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, but if you experience limited or no sexual desire for six months or more, you could be experiencing a form of sexual dysfunction called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD.
Here’s what you need to know about low sex drive:
What are the signs of a low libido?
- You rarely or never have sexual thoughts or fantasies.
- You have no interest in sex, masturbation, or other sexual activities.
- You worry about your lack of sexual fantasies and activity.
- You don’t feel a strong interest in initiating sex.
- You have trouble experiencing pleasure from sex.
What are some reasons you may experience low sex drive?
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: If you’re unhappy and experiencing relationship challenges, you may not feel as drawn to sex as you once were. The reasons can vary greatly, from not connecting emotionally with your partner to 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 including 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.
Is there any way to treat low libido?
There are many ways to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and the treatment that’s most effective will almost always vary from person to person depending on the reason why you’re experiencing low libido. For example, if your condition is related to stress, your physician will look for ways to help you reduce stress in your life. If your low sex drive is related to anxiety or depression, 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.
Should I see a doctor if I’m experiencing low sex drive?
If you’re unhappy or concerned about your lack of sexual desire, it can be helpful to see your doctor 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.
If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.