Libido is never constant; sometimes you have strong urge to seek sexual satisfaction, while in other occasions you don’t feel like it. Sex drive fluctuates throughout a woman’s life, it has its highs and lows. That said, as you’re approaching menopause that marks the next chapter of your life, low libido is more pronounced. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Is there anything you can do about it? You’ll find answers to these questions below.
What leads to low sex drive?
First, it’s important to clarify that frequency of sex has nothing to do with low libido. Most women are convinced that they experience low sex drive because they don’t have intercourse often, but scientists say that’s not the reason. If the current sex frequency works for you and your significant other, there is no issue. The problem occurs when a woman experiences a significant decline in interest to have sex that is having a major impact on her life and causing stress.
Low sex drive occurs due to a multitude of reasons, and it’s also one of the most common symptoms of menopause. One study analyzed a sample of 450 pre- and postmenopausal women aged 20 to 60 with self-reported low sexual desire and related distress. Results, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, showed that 27% of premenopausal and 34% of postmenopausal women are strongly dissatisfied with the current sex drive. More than 70% of participants attributed low libido to body image and lower self-esteem. However, although 90% of ladies reported they’d like to have sex or desire for intercourse more often and 95% said it would be meaningful to experience one, two or more satisfying sexual experiences per month, most of them didn’t ask any help for their problem whatsoever. Scientists explain it’s a major issue that women don’t realize low sex drive is treatable.
Before you get to find out different ways to boost your sex drive, let’s discuss causes of this issue more thoroughly. Below, you can see various factors that impact your desire for intercourse:
Fluctuating levels of hormones have a significant influence on the entire organism, and your sex drive is not an exception. For example, in menopause levels of estrogen decline significantly, thus decreasing your interest in sex. The lower amount of this essential hormone also leads to vaginal dryness which is associated with painful or uncomfortable sex. In this case, your sex drive drops because you don’t want to feel that pain again. Fortunately, you can easily solve this problem with lubricant or using female arousal oils such as Zestra to have a comfortable and satisfying sex.
Menopause isn’t the only time of your life when sex drive drops due to hormonal changes. For instance, hormone changes during pregnancy, just after giving birth to a baby, or when breastfeeding also pulls a plug on your sexual desire.
Decreased libido isn’t only a physical problem; the underlying cause can be psychological. For example:
- History of sexual or physical abuse
- Lack of confidence
- Mental health problems e.g. anxiety, depression
Negative body image
- Previous negative sexual experiences
According to a study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, female desire to have sex isn’t strictly hormonal. Women who reported that they had fewer sad moods and being more emotionally satisfied in a relationship had more sexual desire than their counterparts, CNN reports. Indeed, for most women emotional closeness is the essential component of a healthy sex life, they need to experience love and support to yearn for sex. Low sex drive is often a result of the following:
- Infidelity or another type of breach of trust
- Lack of communication regarding sexual needs and preferences
- Lack of connection with your partner
- Unhealthy relationship or marriage
- Unresolved problems
Female sex drive is complex, and it is influenced by multiple factors. For instance, research from the journal Hormones and Behavior found that environmental exposure to di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (manufactured chemical commonly added to plastics to make them flexible) is strongly associated with low interest in sex and reduced sexual activity in premenopausal women.
Furthermore, low sex drive is also linked to the following:
- Sexual problems e.g. pain during intercourse, inability to achieve an orgasm
- Diseases e.g. arthritis, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, etc.
- Having a surgery
- Excessive alcohol consumption, while one glass of red wine can help improve sexual arousal, too much alcohol does the opposite
Improving sex drive
As seen above, the majority of women don’t seek help for this treatable problem. Schedule an appointment and see your doctor who will recommend the most successful approach. Besides that, you can also use the following tips to boost libido:
- Use dietary supplements
- Manage stress
- Connect with your partner on an emotional level through communication, feel free to talk about sex, desires, preferences and make sure you resolve all issues
- Set aside time for passion and intimacy
- Ditch bad habits such as drinking too much alcohol
- Spice up your sex life with different positions, sex toys, and location
- Meditate, practice yoga
- Try acupuncture
- Consult your doctor about disease you have or medications you’re taking
A broad range of physical, emotional, and hormonal reasons affect female sex drive. Both premenopausal and postmenopausal ladies report this problem, but a vast majority of them don’t do anything to solve it. Remember, this issue is treatable, and you can have a healthy sex life again with simple lifestyle tweaks, communication with your partner, and consulting your doctor to understand the problem. In fact, some women report better sex life after menopause, and you can be one of them.
Kathy Mitchell was born in the USA. She has done MA in English Literature. She loves to publish her article on different health and beauty websites. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest. Follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.