Your partner wants to kiss and cuddle.
You want to go to sleep.
This scenario is becoming much more common than you’d like.
You might even find that you and your partner aren’t “doing it” as much as you once did or that your desire for sex is nearly nonexistent.
You may wonder, “why do I have a no sex drive?”
You may feel embarrassed to even mention the question, but don’t. You’re not alone.
“Around 43% of women report sexual problems with 22.2% reporting sexually related personal distress. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) has been regarded to be the most common female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and affects nearly 1 in 10 women.” (Ind Psychiatry J. 2018 Jan-Jun; 27(1): 154–157. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_20_16)
“All women have sexual desires and thoughts that ebb and flow throughout life, and that’s perfectly normal,” said Melinda Everett, WHNP. “Milestones such as menopause or childbirth can change how often you want to have sex. However, if your sex drive is almost completely absent or you’re having relationship issues because of it, we want to know. There can be a simple solution.”
So What Does it Mean to Have a Low Sex Drive?
Everyone is different. Some women want to have sex more often than others, and that’s okay. There’s no right or wrong number of times to have intercourse throughout the week (or month!).
The challenge comes when a lower sex drive causes issues in your relationship and creates stress. Maybe your partner is always ready to go but you’re never in the mood anymore, and no amount of romance captures your interest.
Do you have a low sex drive? It occurs when:
- You have no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
- You never (or rarely) have any sexual fantasies or thoughts
- You are concerned by this lack of sexual activity
What Are the Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women?
Sex drive is complicated. There’s a lot going on not just “down there.”
That’s why finding a reason for why you’re not turned on involves checking for several potential causes. These may include:
Pain can dull your sex drive, and vaginal dryness and thinning tissue can make intercourse painful which definitely puts a dent in your libido.
Hormones naturally fluctuate throughout a woman’s life. However, changes in these levels can have an impact on your desire for sex. We’ll also check for thyroid problems, which can affect your hormonal balance as well.
Did you know that diseases such as diabetes, cancer and arthritis can affect your sex drive? There may also be neurological causes that contribute to the condition. We want to give you an evaluation to ensure that you’re healthy.
New medications or changes in existing medications can affect your sex drive too.
Stress and anxiety can hamper your sex drive. If you’ve had a fight or conflict with your partner, this can also contribute. In addition, survivors of assault and abuse may find it more challenging to engage in sexual contact.
Our goal is to work with you to help you reignite your desire for sexual intercourse. This involves taking a comprehensive look at your overall health. We’ll be by your side as we work through diagnosis and treatment.
How to Increase Your Sex Drive
The key is to treat any underlying medical conditions that may be hampering your libido. In addition, there are a few lifestyle steps you can take to help as well. These include:
Stop Smoking, If You Smoke
Lighting up can put a damper on arousal. This is because smoking restricts blood flow, which can make it more difficult to get in the mood.
Be Mindful of Your Alcohol Use
While a glass or two of wine may help you relax, too much alcohol can actually decrease your sex drive.
Get Plenty of Sleep
You can’t be ready in the boudoir if you’re constantly exhausted from your demanding career or caring for young children. Taking care of others means taking care of yourself.
In a 2016 study of 70 women who had difficulty becoming aroused or reaching orgasm—two-thirds of participants reported increased sensation after using a vibrator for three months.
Get Help Through Sex Therapy
Reach out to a therapist who specializes in sexual function. We have a list of local providers. You can also check the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors & Therapists for therapists near you
This is a topical oil that creates a sensation of warmth in the genital area. Zestra increase satisfaction in 70% of the women enrolled in clinical trials required for FDA approval. It is available over-the-counter for around $10.
Eros Clitoral Therapy Device
Eros increases genital blood flow by applying a gentle vacuum to the clitoris. It costs around $300. A small study in the British Medical Journal demonstrated some effectiveness with no adverse outcomes in 2000.
Flibanserin (marketed in the U.S. as Addyi)
This is a daily pill. However, it is important to remember:
- It is NOT for women in menopause
- It is NOT for men
- It should NOT be taken within 2 hours of drinking alcohol
However, its effect is minimal compared to placebo. Overall, it has been disappointing since reaching the market in 2017.
Bremelanotide (marketed in the U.S. as Vyleesi)
This is an injection taken 45 minutes before sex.
It is NOT for women in menopause.
It is NOT for men.
Around 40% of the women who took this had nausea. This may be counterproductive to intimacy.
In addition, you should NOT take it if you have high blood pressure. It’s also important to note that it can cause discoloration of the skin at the injection site (leg or abdomen)
It’s vital to remember that testosterone therapy can be very nuanced, and it is best addressed as a visit, either through telemedicine or in-person.
We’re Here to Help You Get Your Sex Drive Back
There’s no one “right” level of sexual drive.
Some women naturally have one that may be a bit higher or lower than average. That’s fine. It’s when a lack of arousal causes a problem in your life that you need assistance.
Your sexuality and your sexual health is a huge part of who you are as a woman. We know that what affects one area of your body affects your entire life. That’s why we work with you to determine the underlying cause of your issue.
We’re always willing to talk to you about how to live a more fulfilling and healthy life. Contact us today for an appointment.
For more than 40 years, Chapel Hill OBGYN has served women in the Triangle area, sharing the joy of little miracles and supporting them during challenges. Our board-certified physicians and certified nurse midwives bring together the personal experience and convenience of a private practice with the state-of-the-art resources found at larger organizations. To schedule an appointment, please contact us for more information.