Women’s sexual desires naturally fluctuate over the years. Highs and lows usually coincide with the beginning or end of a relationship or with major life changes, such as pregnancy, menopause or illness. Some medications used for mood disorders also can reason low sex drive in women.
If your lack of interest in sex continues or returns and causes personal distress, you may have a situation called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
But you don’t have to meet this medical definition to seek help. If you’re bothered by a low sex drive or decreased sex drive, there are lifestyle changes and sexual techniques that may put you in the mood more often. Some medications may offer promise as well.
If you want to have sex less often than your partner does, neither one of you is necessarily outside the norm for people at your stage in life — although your differences may reason distress.
Similarly, even if your sex drive is weaker than it once was, your relationship may be stronger than ever. Bottom line: There is no magic number to define low sex drive. It varies between women.
Symptoms of low sex drive in women include:
- Having no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
- Never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts
- Being concerned by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies
A desire for sex is based on a complex interaction of many things affecting intimacy, including physical and emotional well-being, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle, and your current relationship. If you’re experiencing a problem in any of these areas, it can affect your desire for sex.
A wide range of illnesses, physical changes and medications can reason a low sex drive, including:
Sexual problems- If you have pain during sex or can’t orgasm, it can reduce your desire for sex.
Medical diseases- Many nonsexual diseases can affect sex drive, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and neurological diseases.
Medications- Certain prescription drugs, especially antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are known to lower the sex drive.
Lifestyle habits-A glass of wine may put you in the mood, but too much alcohol can affect your sex drive. The same is true of street drugs. Also, smoking decreases blood flow, which may dull arousal.
Surgery- Any surgery related to your breasts or genital tract can affect your body image, sexual function and desire for sex.