It is well documented that the female sex drive can fluctuate at various stages of a woman’s life, typically due to hormone-related conditions, physical factors like illness, or psychological issues such as anxiety, fear of penetration, or depression.
There are, however, several things you can do to slip your low sex drive back into gear. Read on to understand more about low sex drive in women (Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), what causes it, the symptoms, and the best treatment choices available.
What Are The Symptoms of Low Libido in Women?
If you notice that you are less interested in engaging in sex than before or find yourself declining your partner’s sexual advances more often than not, you could be experiencing low libido.
Additional symptoms of low sex drive in women include:
- No interest in initiating sex or masturbation
- Rarely (or never) have sexual thoughts or fantasies
- Sexual activity has notably decreased
- No pleasure is experienced during intercourse
- Your lack of sexual interest is upsetting for you
What Causes Low Sex Drive in Women?
While a decreased libido affects many women during their lifetime, there is no specific age or any one particular situation that can be attributed to causing a low sex drive. The truth is, it happens to some, not to others, and the cause of low libido can vary from woman to woman.
A natural desire for regular sex comes down to a combination of wellness factors including; physical, hormonal, and psychological well-being. But when one of these factors is causing problems within the body, it can affect a woman’s sex drive.
Physical Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women
From illnesses to exhaustion, pain, or taking medication; several physical factors can affect a woman’s sex drive.
- Women who don’t feel well because of an illness or underlying condition can experience a drop in libido. These include, but are not limited to; arthritis, cancer, diabetes, endometriosis, high blood pressure, coronary issues, or vaginismus.
- Taking regular medication or antidepressants can also have a physical impact on a woman’s sex drive.
- Dyspareunia, or experiencing ongoing physical pain during sex, can drastically reduce a woman’s desire for sex by initiating a psychological trigger that connects pain with vaginal penetration.
- Women who have recently undergone breast surgery, genital or pelvic surgery can experience a drop in their sex drive due to fatigue, a changed body image, or reduced sexual pleasure after surgery. The same applies to pregnancy.
- Physical exhaustion due to work commitments, family responsibilities, caring for a new baby, or an older relative can also impact a woman’s sexual desire.
- Drinking too much alcohol can reduce the female sex drive too. While one glass of wine might set the mood for some foreplay, a few glasses of wine can dampen the mood entirely.
How Hormonal Changes Can Cause Low Sex Drive
The female body goes through several hormonal fluctuations during life, the symptoms of which can invariably alter a woman’s desire for sex.
- While some women’s sexual desire might intensify with the increase of estrogen and progesterone during the early stages of pregnancy, these hormone fluctuations can have the opposite effect on other women, resulting in nausea, anxiety, exhaustion, body image issues, and low sex drive.
- After pregnancy, especially for women who are breastfeeding, the hormone levels change again. The drop in estrogen and progesterone can result in vaginal dryness and a drop in libido for new moms.
- During menopause, estrogen levels drop once again, resulting in atrophy (vaginal dryness), irritation, and painful sex for some menopausal women, which often causes them to refrain from sex completely due to fear of the discomfort that ensues.
How Your Mental Well-Being Can Affect Your Sex Drive
Anyone who has ever had sex will understand that your mental well-being can either improve or dampen your sex drive.
- Feelings of anxiety, grief, depression, low self-esteem, or a poor body image can drastically impact a woman’s desire for sex.
- Stress about work, life, personal finances, kids, divorce, or a myriad of other worrisome issues can also reduce a woman’s interest in sexual activity.
- Former sexual abuse, painful sex, or negative sexual experiences in the past can carry psychological triggers that prevent women from enjoying sex and thus lower their sex drive.
- Going through a tough time emotionally with a partner can also have a psychological influence on a woman’s libido. Experiencing trust issues with a partner, for example, a lack of emotional connection, frustration over poor communication, or an absence of understanding when it comes to sexual preferences.
How To Treat Low Sex Drive in Women
While it is common, the loss of libido in women is not something that has to last forever. Once you spend some time determining whether the cause of your low sex drive is the result of physical, hormonal, or psychological issues, there are several natural treatment options available.
Lifestyle Changes to Increase Your Sex Drive
Some simple lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on increasing female libido. For example, reducing your intake of alcohol, giving up smoking, eating less processed food, and consuming more plant-based food certainly helps.
