Libido, or sexual desire, is different for everyone. There is no “normal” level of sex drive. In addition, libido can fluctuate and vary throughout a woman’s life. In fact, many women report experiencing sexual dysfunction at some point in their life.

Sexual dysfunction can be temporary in some circumstances, but it can also persist. While it may be a difficult topic to discuss, it is important to speak with your provider if low libido becomes persistent.

There are many factors that can influence a woman’s sex drive:

  • Menopause and aging – As women age, hormone levels change which can cause a decreased interest in sex. Menopause can also cause vaginal dryness making sex painful for some women.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth – Hormones also change around this time and can affect libido. Sleep deprivation after birth, adjusting to motherhood, and the physical strain of childbirth can also affect the sex drive in new mothers.
  • Stress – As women juggle many aspects of life, significant stress can diminish libido
  • Medication – Side effects of some medications including birth control pills, corticosteroids, and antidepressants can frequently impact the sex drive
  • Mental stress – Depression and anxiety can impact a woman’s interest in having sex
  • Relationship issues – It is important for relationships to have a foundation of trust and security to facilitate sexual intimacy. Open communication is key to building this trust.
  • Past experiences – Previous negative sexual experiences can affect sexual intimacy
  • Medical conditions – Some medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, can impact hormone levels and libido

While there is not always an easy fix to increasing a woman’s libido, there are a few steps to take to find a solution:

  • Speak with your medical provider about performing a thorough medical evaluation to rule out any physical causes
  • Discuss adjusting any current medications that may cause sexual side effects
  • Seek counseling with a therapist who specializes in sexual and relationship issues. Creating open lines of communication with a partner is key to sexual intimacy. Counseling is also a great place to work through past trauma
  • Find ways to de-stress. Creating space for relaxation and downtime can improve sexual desire
  • Be physically active. Confidence and positive body image can also improve sexual drive

Sexual dysfunction and low libido can be sensitive topics for many women, but it is helpful to remember that many women experience these difficulties, so you are not alone! It is important to find a trusted and compassionate medical provider to discuss these topics with.

All information is provided by:

Women’s Health of Central Massachusetts

Women’s Health Magazine