One of the downsides of getting older is that our sexual health starts to decline. While it’s just a part of life, sexual activeness doesn’t have to be a luxury. In fact, it’s one of the main pillars of health that supports us in this quest for longevity, according to Dr. Amy Killen, an anti-aging and regenerative medicine physician who specializes in sexual medicine.
“What you may not know is that sex is great for your immune system, it helps you fight infections, it decreases your risk of depression, it helps you sleep better, it decreases pain, it decreases blood pressure,” she says in a Mindvalley TikTok video that has garnered 7.9 million views (and counting).
Exercise, diet, meditation, and all your other practices for longevity… it’s time to add sex to the list. With the help of Dr. Killen, here’s how you can reap the benefits of healthy, active sex life.
Why Is Sexual Health Important?
We often think of sexual health as the absence of diseases, like HPV, HIV/AIDS, and all the other medical acronyms related to sex. However, it’s not just about that — it’s about your overall wellbeing. The World Health Organization defines sexual health as:
“… a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality.”
There are benefits to your sexual health that extend past the bedroom. Dr. Killen explains, “the effects of an active sex life spill over and they infiltrate every little nook and cranny of our lives to make us happier and healthier.”
And by consciously up-leveling your health with manageable lifestyle changes, you can maximize the potential of your sexual health well into your golden years.
How Do I Improve My Sexual Health?
Sex is intimacy. Sex is glue. … It affects how we feel about our partners and how we feel about ourselves. It affects how we go about our day and how we look at the world around us. And it’s wonderful and it’s powerful. And a lot of us take it for granted.— Dr. Amy Killen, anti-aging and regenerative medicine physician who specializes in sexual medicine
So here are six “super sexy, super scientific” strategies by Dr. Killeen to improve your sexual health.
Let’s get it on.
#1: Take care of your body
Your body is your home, as the saying goes. And as you grow older, your body functions start to slow down, including your sexual organs.
As research shows, aging has a huge impact on oxidation stress, elimination of unwanted cells, and inflammatory response in the gonads. This leads to “detrimental effects on fertility.”
What can help are antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory remedies to help increase nutrients and oxygen to the area via your blood flow. “Your sexual organs are just like any other organs in your body and they really appreciate good blood flow,” says Dr. Killen.
Here are a few ways you can take care of your body:
- Lower your blood sugar.
- Keep your blood pressure down.
- Watch your cholesterol.
- Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoking.
- Make sure you exercise regularly.
- Avoid obesity.
These simple lifestyle changes can greatly improve your sexual health as well as your overall wellbeing.
#2: Boost your nitric oxide levels
Nitric oxide is a molecule produced naturally by your body. One of its main functions is to tell your blood vessels to vasodilate, meaning to relax the inner muscles of the vessels, causing them to open up and increase circulation.
As your circulation increases, the blood, nutrients, and oxygen is able to travel throughout your body, especially to your nether regions, more effectively and efficiently.
Here are a few ways you can boost your nitric oxide levels:
- Eat foods that are high in nitrates. This includes celery, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, and arugula.
- Increase your intake of antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and E.
- Take nitric-oxide-boosting supplements, specifically with the ingredients L-arginine and L-citrulline. Both have been shown to increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.
- Exercise helps boost your nitric oxide levels.
- Consider red light therapy, which will increase your stem cell production.
As you grow older, your body starts to decrease the production of nitric oxide. Dr. Killen advises, “it’s really important for general health and also for sexual health to keep those nitric oxide levels as high as possible.”
#3: Optimize your hormones
Your hormones — testosterone for men, and estrogen and progesterone for women — play a huge role in your sex drive.
Unfortunately, as your age goes up, your hormone levels go down. And hypoactive sexual desire and sexual dysfunctions occur as a result.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your hormones:
- Get some sun. Vitamin D helps with hormone production and the light helps with nitric oxide production.
- Hormone replacement therapy. It helps prevent some hormonal changes that come with age.
- Changes in lifestyle. A healthier lifestyle has been shown to help with testosterone levels.
“There are different hormones that can be useful depending on your age, how far you are in menopause, your genetics, and things like that,” explains Dr. Killen in an interview with BB&R.
#4: Stem cell therapy
Dr. Killen calls stem cells “your body’s repairmen” because they kickstart your body’s stem cells to regenerate tissues again. And who better to talk about regenerative medicine than her and her partner, Dr. Harry Adelson, a leading specialist in stem cell therapy and trained naturopathic physician.
In a podcast interview with Vishen, founder and CEO of Mindvalley, Dr. Adelson explains there are a lot of things that can be done to control your cellular aging. That doesn’t mean to go searching for the fountain of youth, but to slow down the process so that your body is healthier for longer.
If we’re going to go into century-long levels of aging, we want to make sure that our bodies are working fine in our later years.— Vishen, founder and CEO of Mindvalley
The idea behind regenerative medicine and stem cells is to “trick the body into thinking that it’s been reinjured,” which then triggers the body to launch its natural healing response. He says, “we’re addressing the cause and we’re using the healing power of nature.”
And Dr. Killen’s suggestion for stem cell therapy?
- For men: Priapus Shot, which injects platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the penis.
- For women: O Shot, which injects PRP into the vagina and clitoris.
Stem cell research has come a long way since its discovery in 1981 by Martin Evans of Cardiff University.
#5: Shockwave therapy
If you’re imagining one of those lie detectors that shock you when you’re not telling the truth, like in the movies, don’t worry. Shockwave therapy is nothing like that.
This protocol, also known as “extracorporeal shock wave therapy” uses high-intensity sound waves that are emitted through a handheld device. The waves “shock” the genitals and its benefits include:
- Boosts sexual drive
- Helps with erectile dysfunction
- Increase blood flow to the area
- Enhances orgasms
According to Dr. Killen, “it creates a microtrauma in the tissue that sends out all these signals that do things like increase blood vessel formation, increase local nitric oxide production, and recruit stem cells to the area.”
#6: Vaginal lasers
When women go into menopause, the lining of their vaginal walls starts thinning. This can then cause a decrease in lubrication and elasticity, which makes sex uncomfortable.
Welcome to a world with access to vaginal lasers. “I love the fact that we finally have something in our arsenal that we can use for women with sexual dysfunction,” says Dr. Killen. “We haven’t had that many effective treatments for women up until now.”
Vaginal lasers use a combination of light and/or heat to sort of get the cells around the vaginal tissues to increase collagen, elastin, and blood flow. This therapy has been shown to improve vaginal health, including:
- Tone and tightness of the vagina
- Vaginal lubrication
- Stress incontinence (when urine leaks during physical movement or activity)
- Increase in sensitivity
- Boost in pleasure
Thank goodness for modern medical technology. And as Frau Farbissina from Austin Powers yells, “Fire the laser!”
Discover Your Power With Mindvalley
If you’re a Mindvalley Member, check out Vishen’s discussion about Regenerative Sexual Health with Dr. Killen. The episode highlights the big myths about sexual health for both men and women, how to reverse erectile dysfunction, and practical tools to have a healthy and vibrant sex life way into your golden years.
Because there is more to your sexual health than being sexually active.
Sexual health is not a luxury. Sex isn’t just feel good. It’s one of the main pillars of health that supports us in this quest for longevity.— Dr. Amy Killen, anti-aging and regenerative medicine physician who specializes in sexual medicine
Mindvalley Quests are set up to help you with that — WildFit for your nutrition, 10X for your fitness, The M Word for your mind, and so much more. These programs are not only going to help with your wellbeing but with your sex life too.