In the realm of sex it seems matters which affect men are more commonly talked about. For example, it’s men who have the little blue pill for sexual dysfunction, and nothing for women. But don’t worry ladies an option for women is now coming to light.
Women experience sexual dysfunction just like men do and yet this area is very rarely explored. Causes and solutions are not uncovered so women suffer in silence not knowing what is going on or how to fix it.
Well a new study now sheds some light on women’s sexual dysfunction. The results reveal it is closely linked to their heart rate variability.
What is heart rate variability?
Heart rate variability, or HRV, refers to the changes which occur between heart beats. Heart rate variability can reveal fluctuations of heart rate in comparison to an average heart rate.
To help you better understand the concept of HRV consider this: An average heart rate is 60 beats per minute (BPM). We would assume that the space between each heart beat is one second. The fluctuations then reveal it can vary between 0.5 seconds and two seconds.
There are many factors which can affect one’s heart rate variability. Some examples of these factors are aerobic activity, age, time of the day, genetics and body position.
So what does one’s HRV have to do with sexual dysfunction? Well that is what researchers recently uncovered…
Link between HRV and sexual dysfunction in women
Published in Applied Psychophysiology, 72 women between 18 and 39 had their heart rates measured while they watched erotic and neutral film clips. The findings revealed that women whose heart rate variability was below average also experience arousal sexual dysfunction in comparison to those who had a normal HRV.
Although researchers couldn’t conclude on an exact cause and effect in their findings they did note that a low HRV has been associated with depression and anxiety.
This research is promising though as it reveals a possible means of treating sexual dysfunction in women. Additionally, it’s important to note in previous research the same relationship was shown among men.
How to improve heart rate variability
If you currently have a low HRV, don’t fret too much as increasing your heart rate variability can easily and naturally be done. Some ways you can improve your heart rate variability include:
- Resting: We live busy lives so taking the time out to relax can help improve your HRV. Relaxing also helps lower stress which can contribute to a low HRV.
- Exercise: As mentioned HRV can be quite dependant on aerobic fitness. Physical activity can strengthen the heart and improve HRV.
- Eat well: A 2008 study from China revealed eating vegetarian or vegan can help improve HRV. If ditching meat is too intense for you try to eat balanced meals with many fruits and vegetables. Likewise ensure you include fish as well to improve HRV.
Not only will these tips help you improve HRV but you can receive many other health benefits as well. Really! Healthy habits mean a healthier you overall and whether that means improving HRV or just your health, they should be practiced daily.
If you’re a woman concerned with your sexual dysfunction don’t hold back in silence. Speak to someone your trust or a doctor about it. Although not too much is known surrounding female sexual dysfunction the more open we become the more insight we can receive. In the meantime, though, you may want to work on those healthy habits to improve your heart rate variable.
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