Low libido in women is a common problem that a number has to endure. Poor sex drive is a result of many factors and can be addressed in a number of ways, you will learn all of that things here.
Are you aware that women are prone to suffering from low sex drive? According to a national survey, 48% of premenopausal women between ages 21-49 years old admits that their libido is lower than the previous years.
In addition, 81% of women admit to having sex with their partner even if they are not in the mood. Sixty-seven percent confessed that they felt this issue is not taken seriously. Meanwhile, only 14% are aware of the available treatments for poor libido levels.
If you are facing the same problems, then do not worry, we understand your concerns. In fact, this page is dedicated to helping ladies who are also going through the same problems. This page is dedicated to helping everyone understand this issue. Let’s begin!
- 1 What is Low Libido in Female?
- 2 Causes of Low Libido in Women
- 3 Symptoms of Low Libido in Females
- 4 Diagnosis of Low Libido in Females
- 5 Treatment for Low Libido in Females
- 6 Conclusion
What is Low Libido in Female?
A woman’s sexual desire fluctuates from time to time over the years. The highs and lows of your libido levels are usually affected by the major changes in your life including pregnancy, menopause, illness and beginning or end of a relationship.
Low libido is the absence of sexual desire or fantasies. Perhaps, you might find yourself saying “no” to your husband more frequently. Or maybe you become irritable whenever your husband initiates your sexy time.
The significant decrease of interest in sex becomes a problem when it already affects your life and is causing a distress. The problem of low sexual desire is also called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).
I’ll discuss the symptoms and causes of low libido in the next sections to give you a better understanding of this problem.
Causes of Low Libido in Women
A drop in your libido is not as simple as losing interest in sex. This is often related to your physical and emotional well-being. In fact, your lifestyle, experiences and current relationship can also influence your libido levels.
I’ll group the different causes of low sex drive in categories to make it easier to remember. Let’s start!
A wide range of illnesses, medications and physical changes can influence your libido.
Sexual problems – Painful sex and inability to achieve orgasm can hinder your desire to get laid.
Diseases – Numerous nonsexual diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and neurological diseases can also drop your libido levels.
Medications – Prescription medications including antidepressants and anti-seizures are notorious libido killers.
Surgery – All surgeries related to your breasts or genital tract can affect your body image, sexual function and sex drive.
Fatigue – Weariness can take a toll on your sex life. Managing your household, doing the household chores and parenting can contribute to low sex drive.
So, suggest that you divide the chores at home with your spouse. You can also hire a helper or discipline your kids to reduce their mess. Make a way to lessen your duties at home so you will have enough time and energy to get intimate with your partner.
Age. As you age, your body’s androgen production decreases. Androgen is converted into the female hormones, estrogen.
Low levels of estrogen can negatively impact your sex drive. You may experience vaginal dryness that may lead to painful sex and unstable mood and sleeping patterns that may also decrease your interest for coupling.
Your hormone levels can also influence the highs and lows of your sex drive.
Menopause – When you are about to menopause, your estrogen levels drop which may decrease your interest in sex. In addition, this may also result in dry vaginal tissues, painful and uncomfortable sex and more.
Low testosterone – Yes, you read it right, your testosterone level can also affect your mood for sex. Testosterone levels peak in women in mid-20s and it steadily drops until menopause.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding – When you are expecting, your hormones changes and this will continue after delivery when you breastfeed your baby. This process can dampen your sexual desires.
Engaging in unhealthy habits can also dampen your libido and arousal. Here are some of the things that you should avoid to keep your libido high.
- Too much alcohol
Your mental and emotional health also affect your performance in the bedroom. Here are some of the things that you should observe.
Mental health problems. Anxiety and stress can affect your interest in sex.
Stress – If your work and finances are making you anxious, it will likely make you feel the same when it comes to being intimate with your partner.
Poor body image – Your impression about your physique matters too. If you feel ugly with your body, then it will show up in the bedroom.
