Maybe you’re suddenly experiencing a lack of interest in sex, or maybe you’ve never had that strong of a sex drive. Either way, experiencing low or fluctuating libido can be confusing and may even make you feel like something is wrong. Sex drive varies greatly among women. However, if you experience limited or no sexual desire for six months or more, you could be experiencing HSDD. This is a form of sexual dysfunction called hypoactive sexual desire disorder.
Here’s what you need to know:
Signs of a Low Sex Drive
- Little or no sexual thoughts or fantasies.
- No interest in sex, masturbation, or other sexual activities.
- You worry about your lack of sexual fantasies and activity.
- A disinterest in initiating sex.
- Trouble experiencing pleasure from sex.
Many different factors can affect your sex drive. Here are some to be aware of:
- Medication: Oral contraceptives (birth control pills), antidepressants, and other medications carry a risk of side effects, including low libido.
- Relationship challenges: Relationship challenges can cause you to feel less drawn to sex. Examples include not connecting emotionally with your partner, or the stress of caring for a new child.
- Low estrogen: As you age and reach your menopausal years, your estrogen levels may fall. This can contribute to a low sex drive as well as vaginal dryness that can make sex painful and uncomfortable.
- Pregnancy-related hormone changes: Your hormone levels change during pregnancy and after you give birth. These changes, along with the stress of caring for a new baby, can sometimes lower your libido.
- Medical problems: Depression, thyroid disorders, endometriosis, and fibroids can all play a role in lowering your sexual desire.
- Stress: If you’re experiencing a lot of stress in your work life or home life, you may experience low libido.
- Mental health problems: Poor body image, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, a history of sexual abuse, and other psychological conditions can all affect your sex drive.
There are many ways to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and the treatment that’s most effective varies from person to person. Effectiveness depends on the reason why you’re experiencing low libido. For example, if your condition is related to stress, your provider will look for ways to help you reduce stress. If it’s anxiety or depression related, speaking to a counselor or getting regular exercise may help. Other ways to treat HSDD include Kegel exercises, masturbating, speaking with your partner about your desires and what is pleasing to you sexually, or taking medication.
When to See Your Health Care Provider
If you’re unhappy or concerned about your lack of sexual desire, it can be helpful to see a women’s health provider or a therapist. Trained professionals are skilled at helping you address and work through low libido, whether this involves changing your medication, lowering your stress levels, or something else.
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- Understanding the Female Sexual Response Cycle
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- Can’t Climax? Here Are Some Tips
- Anorgasmia in Women
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Women’s Health Arizona. As Arizona’s largest ObGyn group, we’re trained and solely dedicated to delivering the best ObGyn experience in convenient and comfortable settings around Phoenix.