Women’s low sex drive (or loss of libido) is a common problem that affects many women at some point in their life. It’s often linked to relationship issues, like trust issues, lack of communication/connection, unresolved conflict or arguments, fighting. Stress or tiredness, and/or underlying medical problems, such as hormone deficiency, can also be causes for loss of sexual desire in women.
However, fear not. There are actionable steps you can take to fix women’s low sex drive.
Whether it’s hormonal, or a change in brain chemistry, many women have trouble shutting off their everyday brains to prioritize pleasure, which can put major stress on a marriage and affect a woman’s self- esteem. Sexual chemistry is not just about you and your partner, it’s all about your relationship with your brain and the chemicals necessary to increase your interest and heighten your arousal when it comes to sex.
This post explains what low sex drive really means, some common causes of women’s low sex drive, and what to do to fix it.
What Is Low Sex Drive In Women
Everyone’s sex drive is different and there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ libido. This means the frequency of sexual intercourse has actually nothing to do with sexual desire or satisfaction. There is no ‘normal’ frequency or set of behaviors, and things change with time and as we age. As long as it works for the individual and/or their partner, there is no problem.
But when a woman experiences a significant loss of sexual desire, which is having an effect on her life and is causing distress, then it’s a good idea to get medical help. Specifically, if your lack of sex drive has lasted more than six months, you could be suffering from a condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). The American Sexual Health Association defines HSDD as follow:
The absence of sexual fantasies and thoughts, and/or desire for or receptivity to, sexual activity that causes the person distress or difficulties in her relationship.
It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women have HSDD, which makes it the most common sexual dysfunction in females.
Brain scan studies have revealed a slowdown in activity in areas of the brain that are important in sexual response for women affected by HSDD. This means both that a chemical imbalance in the brain can affect sexual desire, and that the condition can improve with the right medical treatment.
The key aspect that makes HSDD a condition worth seeking attention is the associated distress surrounding a woman’s loss of sexual desire. Women suffering from HSDD would like to have sex, likely had it in the past, and are upset by their lack of sex drive. Some women may experience low desire but aren’t actually upset or worried about it. This might be the case for women that are asexual, for example. While both HSDD and asexuality involve a lack of sexual desire, HSDD is a treatable medical condition while asexuality is simply a sexual orientation, which isn’t harmful to a person’s health or happiness.
Low Sex Drive In Women: Possible Causes
Not every woman that has low or no sexual desire is experiencing HSDD. A loss of sexual desire in women can be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors and not attributable to a medical problem.
Let’s have a look at some possible non-HSDD causes of low sex drive in women.
Interpersonal Relationship Issues
One of the first things to consider is whether you’re happy in your current relationship. A loss of sexual desire in women can be the result of many factors: partner performance problems, lack of emotional satisfaction with the relationship, being in a long-term relationship and becoming overfamiliar with your partner, unresolved conflict and frequent arguments, difficulty trusting each other, and many more.
In this case, you and your partner might want to try relationship counseling to see if the issue can be resolved.
Stress, anxiety and exhaustion can have a major impact on your happiness, including your sex drive. If you feel you’re constantly tired, stressed or anxious, you may need to make some lifestyle changes or speak to your doctor for advice.
Mental illnesses such as depression, or medical conditions, such as endometriosis, fibroids, and thyroid disorders, may impact a woman’s sex drive both mentally and physically. A low sex drive can also be a side effect of antidepressants and other medicines such as blood pressure lowering drugs, and oral contraceptives. These in particular can lower a woman’s sex drive by decreasing available testosterone levels or affecting blood flow.
It’s important to see a doctor if you think you might be depressed or have other physical medical conditions.
Aging and Menopause
A reduced sex drive is not an inevitable part of aging, but it’s something many women experience as they get older and enter menopause. There can be many reasons for this, including lower levels of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and various age-related health problems, including mobility problems.