Physical or sexual abuse history – If someone had physically or emotionally exploited you in the past, there are chances that it will eventually haunt you and affect your desire for intimacy in the bedroom.
Negative sexual experiences. A bad encounter in the bedroom may leave you with a trauma. This can affect your attitude in coupling in the future.
For most women, emotional connection is significant to sexual intimacy. Thus, when you have relationship problems, it will have a major impact in your intimate relationship.
When your marriage is in the rocks and you lose interest in sex, this could be due to the following reasons:
- Lack of connection
- Unresolved conflicts or fights.
- Poor communications of sexual preferences
- Trust issues
Symptoms of Low Libido in Females
If you are torn whether you have a low libido problem or not, do not worry as there are signs to spot it on. In this section, I will discuss the different symptoms that you will likely experience if you have a poor sex drive.
- You do not have interest in any type of sexual activity including sexual-stimulation.
- You don’t have sexual fantasies or rarely have them.
- You don’t have any interest to initiate sex.
- You no longer enjoy and take pleasure in sex.
- You don’t feel anything when your genitals are stimulated.
- You are already bothered by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies.
Diagnosis of Low Libido in Females
If you encounter any of the signs mentioned above, then you probably need to visit a doctor. More likely, the doctor will check for the reasons about your lack of sexual desire. He will also ask for your medical history and may ask you to do the following:
Perform a pelvic exam – During this activity, your doctor can check for signs of physical changes that contribute to your low sexual desire including thinning of genital tissues, vaginal dryness and pain-triggering spots.
Recommend testing – Your doctor may order for blood tests to check your hormone levels and look for evidence of thyroid problems, diabetes, high cholesterol and liver disorders.
Refer you to a specialist – If your doctor thinks that you need more evaluation, he may refer you to a specialized counselor or sex therapist who can better evaluate the emotional and relational factors that cause your poor sex drive.
Treatment for Low Libido in Females
If you are indeed suffering from poor sex drive, do not worry because there are a number of approaches to solving this. Among the potential solutions to low libido in women are the following:
If you have sexual concerns the best persons to talk to are sex therapists or counselors that are skilled in addressing these concerns. Sex therapy often includes sexual response, techniques and recommendations for reading materials or couple’s exercises.
Couple counseling may also work if your poor sex drive is due to relationship issues. This type of counseling can help you increase feelings of intimacy and desire.
As mentioned your medical history and the medications you are taking may affect your sex drive. Thus, expect the doctor to evaluate your medications to check if any of it cause your sexual side effects.
For instance, antidepressants like paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva) and fluoxetine (Prozac and Sarafem) are known to drop sex drive.
As you age, some of the hormones that are necessary for maintaining your sex drive drops. Taking hormone supplements to make up for it may help boost your libido.
Estrogen has a positive impact in your sexual life. Estrogen delivered throughout your whole body through pills, patch spray or gel has a positive effect on your brain function and mood that affect your sexual response.
Estrogen may also be administered in the form of vaginal creams or slow-releasing suppository. This can increase blood flow to the vaginal and help improve your desire without the risks associated with systematic estrogen.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a neurotransmitter required for the production of testosterone. This hormone can rev up your sex drive.
HSDD found out that DHEA supplementation can improve sexual function in women compared to a placebo. Surprisingly, the treatment was not as effective in men.
This hormone therapy is controversial as it is not FDA approved to treat low libido in women. However, many doctors consider this and even prescribe this to their HSDD patients.
Although this is effective, some research warns that this can increase the risk of breast cancer and cardiac problems. However, more women willingly take this for a chance to recover from their poor sex drive issues. Aside from the risks, there are side effects that include body hair and acne.
This is an anti-depressant drug that works by increasing your dopamine and norepinephrine levels. Both hormones are essential for your arousal.
