When was the last time you were strongly turned on? Has it been a while? If you’re struggling to remember, or worse, if sex has lost all its charm and feels like a chore, you’re not alone. Millions of women struggle with low libido every year.
And at the end of this article, you’ll know more about the root cause of low libido… and the solutions that are more likely to work for you.
Understanding Libido: What’s Normal and What’s Not?
Let’s start with the basics. What is libido?
Your libido is the same as your sex drive — how deeply you desire to have sex and how quickly you get turned on. But your sex drive doesn’t stay the same all your life. It changes over time.
What can affect and change your libido?
Three things: stress, relationship dynamics and hormonal changes.1 So if you’re easily turned on one day, and not so quickly the next, you’re probably fine.
But if you’ve noticed that your libido has hit a consistent low point, then that is not normal. You could be facing a condition known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).2 And for most people, it severely affects their life and relationships.
If that’s you, there’s no need to be scared. HSDD is quite common and it is not a lifelong sentence. So don't let that acronym scare you. Once you figure out and fix the root cause, your sex drive will roar up to what it used to be.
Let’s look at some of the causes of low libido and what to do about each of them.
Causes of Low Libido
Most women experience low libido for three reasons. Those three reasons have something to do with their physical, psychological, and relationship wellbeing.3
Let’s look at each of them:
- Physical factors: these are factors that are merely physical… they concern the body only. Some of them include lack of sleep, excessive alcohol4, hormonal changes (especially menopause), certain medications, or health conditions. They can all affect and reduce sexual desire5.
- Psychological factors: These are related to mental health. These factors include stress, anxiety, and depression. All three can depress your libido6.
- Relationship factors: unresolved conflicts is a known cause of low libido. Another little-known factor is lack of emotional intimacy with your partner.7
So, if you’re experiencing low libido, take a moment to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. Once you put your finger on it, then the problem is already half-solved.
How to Get Your Libido Back
Getting your libido back to where it used to be is not simple. Otherwise nobody will be struggling with low libido. You might need to embrace a holistic approach that involves lifestyle changes, medical interventions, and emotional well-being8.
Here are a few strategies you can consider:
- Counseling or sex therapy: Counseling can be helpful, especially when the cause is psychological or related to relationship issues.9
- Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, enough sleep, and moderate alcohol consumption can boost your libido.10 So if you’ve been on the go for too long, consider relaxing more to let your body and libido recharge. Also consider adding natural libido-boosting supplements to your regimen. They can help.
- Therapies and treatments: Hormone therapy may be all you need.11 This is true for women that are struggling with menopause or certain health conditions. But remember, always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Studies show that the less tension you have in your body, the easier you can get turned on.12 So try some meditation, or deep breathing exercises. It will help you to not put too much pressure on your body to perform.
- Open communication: Talk to your partner about what you’re experiencing. It might feel awkward, but remember, they can’t read your mind (as much as we wish they could).
Some things you were told about libido is plain wrong
If you're struggling with low libido, you've probably been given some "sage" advice from well-meaning friends, or fallen down the rabbit hole of internet advice. But you should know that there's a sea of misconceptions out there about low libido.
Let's debunk two of the most common ones.
Myth: Only older women suffer from low libido.
Age can indeed impact libido, some younger women struggle with low libido as well. In younger women, low libido is usually caused by stress, childbirth, medications, and mental health.
Myth: If you have low libido, you don't love your partner.
Love and libido are one and the same. Many factors, unrelated to your partner, can affect your sexual desire, like hormonal imbalances or stress. And some women can feel guilty when their bodies don’t respond to their partner’s nudges.
No it has nothing to do with your feelings, and no it doesn’t mean that you don’t love them anymore. It’s just your libido that’s acting up. That’s why it’s a good idea to discuss your struggles with your partners. They’ll understand what you’re going through and also give you the support you need to push through.
Tips for Discussing Low Libido with a Partner
Here are few tips that’ll help:
Practice open communication: The fact is that you have a partner that loves you. And if they were struggling with a similar condition, you will want to know, because you will want to give them all the support they need. So don’t hold it all in! They want to help. Tell them what’s going on.
Choose the right time: It can be embarrassing to open up about our intimate needs. Doing it anyway can save you a lot of after-the-fact discussions. Discussing your libido issues right before getting frisky may not be the best idea. Find a quiet, relaxed moment to talk.
Express your love: Reassure your partner that your low libido isn't reflective of your love or attraction towards them.
While talking to a healthcare professional is crucial, here are some researched and doctor-approved products that may help you along your journey:
- Natural Supplements: Maca root and Fenugreek supplements have been found to potentially improve libido in women. However, it's crucial to consult your doctor before adding these supplements to your diet.
- Lubricants: They're not just for menopausal women. Lubricants can reduce discomfort during sex and increase overall sexual satisfaction.
Common Questions and Answers
Now, let's tackle some come FAQs about low libido:
Q: Can birth control affect my libido? A: Yes, for some women, hormonal birth control can decrease libido. Discuss alternatives with your healthcare provider if you believe this is the case for you.
Q: Can low libido be a sign of another health issue? A: Absolutely. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, or hormonal imbalances like PCOS can lead to low libido.
Q: Can lifestyle changes improve libido? A: Yes, improving diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and ensuring adequate sleep can all contribute to an improved libido.
In the end, remember that it's okay to ask for help and seek professional advice. Your sexual health matters, and there's no shame in wanting to improve it
You’re Not Alone
If you remember just one thing from this article, let it be this:
Struggling with low libido is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s certainly not something you have to just put up with. It’s not your fault, and there are plenty of resources and people out there ready to support you, from healthcare professionals to online communities.
Remember, you have the right to enjoy a satisfying and joyful love life, and seeking help is the first step towards reclaiming your sex drive.
And while you look for a solution, remember that every woman’s journey is unique. What worked for your neighbor, friend, or that influencer you follow on Instagram might not work for you.
And that’s perfectly okay. Your path is yours alone. Keep trying things, keep communicating with your physician and partner, and most importantly, keep believing in your ability to heal.
- Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder: A Diagnostic Challenge for Clinicians ↩
- Understanding and Managing Female Sexual Dysfunction ↩
- Psychological and Interpersonal Dimensions of Sexual Function and Dysfunction ↩
- Impact of Alcohol and Alcohol Mixed with Energy Drinks on Sexual Behavior: A Critical Review ↩
- Determinants of Female Sexual Arousal: Psychophysiological Theory and Data ↩
- Depression and Sexual Desire: An Exploratory Study in Patients with Depression and Healthy Subjects ↩
- The Effects of Relationship Satisfaction and Relationship Dissatisfaction on Sexual Interactions ↩
- The Return of Desire: A Guide to Rediscovering Your Sexual Passion ↩
- Sex Therapy for Female Sexual Dysfunction ↩
- The Influence of Physical Activity on Sexual Life ↩
- Female Sexual Dysfunction: Therapeutic Options and Experimental Challenges ↩