Over the course of a woman’s life, her libido may wax and wane. There are many possible causes of low libido, including depression and poor body image. Below, we examine 10 common causes of low libido in women.
Why Do Women Lose Their Libido?
When one partner has a higher libido than the other, it can put extreme strain on the relationship. The partner with the higher libido may feel rejected, frustrated and even unloved. Generally, women experience low libido more often than men, but unfortunately, it’s not always obvious what the culprit is. Here are ten of the most common reasons women lose their libido.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Those who regularly use alcohol and tobacco are at a greater risk for low libido, especially heavy, dependent users of either substance. Studies have shown that tobacco decreases libido and sexual function in men by constricting blood vessels, and it’s likely to affect women in the same way.
Poor Body Image
Women are bombarded with messages of what the ideal women is supposed to look like. Movies, advertisements, and magazines are full of examples. The cosmetics and fashion industries play on women’s insecurities in order to sell them products. As a result of all of this and other factors, many women suffer from poor body image. Not feeling beautiful is a common reason why a woman may not feel like having sex.
Hormonal Birth Control
Using hormonal birth control, such as birth control pills, vaginal rings and birth control implants, can have unpredictable side effects such as loss of libido. Women lose their libido due to these contraceptive methods because of the complex ways that hormones influence each other. Those who experience a loss of libido after starting a hormonal birth control method may consider switching to a non-hormonal method.
Work, health problems, financial trouble and needy children… Problems like these badger many adult women to the point that they feel stressed. Long-term stress not only causes an array of negative health effects, but can also decrease sex drive. This is in part due to the higher levels of cortisol, a hormone released when the body experiences stress, and also in part because worrying about life’s problems simply will make a woman think less about having sex.
As with other stressful aspects of life, if there is a strain on the relationship, the woman is less likely to be interested in sex. Fighting and arguments can often be avoided through clear communication, as well as empathy and benevolence toward the other partner. However, sometimes arguments are unavoidable. In these cases, it’s best to sort out the problems between you two before expecting your sex life to go back to normal.
Depression and Other Mental Illnesses
Mental illness, especially depression, often has the effect of lowering libido. Managing depression, through healthy lifestyle changes, counseling, and some medications, can help reduce loss of libido.
Antihistamines, hypertensive medications, anti-seizure medications, marijuana (medical or otherwise), and opioid drugs are all drugs that can reduce libido, especially if taken over a long period of time. Considering that depression can cause a loss of libido, it’s ironic that many antidepressant medications can have the effect of lowering libido, even causing anorgasmia, or the inability to reach orgasm. Those who experience a loss of libido due to a medication may consider switching to a different one.
Psychological trauma can stem from events such as from rape, sexual abuse, physical violence, or the death of a loved one. Often, women lose their libido after experiencing trauma. When this happens, professional therapy and counseling are needed to overcome the trauma.
Some medical conditions, including hypertension, thyroid disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure and cancer can lower a woman’s libido. Treating these illnesses is likely to relieve the problem.
Pregnancy and Menopause
Some women experience a huge increase in libido during pregnancy, due to the new rush of hormones. Other women lose their libido, either because their particular hormone balance during pregnancy isn’t conducive to a normal sex drive, or because the negative aspects of pregnancy, such as physical pain and discomfort, make them lose interest in sex. As with pregnancy, some women don’t lose their libido during menopause, but some do. There are treatments such as vaginal estrogen creams that can help with the low libido and vaginal dryness that often come with menopause.
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