Erectile dysfunction: Men have it. Viagra helps it. Women experience it too! A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women with modest levels of hyperlipidemia (elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels) have sexual dysfunction and lowered sexual arousal, just like men experience.
The idea behind it involves all of those big and small blood vessels that supply your pelvic floor, vagina, and clitoris. If you have elevated cholesterol restricting blood flow, you may not be able to have that engorgement, lubrication, and ability to orgasm you used to. The same study also found similar problems in women with elevated blood pressure and blood sugar.
Your pelvic floor muscles are located in between your hip and pubic bones. They create a bowl shape to support your uterus, cervix, vagina, and bladder. Criss-crossing through all of those muscles are arteries, veins, nerve and lymph supply to keep everyone happy and healthy. Strong pelvic floor muscles aid in appropriate bladder control, improved vaginal tone, and sexual pleasure, sensation, and lubrication.
Hyperlipidemia is a medical term for elevated amounts of fat in the blood stream. This is in the form of cholesterol (HDL, LDL, VLDL) and triglycerides. Triglycerides come from the fats we eat in our diet and from carbohydrates. I tell patients it’s the storage form of fats when our body can’t use it all and has some leftover for reserves. Unfortunately those reserves are stored in our fat tissue and aren’t released or broken down as easily as one might hope!
Simple ways to reduce your triglyceride levels is to eliminate all trans-fats from your diet. Greatly cut down on saturated fat and alcohol. Reduce your carbohydrate intake and stick mainly to healthy, organic proteins, vegetables, and some fruits. Drink plenty of water and exercise most days of the week for at least 30 minutes.
If sexual arousal and sexual dysfunction is something you struggle with AND you have some heart markers out of range such as your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and/or triglycerides, then work on improving these numbers to get your mojo back in balance!
Esposito K et al. Hyperlipidemia and sexual function in premenopausal women. J Sex Med. 2009 Jun 6(6):1696-703.