Shortly after switching from an IUD to the pill, I noticed a sharp decline in my libido. While I loved that my period was shorter and lighter, my desire to get down became virtually nonexistent within the first couple months of being on the pill. I started to explore different methods to increase my sex drive and stumbled on maca root, a supplement derived from a Peruvian plant that's believed to improve energy levels and sexual function, among other benefits.
Out of curiosity — and honestly, a little bit of desperation — I decided to try a little experiment. I consumed maca once daily for several days, and incredibly, I saw a noticeable change in my sex drive and ability to become aroused, as well as my energy levels. While my partner and I found many things to be helpful in reactivating our sex life, maca seemed to be just the push I needed to get back in the mood. So, I spoke with experts to find out just how likely that is to be the case.
Can Maca Root Actually Boost Your Sex Drive?
Tiffany Woodus, MD, FACOG, a board-certified ob-gyn, explained that, due to the relatively small number of trials — and the quality and size of these studies — it's difficult to draw firm conclusions. More rigorous studies are needed to understand the full scope of maca's potential benefits. Dr. Woodus said she encourages her patients who are experiencing low libido to first examine any underlying issues, such as poor body image, stress, or communication issues that may exist within their relationships. "Thinking outside the box and opening yourself to safe sexual exploration — new positions, enhancers, locations — can be helpful," she told POPSUGAR.
Shani Hart, a certified sex coach, sex educator, and co-owner of Hart's Desires Erotic Boutiques, pointed out that when it comes to natural remedies such as maca, "it's really hard to pinpoint which ingredients work best for consumers overall because everyone's bodily makeup is so different." Factors like your diet, weight, and overall health may affect whether the supplement will work, Hart explained. For low libido that seems to stem from oral contraceptives, she always recommends first seeking help from your ob-gyn, in case there are other options that may work better for you.
What If I Want to Try It Anyway?
If you're curious, maca is most commonly sold in powder or capsule form and can be found at most health food stores. Capsules should be taken according to the specifications on the label, while the powder can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or even your morning coffee. However, if you're looking to add this supplement to your diet, it's always best to consult your physician beforehand to ensure it's safe for you and to avoid any possible interactions with other medications.