A study in Iran involving 232 women with HSDD learned that this can improve female libido. The women in the study were administered with either drug or placebo. After 12 weeks, almost 72% of women in the group taking this drug reported that they were “definitely satisfied” with the treatment. Only 3.7% of women in the placebo group reported the same.
According to a research published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine women suffering from low libido due to antidepressants medications experienced better sex drive and lubrication after 12 consecutive weeks of acupuncture treatment. The study yields positive results for those taking SSRI and SNRI drugs.
There are herbal supplements that you can also take to improve your libido. However, you should be mindful as most of them are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Here are some of them.
Avlimil – This offers estrogen-like effects on the body and may help you address some sexual problems. However, this can increase your risk of breast cancer.
Zestra – This botanical massage oil is applied to the clitoris, labia and vagina. A study confirmed that this can increase one’s arousal and pleasure compared to placebo oil.
However, there is a side effect. Upon application, you may feel a mild burning sensation in the genital region. This is not a good solution to women with vaginal dryness or with sensitive vaginal tissues.
Living a healthy lifestyle can help your libido levels big time. So, take the time to give yourself the following:
Mediterranean Diet – Women with type 2 diabetes who adhere to this type of diet a experienced low prevalence of sexual dysfunction despite their age.
Exercise – Do regular aerobic exercise and strength training. These activities can increase your stamina, improve your body figure, elevate your mood and boost your libido.
Yoga – A study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that after 12 weeks of yoga, women reported an increase satisfaction, desire, arousal and orgasm. It also decreases pain.
Here are some of the yoga poses that will be beneficial to your sex drive. Cat/cow stretch, cobra, downward-facing dog, tree, bound angle, plank, bridge, shoulder stand and savasana.
Cope with stress in a healthy way – Stress can creep into your daily routine through your job, financial obligations and daily hassles. This can impede your sex drive and things will get worse if you resort to unhealthy habits. So, opt to do the right things when you are stressed.
Communicate with your partner – Learn to open up with your partner because couples with good communication usually maintain a stronger emotional connection which can lead to better sex. Communication in the bedroom is as important. You have to learn to talk about your likes and dislikes for better sexual intimacy.
Set time for intimacy – Sex sounds more fun when it happens on the spur of the moment. But let’s admit it, when you are married and have tons of things in mind, you naturally forget about it.
Thus, it helps if you schedule your sexy time. This may not sound romantic, but if this is included in your to-do’s then you will be compelled to keep your sex life active.
Add spice to your sex life – If your current arrangement with your spouse does not help in your sexual intimacy, perhaps it is time to change it. Maybe you can schedule it at a different time of the day or different location. Maybe you can design your room to be romantic and to set you both for romance.
In addition, you can experiment different sexual positions, use sex toys or try playing roles to make your playtime in the bedroom more exciting. You can also ask your partner to take time on foreplay to rekindle your sexual sizzle.
End your bad habits – As mentioned, unhealthy habits can make a toll in your sex life. If you are an alcoholic, a smoker or drug dependent, this will all decrease your libido.
Thus, ditch the bad habits before it’s too late. Engage in a healthy lifestyle and observe how this will rev up your sex life.
Mindfulness Meditation – A study at the University of British Columbia followed 117 women through four 90-minute sessions based on mindfulness. This medication technique emphasizes total attention to bodily sensations of the present moment.
During the 6-month follow up, the treatment significantly improved desire, arousal and lubrication. There was also a decrease in both sex-related distress and depressive symptoms.
I understand that low libido is a tough problem. But don’t worry because there are a lot of things that you can do to boost your sex drive before you suffer HSDD. Check out our list of quick and natural ways to increase low libido.
Female low libido is a complicated thing, but if you take time to check its causes and look for symptoms, you can definitely find a solution. A number of women reported to have experienced this problem at one point in their lives and they felt uncomfortable because it somehow affected their sexual relationship with their partners.
If you are experiencing the same problem, don’t lose hope as there is a solution. However, be sure to act immediately before it affects your relationship with your partner in the bedroom.
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