Sex drive issues in various forms affect nearly 50% of women. Relationship issues, anger, and resentment towards themselves all result from unaddressed sex drive issues.
Cultural aspects of a women's upbringing, such as religion and subtle messages about female body anatomy passed through generations, also affect women's sexuality. Familial and cultural influences have a lot to do with the psychological aspect of female sexuality.
If your background and upbringing included harboring shame towards your own body, or subtle messages that having sexual desires is wrong or immoral, you are most likely to experience low sex drive.
Here are the 5 most common reasons that lead to low libido in women.
Stress is one of the most frequent causes of low sex drive. Common stressors that affect the women's overall wellbeing including her sex drive include:
- Financial problems: debt, low income.
- Stress at work: hostile and dysfunctional work environment, long hours, overworking, lack of motivation and appreciation for the made efforts.
- Relationship problems: unaddressed relationship issues, lack of communication about sex, lack of emotional support.
- Family issues: parenting and pregnancy, or not having enough help and support with children and housework.
While only a doctor can pinpoint the exact causes of low sex drive, you can do a lot to relieve stress from your life and regain a sense of balance and satisfaction. While getting the right treatment to help you overcome low sex drive, you can try easing the load in your daily life by:
- Getting more help at home.
- Prioritizing friends and quality time with family over housework.
- Getting more sleep, even at the cost of unfinished work.
- Addressing relationship issues. Would your relationship benefit from counseling? Could you and your partner spend more time together and regain the lost connection?
- Talking about sex. Don’t keep your problem to yourself. If sex is a taboo topic in your circles, find friends who you trust enough to share your struggles.
Physical illness can affect your body in a way that reduces your desire for sex. Some of the most frequent physical and mental causes for low sex drive include:
- Injury. Any injury that affects reproductive organs, as well as nerves and blood vessels can reduce sex drive. Disrupted blood flow to female genitals often results in reduced sex drive. Procedures like hysterectomy, but also injuries that result from childbirth, link to less desire for sex.
- Chronic illness, particularly pain, harms the overall physical and mental wellbeing. A range of illnesses, from hormonal imbalance, hypothyroidism, diabetes, anemia, or neurological disorders, all affect the female body's normal functioning. If these conditions affect healthy sleep and disrupt normal daily routines, it's normal for women to feel 'out-of-place' and lose the sense of balance necessary for a healthy sex life.
- Mental problems. Anxiety and depression most often reduce sex drive in women. Aside from underlying issues with self-love and self-confidence, depression and anxiety drain physical energy. This further results in a sluggish, tired feeling that doesn't go hand-in-hand with a vibrant sex life. If you're taking medications for mental illness, such as anti-depressants, or regular treatment for other chronic illness, the side effects can also include low sex drive.
What can you do to reduce the effect on illness on your sex drive? You can discuss the issue with your physician. They will recommend you the right methods to improve your mood and regain energy. Healthy lifestyle changes in this case include:
- More rest and leisure time. If you're coping with chronic illness and trying to keep up with usual routines, you can get overworked and more exhausted than you have to be. Ease the load of daily work and focus on healing.
- Diet improvements. With most illnesses, a healthier diet with fewer carbs helps increase energy levels. Consult a dietitian to tailor a diet plan specifically for your health situation and lifestyle.
- Physical activity. An appropriate amount of exercise and outdoor activities for your condition will help you feel more relaxed and energized.
Imbalances in hormone levels, such as cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones, affect sex drive.
- Cortisol levels can fluctuate due to daily stress. If you constantly feel tired, overall drained and overwhelmed, it's possible your cortisol levels are off-the-chart. Cortisol also links to blood sugar problems and cravings for unhealthy foods. If you feel like you're constantly running around, feeling restless, but not energized, you should look into your cortisol levels.
- Estrogen, the main hormone to affect women's health, causes many health issues once out of balance. Aside from reduced sex drive, increase or low levels of testosterone link to bloating, sudden weight gain, mood swings, dryness of the vagina, light or heavy periods, and abnormal Pap smears.
- Underactive thyroid causes fatigue and rapid weight gain. It will also cause you to feel constantly tired and be in a bad mood. Treating underactive thyroid is simple, but you need a detailed health check to make sure the gland is healthy.
- Testosterone typically starts declining in your twenties, which is why you might experience low sex drive. Problems with acne and skin tags, hair loss, excess hair, anxiety, and infertility, are only some of the problems caused by testosterone disbalance.
Women's sex drive naturally decreases starting at the age of 40, with menopause playing a vital role. Women's high sex drive after 40 is also common and can result from reduced stress with children leaving home and not having to bother with birth control due to menopause. Crashing estrogen levels in the women past 40 cause the women to feel less desire for sex. In addition, the abrupt menopause, a condition that takes place once the women's reproductive organs get removed (*e.g hysterectomy), can also affect sex drive.
Be aware how your sex drive is related to your cycle
Tracking sex frequency with Flo allows you to notice patterns in your sex drive in relation to your period.
Taking too much alcohol and cigarettes over an extended period of time can reduce sex drive, or even cause impotence.
Alcohol can also reduce your chances of getting pregnant, especially if you're experiencing fertility issues. Cutting back on alcohol and smoking, and focusing on a healthy lifestyle is an overall better option for you, and it can affect your sex drive in a positive way.
Mental illness can reduce stress drive, put underlying psychological problems that don't require treatment can have a lot to do with your sex drive. Here are some of the underlying problems that are affecting your desire for sex:
- Confidence and self-esteem. A woman needs to carry love and acceptance for herself and her own body in order to have a healthy sex life. If your confidence is shaken, you could feel insecure about your body and desire less sex.
- Trauma and abuse. Being in an abusive relationship, whether the abuse is emotional, physical, or sexual, can cause low libido in women.
- Childhood trauma. Dysfunctional and unhealthy views on the female body and sexuality can pass through generations, and these familiar influences can stand in the way of feeling liberated and enjoying sex.
If you’re wondering how to improve your sex drive, the answer is as complex as the condition itself. Working with a right team of experts, that includes a physician, a therapist, and a sex therapist will help you regain physical health and solve psychological issues that result in less desire for sex.
There are many low sex drive remedies available in pharmacies and drug stores, but you shouldn't use them without consulting your doctor. Women's sex drive pills are a pharmaceutical innovation, and they might help you overcome your issues. Still, considering how complex low sex drive issue is, you want to look into the right causes behind it.
What drives women's libido is a tender balance between physical and mental health, as well as satisfaction with one's self and personal relationships. When a woman experiences distress in one or multiple of these areas, be it physical illness, stress, or being in a bad relationship, sexual dysfunction might follow.
To overcome low sex drive and regain a healthy relationship with your own body, you must look into the major reasons for low sex drive and how they're affecting you. While it's normal to feel a lack of desire for sex at times, you should seek help if the issue starts to concern you.
You don't have to have a diagnose of any illness to treat low sex drive. If you feel like lack of sexual desire is causing you distress, or you simply want to improve quality of life (sex included), physicians and therapists are there to help.