Though everyone differs in their sex drive and are bound to fluctuate over a period of time due to certain circumstances, studies have shown that the sex drive in women become much lesser and more complicated than in men. Medically, lack of libido (sex drive) is termed as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) which is a common problem with women of all ages. Generally, in women, this happens because of both mental and physical factors.
Due to the complicated situations which result in low sexual desire in women, the treatment is very difficult and just consumption of a pill does not help. When it comes to diagnosis, doctors not only ask questions about the medical history but also might ask to conduct a pelvic test for checking any physical changes causing the problems, blood tests for checking hormone levels or other problems like diabetes or high cholesterol that add to lower sex drive, or recommend a counsellor for psychological problems.
Why does it happen?
The common causes which reduce libido can be classified in four broad categories: Psychological problems, Hormonal changes, Physical issues and Relationship problems.
- Stress – This lowers sex drive in both men and women. Studies have shown that libido in women gets lower due to stress than in men as they are more prone to getting stressed quickly. Work stress, financial stress, family stress, peer stress and other stresses increase cortisol which is the stress hormone and lowers the production of sex hormones.
- Depression or anxiety – Higher levels of stress result in causing depression or anxiety. This further lowers the sex drive and women almost has no interest in sex who are suffering from these mental health problems.
- Sexual abuse – Women are more prone to sexual abuse and become more susceptible to lowered Sexually abused women generally develop fear with sexual relationships and desire. This also leads to added stress and depression in women.
- Bad sexual experience in the past – Sometimes when you have a negative sexual experience in the past, you tend to have a feeling that your experience will not be good again which might not be case. This perception at the back of the mind lowers sexual desires as well and especially in cases of women.
- Pregnancy – After childbirth, a woman undergoes a lot of hormonal changes which lowers sex drive and remain too exhausted to have sex. Caring a baby becomes a priority in mothers rather having sex.
- Menopause – Due to natural ageing, the estrogen levels decrease in women which ultimately results in menopause. This hormonal change lowers sexual drive in women and also cause women to have dry vaginal tissues which results in uncomfortable or painful sex. However, this is not the case with all women and many women reported to feel sexier and have better orgasms after menopause.
- Surgery – Undergoing surgery also results in lowering sex drive, especially breast surgeries or genital surgeries. This might result in hormonal imbalances or proper sexual function.
- Medications or drug abuse – Usually some contraceptive pills, anti-depressants, drugs to lower blood pressure or sugar, and other medications may have side effects resulting in lowering sex drive. There are other drugs like painkillers, sleeping pills, heroin, cough medicines among others may be addictive which if included in lifestyle habits, lowers libido.
- Fatigue – If you are exhausted taking care of your baby or aging parents, work-load, recovering from surgery or illness, you will be low on energy to have sex lowering your sex drive.
- Medical diseases – Medical health problems also decrease libido. High blood sugar levels, arthritis, cancer, neurological disorders among others lower sex drive. One of the most common health problems in women is anemia which results in low blood flow. The lower the blood flow the lower will be the sex drive.
- Addictions – Studies have also confirmed that excessive smoking or alcohol consumption might result in lowering sex drive in both men and women as this decreases the blood flow in the body.
In many women, emotional attachment with their partner plays a significant role in sexual intimacy and if there is a relationship problem, it might decrease interest in sex lowering libido. Here are the general issues in relationship which affects sex drive adversely:
- Conflicts with partner
- Poor connection and communication with partner
- Lack of trust in partner
Different Ways to Boost Sex Drive in Women
Some of the proven ways which you can add in your lifestyle to increase libido are:
- Exercising – With decrease in blood flow, both sex drive and energy levels get lowered. You need to exercise a bit regularly in order to increase the blood circulation in your body. This may include jogging, dancing, a brisk walk, or working out at gym.
- Meditation and yoga – Meditation will help you a lot to de-stress yourself and calm your Yoga on the other hand will boost the blood circulation and energy levels in your body. Also, it loosens up the pelvic muscles for having better and comfortable sex.
- Vitamins and iron intake – Vitamin intake not only detoxifies your body but also boosts the sex hormone production. Vitamin B6 regulates hormonal activity and helps treating hormonal imbalances. Intake of iron rich food or pills increase blood cells which increases the blood flow resulting in increased sex
- Eating chocolate – Studies have shown that dark chocolate increases sex drive with the release of serotonin and phenethylamine which also lifts up your
- Changing Lifestyle Habits – Quitting smoking and high alcohol consumption is very essential to help the blood circulation in your body revving up libido.
- Increase communication with partner – The more you interact with your partner the lesser will be the chances of developing any relationship problems resulting in great sex life.
- Using vaginal lubes – The estrogen keeps the vaginal epithelium moist and lower levels of estrogen makes your vagina resulting in uncomfortable and painful sex decreasing libido. The vaginal lubes help to keep your vagina moist and soft for better sexual experience.
- Using suction vibrators – The suction vibrators are devices approved by FDA are used to increase libido by applying suction on the clitoris.
- Counseling and medication alteration – Counseling helps a lot for treating the psychological problems and also helps with relationship problems. If some drugs are detected to decrease libido, doctors might consider changing the prescribed medication.
- Medications for increasing libido – Filibustering, an anti-depressant proved by FDA also helps to increase libido in women. There are also some other herbal supplements which increase libido in women. Panax Ginseng and Maca root are well-known to increase libido in both men and women.
Decreasing libido might be a result of bad health and/or lifestyle and you should consult with a doctor to find the exact cause. It could be something way more serious then low libido (the same goes for men with low libido).
The good news is that there are many ways to combat low libido and most of them will benefit your overall health.