and the sexual organs are in close proximity to each other.1 The bacteria in the gut not only help control digestive functions, but they also produce several different enzymes, hormones, and other components that affect the libido.
They also produce a neurotransmitter (a kind of chemical messenger) known as serotonin. This chemical is critical to sexual function, and gut bacteria produce up to 90 percent of the body’s supply. While serotonin primarily functions as a mood enhancer, it also plays a key role in increasing blood flow to different areas of the body, including the genital area of a woman.
So – and you’ve probably already put two-and-two together – serotonin can also be critical to a woman’s orgasm. The process of an orgasm begins when nerves are stimulated, and these nerves contain serotonin. After this stimulation, contractions occur in the genital muscles. Without a proper supply of serotonin, a woman will find it extremely difficult to reach orgasm. And she may experience a lack of sex drive as well.
Can a Leaky Gut Be the Culprit?
A condition known as “intestinal permeability,” commonly referred to as “leaky gut,” occurs when bacteria and other products leak through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.2,3 The body activates the immune system in order to combat these intruders, leading to inflammation and, in some cases, allergic reactions.
When leaky gut happens, it results in cell damage within the intestines. This damage can keep the bacteria in the gut from being able to produce the enzymes and chemicals (such as serotonin) that are essential to maintaining a proper balance of hormones. It can also cause a weakening of the immune system.
Aspirin, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter medications can contribute to leaky gut by irritating the intestinal lining. Over time, this can lead to inflammation that can eventually lead to the development of the condition.
By changing your diet and including healthier foods such as fish, olive oil, and others, you may be able to help restore the integrity of the intestinal wall. Probiotics can also play a role by increasing healthy bacteria in your guy that can help strengthen the intestines. Please visit heartland nutrients to learn more.
Antibiotics and the Libido
Another potential contributing factor to a weakened libido is the continual use of antibiotics.4 These wonder drugs have done a lot to save lives over the last century, but researchers are just starting to realize they may be doing harm as well. Antibiotics not only eradicate harmful bacteria, they also wipe out beneficial bacteria as well.
In order to have the best chance at a healthy sex life, the gut microbiome must be kept in proper balance. When antibiotics are overused, this can kill an incredible number of beneficial microbes and, in some cases, can even help pathogenic bacteria multiply. These bacteria can lead to problems such as severe infections and even sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are having issues with a lack of sex drive, have an open, honest discussion with your doctor. He or she will be able to recommend a plan of action to address your issue so you can get back to enjoying your love life once again.