So what can you do about it? In addition to keeping up with your arthritis treatment and staying on top of any bouts with depression, try these tips from Ava Cadell, PhD, a sex therapist and the author of Love Around the House:

Request hands-on help.
Ask your partner to give you a gentle massage. Being touched promotes blood circulation, relieves tension, and increases sexual arousal, Cadell explains.

Stimulate yourself.
Arouse feelings of intimacy by stimulating all five of your senses, Cadell advises. You may not feel “in the mood,” but lowering the lights, putting on music, and eating a bit of chocolate can help you forget about your arthritis pain. Why chocolate? The dark dessert contains a compound that boosts your body’s production of endorphins, which increase sexual desire, according to a study from Italian researchers.

Start with a kiss.
Foreplay really can’t be overrated. Kissing and embracing your partner releases a rush of endorphins into your body, Cadell says. You’ll be surprised how quickly a little necking can rev your sexual engine.

Compliment your partner.
And ask him to compliment you in return. The bedrock of romance and intimacy is communication, Cadell says. “You’ll be amazed what a few kind or encouraging words from your partner can do for your sex drive.”

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