If you have a poor PCOS libido, you’re in good company.
And there’s no question. Sex is an important part of any romantic long-term relationship. But how much of it is considered healthy?
Although the answer sort of runs the gamut, last March, TIME magazine published an article citing that (on average) couples have sex a little more than once a week and for the most part, that is considered to be “healthy”.
Why is healthy the appropriate word in this case?
There are lots of reasons.
The oxytocin hormone that intensifies during sex helps to relieve stress and cause couples to bond more on an emotional level (that is healthy).
Physically, the health benefits of sex are countless. Sex does everything from strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure to improve your immune system and (if you’re a woman) keep your bladder in great shape. Not only that, but if you engage in unprotected sex with your partner (if you do, make sure that you’re in a committed relationship), sperm may help to relieve women’s menstrual cramps, decrease anxiety, prevent cancer, boost brain power and can even serve as an anti-depressant — and that’s just for starters!
So, as you can see, sex is something that should not only be seen as an enjoyable activity, but something that should be made a priority in committed couples lives for the sake of their mind, body, and spirit.
But what should you do if you want to have more sex but you struggle with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) — a type of hormonal disorder that can lead to things like weight gain and acne and painful intercourse?
Is there anything you can do to feel sexier and more confident?
Five Tips for Feeling Sexier During Intimacy When You Have PCOS
Eat the right kinds of foods
If there is a silver lining to receiving a PCOS diagnosis, it’s that it can encourage you to take better care of yourself, starting with your diet. When your hormones are imbalanced, you need to consume the kinds of foods that help to combat insulin resistance while slowing down the digestive process so that you can take in the nutrients that your body needs.
Some of those foods include almonds, berries, sweet potatoes, broccoli and lean proteins like fish and free range chicken or vegetarian options like nuts and seeds.
A bonus with these types of foods is they provide the fiber that you need in order to maintain a healthy body weight while removing toxins so that your skin can remain free of blemishes.
Pamper yourself with essential oils
Something else that can provide your system with additional support is essential oils. You can keep your stress levels down with the soothing scent of lavender; sweet fennel is great at stabilizing your hormones (so that your menstrual cycle is more regulated); cinnamon is considered to be an aphrodisiac that can help to stabilize your weight; ylang-ylang can balance out your mood swings and jasmine has a great reputation for boosting your PCOS libido.
Plus, they all will make you smell amazing and, if you get a soy candle in one of these scents, they can create the perfect ambiance for both you and your partner.
Sign up for a class
While orgasms are usually the “icing on the cake” of intimacy, when you’re dealing with PCOS, sometimes it’s the most painful part. If this is something you can personally relate to, you might want to consider seeing a reputable counselor. Not because anything is “wrong” with you but because climaxing is oftentimes just as psychological as it is physical.
As you’re able to share your concerns and fears, that can help to release some of your tension and make it easier to enjoy intimacy.
A therapist might even recommend signing up for a dance class (to put you more in touch with your body) or yoga (to release stress). As you learn more about your body and how it works, it can center you, boost your confidence and make you more communicative with your partner about what your needs are in the bedroom.
This brings us to the next point.
Communicate with your partner
Don’t let the sex scenes on television and in the movies fool you.
In order for any two people to have a great sex life, there needs to be communication—talks about likes and dislikes, exploring sex positions that bring pleasure, even times of day or night that are preferred.
Your partner isn’t looking for you to be perfect in your looks or in bed (because they aren’t); they simply want to be close to you and bring you pleasure. Sharing how you’re feeling about your condition and what you like and don’t like sexually will bring the two of you closer on an emotional level which always benefits a couple physically in the long run and helps to boost a flagging PCOS libido.
Stop blaming yourself
There may be days when you feel like you’re the only one in the world with PCOS but you’re not. Reportedly one in 10 women in the United States alone have been diagnosed with it. This means it’s more common than you might think, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
See your health professional. Do your research. But also be loving, gentle and patient with yourself. PCOS doesn’t make you any less desirable or sexy… although it may make you feel it and bring your PCOS libido down accordingly. With the right information and consistent proactive care, you can feel just as comfortable and confident as any other woman — both in the bedroom as well as out!
Shellie R. Warren