Our sexual desires fluctuate over time, and that’s perfectly normal. One day you’re overflowing with desire for your partner, and the next you want nothing to do with them. So many things in our daily lives affect our libido (sex drive) that we don’t even realize.
Low libido affects more women than you would think. A medical survey of 2,207 women reported that low sexual desire ranged from 26.7% among premenopausal women to 52.4% among naturally menopausal women. That’s every 1 in 3 women that experience low sex drives.
If your libido is low for a long period of time with no improvement, or if it’s happening more than what’s considered normal for you, then it might be time to get down to the bottom of whatever is causing it.
What Are Signs Of Low Libido?
What Causes Low Libido?
MenstruationWith everything you’ve got going on during you period, it’s not uncommon to have little to no sex drive. While experiencing cramps, bloating, heaches and mood swings, sex may be at the bottom of your priority list. If you experience low libido around your time of the month, have no fear, this is entirely normal.
Mental HealthThis is a big one that’s not talked about as often as it should be. Mental health problems often present themselves in physical symptoms, so it’s no surprise that low libido is one of them. Whether you’re anxious, stressed, depressed, or just overall feeling down, the desire for sex just might not be there when you have so much on your mind. If this is the case for you, take some time for self-care and prioritize whatever it is that you need to feel better.
MedicationsThis can go hand in hand with mental health if the medication is prescribed for a mental health disorder. A very common side effect of mental health medications, such as antidepressants, is low libido, which in any case is absolutely not your fault. Other medications that can contribute to low libido are birth control, antihistamines or opioids. If you’re experiencing any changes to your libido due to a medication you’re on, definitely talk to your doctor and see what options are available.
Hormone ChangesHormone changes and imbalances can be a large contributing factor to low libido. Changes to our bodies come naturally with things like pregnancy and breast-feeding. Giving birth is a BIG deal and takes a while to heal from. Plus, things down there might not be the same for a while, and that’s okay! Yes, this can effect your sex life, however, it will only be temporary. Your little bundle of joy will be both yours and your partner’s biggest priority, and the sex will eventually come back overtime. Menopause is another cause for hormone changes or imbalances. As we age, we start to experience lower amounts of sex hormones, like estrogen. Naturally, sex drive decreases with it too.
Relationship StrugglesFeeling disconnected from your partner can play a significant role in low libido. Fewelings of connection, comfort and emotional security are important for intimacy to happen. When that’s not present it can be hard to get in the mood. If you’re struggling with conflicts such as lack of communication, trust issues, or even body image, this can all contribute to lack of sexual desire.
What Can You Do About Low Libido?
Luckily, low libido is temporary and can be fixed. Depending on the circumstances, it may just take time and patience. In other instances, it may require a visit to the doctor to determine the cause and discuss potential solutions.
If your libido is struggling because of the current state of your mental health, the best thing you can do is put yourself first and take care of your needs. Talking to a trained professional like a therapist is a wonderful option to consider if you feel it’s a good fit for you. Improving your mental health can certainly improve your libido as well.
If you’re on a medication that you think is contributing to your low sex drive, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your doctor. They’ll be able to tell you what your options are and what will be best for you and your health. Whether that be trying a different medication, alterting your current dosage, or stopping altogether, together you can decide the best course of action.
The same goes for women experiencing hormonal changes through pregnancy or menopause. Your doctor will always play an important role in helping determine what the best course of treatment for you is. It’s common that with pregnancy, things go back to normal with time. With menopause, a common course of treatment is hormone replacement therapy.
In the event that your relationship is affecting your libido, it might be time to have a discussion with your partner about what’s going on and how you can work together to improve it. If you’re willing to work through things together and keep an open line of communication, you can improve your bond and feel closer. Improving your relationship means your libido will be soon to follow.
Having low libido can be frustrating and discouraging, especially when all you want to do is be intimate and connect with your partner. But chances are it won’t be like this forever and it’s not the end of the world. Once you pinpoint the cause and find a solution, you’ll eventually get your sexual appetite back and be able to start having fun in the bedroom again.