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Sexual Medicine Blogs

Causes of Low Libido

Blog by Dr. Irwin Goldstein, MD, Medical Director, Sexual Medicine Program
Posted 9/27/16

woman sitting on bedMany women and their partners never acknowledge the importance of maintaining good sexual health. In fact, many women simply don’t know that their sexual health can have a serious impact on their overall health, wellness and relationships. That’s why sexual health, including low libido, shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to your doctor’s appointment! There are solutions to help women improve bothersome sexual health and increase sexual desire.

Libido fluctuation is normal. However, sometimes a woman doesn’t have sexual desire for her partner, but still maintains the same love, friendship and partnership she has always felt. If the sexual desire or longing for intimacy has dwindled or disappeared, this may be a chronic problem that can lead to stress in the individual and relationship.

Some of the Most Common Causes of Low Sex Drive

There are numerous causes of low libido. Any one or combination may be the cause.

Some of the most common include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Anxiety
  • Childbirth
  • Depression
  • Drug use (prescribed or illicit drugs)
  • Lack of positive body image
  • Medications
  • Menopause (natural or surgical)
  • Mental health issues
  • Partner sexual dysfunction
  • Past negative sexual experiences
  • Poor relationship with partner
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual abuse/sexual trauma
  • Stress
  • Other sexual or health issues (e.g. sexual pain)

For women who wish to increase their libido/sex drive, it is important to take the right steps. The first step is to talk with your healthcare provider to try to identify the cause(s) of your low sexual desire and determine whether you can modify your lifestyle or medications in any way to improve your waning libido.

What Is Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder?

There are millions of women struggling with loss of sexual desire or low libido. Some may have this condition causing distress, diagnosed as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). According to statistics, around one in 10 women in the U.S. struggle with this condition. It is the most common form of sexual dysfunction in women. There are also other sexual dysfunctions that you may be diagnosed with when you meet with your healthcare provider.

Fortunately, as society’s understanding of sexual health and sexual dysfunction expands, so do medical treatment options in this area. For example, women diagnosed with HSDD now have an FDA-approved medical treatment available to them. There are also other options available for improving libido and overall health.

Again, start by setting up an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your sexual health. Remember, sex is an integral part of your overall health—including physical, mental and emotional health.

To find a physician who specializes in sexual health, call 800-258-2723 or click here.