Womens Health

Dealing With Lack of Sex Drive

Lack of sex drive is exactly what it sounds like, no or little sexual libido and no or little interest in sex. Some researchers suggest that close to 50 percent of all women suffer from low sex drive at one point or another during their lives.

This number seems unlikely high according family planning specialist Dr. David Delvin and psychotherapist Christine Webber. That said, the condition is common enough that it has been given a name: female sexual arousal disorder (FSAD). The American Medical Association estimates that several million American women suffer from the disorder.

Should I Be Concerned?

There's a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, which in medical terms means that you have recurrent or persistent lack of interest in sex that bothers you enough to cause significant personal distress.

But you don't need to meet this medical diagnosis to seek help. Even if you're simply wondering why you're not as interested in sex as you used to be, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor. There are lifestyle changes and medications that can help bring back your libido.

The Mayo Clinic reports that sexual desires in a woman fluctuate over the years of her life. A change in your need and want for sex doesn't necessarily mean a problem. Major life changes can impact your sex drive, just as pregnancy, illness or menopause can. Even the stage in which you are in a relationship can impact your sexual desire.

Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women

Loss of libido can be caused by a variety of physical or psychological reasons or relationship issues.

Physical issues include anemia, an overactive pituitary gland (hyperprolactinaemia), hormonal imbalances or abnormalities, childbirth, pregnancy and breastfeeding, drug or alcohol abuse, and major illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure. Fatigue is also a significant libido-destroyer.

Psychological reasons stress, poor body image, mental health problems like depression, low self esteem or a history of sexual or physical abuse. Even difficult living conditions like sharing a home with in-laws or parents can impact a woman's sex drive.

Relationship issues can also significantly impact a woman's sex drive. For the majority of women, emotional closeness is important for sexual intimacy. Ongoing issues like unresolved conflicts or fights can stop a woman's desire for sex. So can lack of communication of sexual needs and preferences and a lack of connection with your partner.

Getting Help

Begin by making an appointment with your family doctor or gynecologist. Don't be embarrassed about your problem and be prepared to speak candidly with your doctor.

Prepare for the conversation. Record any sexual problems you're experiencing and their frequency. Brainstorm any questions you'd like to ask your doctor and write them down so you don't forget them. Take paper and a pen along to the appointment to record the answers you receive. Create a list of any other physical, psychological or relationship concerns you have as well as a list of all medications, including vitamins and herbal supplements you're taking.

Your doctor will likely to perform a pelvic exam to look for possible causes of decreased sexual desire. Causes could be vaginal dryness or thinning of the genital tissues. He or she may recommend thyroid tests or other screening tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist to help address any emotional or relationship issues.


Estrogen therapy in the form of a pill, patch or gel may be a treatment option. Sometime testosterone therapy is an option, but there are several negative side effects and this type of hormone therapy isn't approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Lifestyle and relationship changes like exercise, reducing stress and relationship counseling can also help you regain your sexual desire. So can experimenting with your sex life and working on better communication with your partner.


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