Ensuring that you drink sufficient amounts of water every day, and exercise twice or three times a week will improve your physical health as well as your mental health, both of which are factors that can affect women’s sex drive.
Working on resolving conflicts or arguments with family members or partners will help to reduce stress, which is another factor that contributes to low libido.
Consulting with your doctor about the side effects of any medication you take is also advised, and female health experts highly recommend speaking with your doctor about hormone replacement therapy if you are nearing menopausal age and worried about your sex drive. (40+).
Talk Openly About It
Getting something off your chest always feels freeing. So consider talking honestly to your partner about your low sex drive. Whether it is a lack of connection between you, hormonal changes, or due to an illness, having an open and honest conversation about your lowered libido allows your partner to become more aware of your personal needs.
Being honest with a partner will not only open the lines of communication but also give you both the time and appreciation to care for one another until your libido increases again, perhaps even leading to less penetrative sex for the time being, but more fun with masturbation, massage, cuddling, heavy petting, or taking baths together.
In addition to speaking with partners, some women, or couples, also benefit from talking openly with a sex therapist or counselor about their stress, anxiety, depression, or psychological triggers related to low sex drive.
Lubrication Is Your Friend
Plentiful lubrication helps to increase a woman’s libido by treating the vaginal dryness linked to lower levels of estrogen after pregnancy, during breastfeeding, or menopause. Applying lubricant abundantly to both the outer genitals (vulva) and the vagina will not only relieve vaginal dryness but will also reduce friction, pain, and irritation, as well as encourage more comfortable penetration.
Our Velvet Rose lubricant, for example, is water-based, silky smooth, and non-sticky. As one of the few FDA-approved lubricants on the market, it is an effective solution to treat vaginal dryness as well as a practical tool to enjoy masturbation and get your sexual juices flowing when suffering from a low sex drive.
Vaginal Dilating For A Better Sex Drive
According to recent studies, one of the best ways to re-engage natural female libido levels is by practicing dilator therapy. Recommended for use in the privacy of your own home to help relax and stretch tight or dry vaginal muscles in preparation for more enjoyable sex, vaginal dilation is a hero for low libido - whether it’s physical, hormonal, or psychologically related.
Generally sold in ascending dimensions that range from the size of a slim female finger to an erect penis, vaginal dilators alleviate panic or fear associated with penetration by allowing users to become comfortable with inserting a small size first and then work up to the larger sizes with time. Vaginal Dilators also work on improving natural lubrication, which helps women to feel more aroused.
Typically made from plastic or silicone, feedback resoundingly shows that the softer and more life-life feel of silicone dilators is substantially lighter within the vagina and easier to use than plastic dilators. This is why, here at Intimate Rose, we took great care in producing the most comfortable, perfectly-sized, and affordable silicone dilators to treat low libido and vaginal conditions.
In addition to coming highly recommended by pelvic health experts, our customers, pelvic floor physiotherapists, and female health experts, agree that Intimate Rose Silicone Vaginal Dilators are the best vaginal dilators available on the market today.
If you can relate to any of the symptoms linked to low sex drive in women, there are several treatment options available to help you feel aroused again. As well as considering your lifestyle habits, and making lubrication your friend, vaginal dilation is an option that can be practiced in the comfort of your own home and is widely considered a silent hero for low libido.
When considering vaginal dilators, it’s always helpful to speak with a pelvic floor physical therapist first for guidance and understanding on which size dilator is best for you to start with.
Mayo Clinic – Dyspareunia - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/painful-intercourse/symptoms-causes/syc-20375967
My Health Alberta – Female Sexuality & Cancer: Vaginal Dilators https://myhealth.alberta.ca/cancer-and-sexuality/female-sexuality-and-cancer/vaginal-tightness/vaginal-dilators
Cleveland Clinic - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15723-vaginismus
The Journal of The North American Menopause Society - Vulvovaginal atrophy is strongly associated with female sexual dysfunction among sexually active postmenopausal women - https://journals.lww.com/menopausejournal/Abstract/2008/15040/Vulvovaginal_atrophy_is_strongly_associated_with.12.aspx
National Library of Medicine - Sexual function in women treated with dilators for vaginal agenesis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15749583/