The drop in libido, or the reduction of sex drive in women, can be caused by various physical and psychological factors. An important role here is played by hormonal changes, stress and chronic diseases. Low libido in women affects many aspects of life, reducing its overall quality. By applying the right ways to libido, in a large part of cases you can restore the proper level of sex drive.
When does libido fall?
Libido, or sex drive, undergoes numerous changes throughout the life under the influence of physiological and pathological conditions. It is difficult to define the norm of libido, so the sexual libido disorder should always be considered in relation to a specific person, his or her experiences and expectations.
Although the problem of libido in women can occur at any stage of life, the most common case with which a doctor meets is a decrease in libido in women over 40 and 50 years of age.
Sometimes problems with reduced desire for sex appear after the birth of a child or are a consequence of chronic systemic diseases. Low libido is finally a natural response to severe stress.
The reasons for the decline in libido in women
The most common causes of decreased libido in women are:
endocrine disorders: menopausal period, hormonal contraception, hypothyroidism,
organic diseases which are an obstacle to a satisfying and active sexual life:
coronary heart disease,
degeneration of joints,
antidepressants (medicines used to treat depression),
diuretic drugs (diuretic) used in hypertension,
general physical and mental fatigue.
Menopause, contraception and pregnancy – the causes of low libido in women
The decrease in libido in women over 50 is often associated with menopause. At this time, there is a significant reduction in the production of female sex hormones – estrogen, but also testosterone and changes in the proportion between them. In addition to their direct impact limiting the desire for sexual intercourse, perimenopausal hormonal changes can lead to vaginal dryness and painful relationships, as a result of which a woman – consciously or not – starts to avoid sex.
Drop in libido after tablets
The effect of hormonal contraception on the level of libido is not clear. It is worth noting, however, that in some women using hormonal contraception there is a decrease in libido (progesterone contained in many tablets reduces sexual desire), which in turn tends to normalize after a few months of use, probably due to the woman’s getting used to the constant change levels of sex hormones.
Drop in libido after pregnancy
In turn during pregnancy and breastfeeding the woman’s body has to face the rising level of another hormone – prolactin, which also reduces libido. The fall of sexual desire in pregnancy is also associated with general fatigue, changes in the body image and stress related to the forthcoming birth of the child.
Similar problems may be caused by hypothyroidism. As a result of the lack of hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine – patients may experience general depression, depression and suffer from uncontrolled weight gain.
Psychological causes of reduced libido
The reasons for the decline in libido do not have to be related to physical factors or illness. A significant part of the cases of reduced libido is caused by psychological issues, such as:
exposure to chronic stress at work or at home,
unfavorable body image, low self-esteem,
negative sexual experiences from the past – harassment or sexual abuse.
The cause of the decline in libido in women may also be unresolved problems in the relationship, lack of emotional closeness, trust in the partner or insufficient communication of one’s sexual needs.
What to do when low libido appears?
1. The basic method from which one should begin the diagnosis of a reduced sex drive is an accurate interview. Due to the widespread causes that may cause a decrease in libido in women, all current and past illnesses, treatments, current state of health, psychological condition and own expectations of libido should be taken into account.
2. In the next step, the doctor may go for pelvic and genital examination, looking for changes such as vaginal dryness, painful changes in mucous membranes and other abnormalities.
3. In laboratory tests of blood it is reasonable to determine the level of hormones, especially prolactin, estrogen, testosterone, but also thyroid hormones, glucose, cholesterol, and liver enzymes. In justified cases, on the basis of an investigation, the doctor may decide to refer a sexologist or therapist to the specialist.