Not in the mood for sex? You’re not alone – women are having less boom in the bedroom than movies and magazines would have us believe. But you can learn to love loving, writes Charmaine Yabsley

Sex isn’t the be all and end all of coupling. “It’s more important to be open to sexual gestures from partners,” says Dr Pan.

“By introducing less-threatening actions, or physical activity which may not require input from the woman – such as massage, or kissing and holding hands – a woman will find this comforting without pressure. This can be helpful and increase bonding and emotional atmosphere. Once this is sustained a woman may be able to find it easier to be turned on.”

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that talking to your GP may help improve your sex life. The researchers found that women who spoke to their GP about their concerns reported greater satisfaction with their sex lives. “The biggest sexual organ is the brain,” says Dr Pan. “It’s very much a psychological thing; physically you need things to be in order, but the biggest factor is mental and psychological. As long as you have meaning and satisfaction, from whichever source it comes from, then at some stages sexual desire and response will follow.”

Happy herbs
“Black cohosh helps regulate oestrogen levels and provides symptomatic relief from hot flushes or vaginal dryness typically after two weeks,” says Leah Hechtman, president of NHAA. “Other herbs to try for mood swings and/or night sweats include a combination of zizyphus and St John’s wort. These two herbs help women feel more balanced and regulate circadian rhythm.”

Pelvic floor muscles
Your pelvic floor muscles are not just for helping you to hold your bladder. They’re also essential for helping you to experience an orgasm. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles throughout the day. Imagine a ‘pulling up’ sensation in your vagina.

Known as the natural Viagra, L-arginine provides nitric oxide, which helps to relax muscles and widen blood vessels. For men, this may help with their ability to get an erection; for women, their genitals can become more engorged and responsive.

Try homeopathy
Homeopathic remedy staphysagria may help if you’re experiencing pain.

Chilli peppers
Containing capsaicin, chilli’s can help improve your sex drive, as the chemical in them helps speed up blood flow and encourages an endorphin release similar to arousal.

This Mexican herb mimics the female hormone progesterone to help regulate sex drive.

Dark chocolate
Chocolate contains antioxidants, and studies have shown that these increase levels of nitric oxide, a chemical believed to turn men and women on. Puts a whole new spin on a hot Milo, doesn’t it?

Muira puama

This herb can elevate your levels of serotonin and is Ideal for men, as it’s believed to stimulate the production of testosterone.

Get vacuuming
It seems a few minutes of Hoovering can have a positive effect on your sex life. A US study found that men and women who did housework for 45 hours and 68 hours a week, respectively, had differing sex tallies, with the cleaning enthusiasts doing the deed 15 more times in a year.

Use sex toys or lubrication

“Lubrication is a good idea if you’re dry vaginally,” says Dr Pan. “Sex toys can be an enhancer or a detractor depending on the individual. It’s a question of being open to these things. For women, having a relationships with themselves is important: vibrators can be useful to explore themselves sexually and their sexual existence, to rediscover what’s important to them.”

Worried about your sex life? See what Dr Charmaine Saunders says about sexual dysfunction and find out the health benefits of sex.