A low sex drive in women refers to a lack of interest in sexual activities. Low sexual desire has over the years been found to be on a steady increase and occurs more commonly in females than in males. Highs and lows usually will correspond with the onsets or end of a relationship. May also be related to major physiological changes in life, such as pregnancy, menopause or illness. Others include fatigue, stress, poor body image or lack of emotional intimacy where a relationship probably goes soar.
A recent survey (conducted by Laumann and colleagues at the University of Chicago) on American women (ages 18-59) found that the most common sexual problem in women is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) i.e. reduced sexual desire, more commonly referred to as low sex drive or low libido. This was found to occur in 33.4% of the women, followed by difficulty with orgasm at 24.1%. Dyspareunia (Pain during intercourse)--which occurs in 14.4% of women--was the only condition to show a relationship to age -- it decreases as women get older. This shows that low Libido in women is by far the major sexual concern women have and occurs in all women who are within the age to be sexually active.
However, we should note that it is normal to have reduced interest in sexual activities sometimes. It only becomes a problem when this persists.
Causes of Low Female Sex Drive
What causes Low Libido? Low libido can result from physical or psychological factors or a combination of the two in women. Let's take a look at some of the underlying causes
Female sexual dysfunction
This may include sexual pain disorders, orgasmic disorders, sexual arousal disorders, and sexual desire disorders. All significantly affect not only women's sexuality but also their relationships and overall life satisfaction. So this could be tied to the emotions of the woman involved. Women who have been in severe shock following the death of a lover, or has been a victim of infidelity may naturally develop lack of interest towards sex for a while. This low libido may even become sustained in some cases.
Women unlike men may find it difficult to be tuned towards having sex with someone they do not feel an attraction for. This is more so especially because most women do not get turned on by what they see but by what they feel.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
STIs plays a major part in the etiology of female low Libido. For example, a Chronic Pelvic inflamatory disease causes pain during sexual intercourse. Where the pain is severe it is enough turn-off for the woman. The thought of it makes it impossible to enjoy sex.
Other causes include stress, too busy schedule, marital disharmony or work place pressure etc.
What should Low Libido Women Do?
Naturally they should seek help. But like the outlined causes above shows, not all cases of reduced sexual desire in women should be managed with prescription drugs.
"Part of the desire to make love is clearly physical, but part is also emotional. Depression can make a difference, so can any emotional issue in a woman's life; female sex drive is very multidimensional," says Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, an endocrinologist and chair of the department of medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. This therefore makes it a bit more difficult to treat the problem in women unlike in men.
"The very fact that a woman is no longer ovulating regularly, or not ovulating at all, automatically takes her sex drive down a few notches," says Steven Goldstein, MD, professor of ob-gyn and NYU Medical Center in New York City. So solution depends on causes and age as well. This is simply because emotional problems are more common causes in the younger women. Age is more commonly seen as a cause in the older women, following hormonal imbalances etc. So those resulting from old age and maybe infections could find prescription drugs useful as in cases of STI treatment and hormone replacement therapy.
Natural aphrodisiacs like Smilax ornata (Sarsaparilla), Eleutherococcus senticosis (Siberian Ginseng) and Sabal serrulata can increase Libido in women.