There are treatments to increase hormone levels if low levels are causing problems, such as the bioidentical hormone replacement therapy performed by Dr. Jennifer Berman. To learn more about these treatments, ask a question, or schedule your first appointment, contact Dr. Berman’s office or email her directly.
Pregnancy, Giving Birth, Breastfeeding
Loss of interest in sex is common during pregnancy, after giving birth and while breastfeeding. This is caused by changes to hormone levels, by also by issues with body image in pregnant women, exhaustion and changed priorities, such as focusing on looking after a baby. All issues that should improve over time, both worth keeping under control in case they don’t.
Underlying Health Problems
Any long-term medical condition can affect a woman’s sex drive. This may be a result of the physical and emotional strain these conditions can cause, or it may be a side effect of treatment. For example, a low sex drive can be associated with heart disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism (when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones), cancer or a major surgery, such as a total hysterectomy, which removes both the uterus and ovaries.
Alcohol and drugs
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol over a long period can reduce your sex drive, so it’s a good idea to not drink excessive amounts. Drug misuse is also linked to a loss of sex drive.
Women’s Low Sex Drive: How To Fix It
Because a loss of sexual desire in women is caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, it usually requires a combination of different treatment approaches to fix the problem. Once the factors causing low sexual desire have been determined, potential treatment options may include:
- Sex therapy and/or relationship counseling, alone or with a woman’s partner, to address any mental health or relationship issues that may be present. Sexual dysfunction usually affects both parties in a relationship and should be discussed together or individually with a mental health professional.
- Changing medications. If the problem is caused by medications, a change of prescription or alternative therapies may be recommended. The same goes for oral contraceptives that might be lowering testosterone levels. In this case, a different formulation or nonhormonal birth control methods may be prescribed.
- Addressing underlying medical conditions. Medical problems contributing to low sexual desire may require surgical treatment, such as the removal of painful fibroids or medication.
- Testosterone therapy. Although no hormone or drug has been approved by the FDA to treat sexual problems in women, many gynecologists recommend off-label uses of testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire to restore testosterone to normal (pre-menopausal) levels.
- Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Bioidentical hormones are molecularly and chemically identical to the hormones your body naturally produces. They are derived from plants and can be used to optimize and restore hormone balance during perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. By optimizing hormone balance, women can address their low sex drive symptoms and reinvigorate their sexual health and libido for a better quality of life. To learn more about hormone replacement therapy performed by Dr. Jennifer Berman, you can contact her directly here.
- CBD Oil. CBD oil has been used to treat a wide range of symptoms in women holistically, including hormone imbalance. Which is why it has been used by women experiencing estrogen stress or hormonal imbalance. Both pre- and post-menopausal women have reported positive changes in their sexual health from the use of CBD oil. The natural compounds in CBD have been proven to relax blood vessels and increase blood flow when applied directly to the vulva. Women who have used CBD oil in the bedroom have reported intense feelings of pleasure, decreased levels of inflammation, decreased pain and more relaxed muscles, which is why CBD has been rising in popularity.
It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women have HSDD, which makes the most common sexual dysfunction in females. Women’s low sex drive and related distress can negatively impact a woman’s life, but can be fixed.
Luckily, women who suffer from low sex drive or hormone deficiency don’t have to face their problems alone any longer. Dr. Jennifer Berman is world-renowned as a leading authority in the field of women’s sexual health and has a vast amount of experience in treating women who live with hypoactive sexual desire. Women who go through menopause, experience hormone deficiency, and need compassionate low libido therapy from an experienced urologist, come to The Berman Women’s Wellness Center in Beverly Hills. Here, Dr. Berman offers a wide variety of treatments for women experiencing low libido, and can custom create a solution to bring back your passionate play. She also supports the initiative of the ‘Right To Desire’ movement to raise awareness around this condition.
To learn more about HSDD, women’s low sex drive and what to do to fix it contact Dr. Jennifer Berman today to schedule your consultation with a credible and relatable authority in women’s sexual and menopausal health.