Libido or sexual desire varies from one woman to another and can be influenced by several factors.
What is libido and why can it decrease?
Libido is the sexual instinct or erotic desire of a person. The loss or reduction of libido can cause a reduction in the desire to have sex or that sexual experiences are not satisfactory or pleasant.
Many women experience decreased libido at some point in their lives. This can happen temporarily (birth of a baby, stressful life span, relationship problems,…) or over a long period of time. .
What factors can affect a woman's libido?
It is normal for a woman's sex drive to fluctuate, and some of the reasons may be:
- The changes in hormone levels.
- Increased prolactin. Prolactin is a postpartum hormone that stimulates milk production. Increased prolactin levels can cause a woman's decreased sex drive during breastfeeding.
- Estrogen reduction.
The decrease in estrogen levels causes symptoms that reduce a woman's libido such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of vaginal elasticity, discomfort during intercourse, ... Symptoms that usually occur during menopause.
- Testosterone reduction. Although testosterone is a hormone considered to be male, the ovaries of women also produce it (although in smaller amounts). A decrease in testosterone levels are also associated with loss of libido.
- Menopause have associated symptoms (caused by changes in hormone levels) such as hot flashes and night sweats that can affect sleep and make women feel more tired and less interested in sex. Changes in body shape and weight gain can also affect a woman's self-esteem and therefore her sexual interest.
- Premenstrual syndrome. It is associated with a set of symptoms also caused by changes in hormonal levels that can make women feel less interest in sex. Some of these symptoms include:
swelling, tiredness, breast tenderness, headaches, mood swings, ...
- Medication. Some medications such as antidepressants or oral contraceptives can affect hormone levels, and therefore libido.
- Medical conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, prolapse, hemorrhoids, anemia, infections, or chronic pain can lead to painful intercourse (dyspareunia) or involuntary spasms of the pelvic floor muscles (vaginismus) that reduce sexual desire.
- Psychological influences such as stress, depression, or anxiety.
- Other causes:
- Low self-esteem.
- Poor sexual compatibility or partner sexual problems.
- Financial problems.
- Unhappy relationship.
- Bad past experiences related to sex, including abuse and trauma.
The most important thing is to know that you do not have to worry about when or how often other people have sex. Each couple should be happy with their level of sexual activity.
However, if the level of libido is very different from that of the partner and this causes discomfort, there are a number of things that can help improve the situation. One of them ismaintain a healthy lifestyle. Practicing physical exercise on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and reducing alcohol consumption are strategies that improve the quality of life, and therefore will also improve sexual life.
Related Reading: What Factors Can Affect A Woman's Sex Drive?
- Sexual desire in menopause
- Where is my sex drive?
- Painful sex in menopause