Libido: Is this normal (or is something wrong)?

Common causes of low libido include fatigue, pain, hormone changes, stress, and raising a family. We invite you to come in and speak with our women’s health specialist about ways to bring your body back into balance and restore your sexual vibrancy (or maybe even find it for the first time).  Plus, a quick Q&A about birth control will also be appropriate, don’t ya think?

intimacy

Having low sexual desire is the most common sexual issue among women, reported by 10-51% of women surveyed. One large survey reported that 43% of women experience some type of sexual dysfunction.

Intercourse frequency – highly misrepresented in the media – may be high among 18-29 year olds, averaging 10-12 times per month in one study. But frequency drops among coupled women to 4-7 times per month in the 40-50 year old age range, and less than twice a month in over 70 couples. So what’s normal? If you or your partner feel that there is room for more intercourse/intimacy, then you should take time to discuss it.

What causes low libido?

There are many, many causes of decreased or low libido. To support you in determining what might be happening for you, we encourage you to schedule a visit with us today.

Common causes of libido changes:

Hormones: often a combination of hormonal shifts as opposed to one simple culprit. Frequent culprits of underlying disruption that can impact libido directly as well as mood, fatigue, and body changes: Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol, Thyroid Hormones, Prolactin, Androgens, Testosterone, Vitamin D

Fatigue: often a combination of life circumstances, feeling fatigued certainly impacts desire. But, being tired all the time may not be something you have to live with. Frequent culprits include:
Anemia – often an effect of heavy periods and fibroids
Hormone disruption- hormones are regulators of our basic human condition, when they are not functioning properly a side effect is often persistent fatigue

Lack of sleep: sleep is essential for helping us feel our best. When we suffer from persistent sleep disruption, general lack of sleep or unrestful sleep, the consequence can obviously be fatigue, but also disruption of our hormones. This may leave you feeling off, exhausted, with no energy and no libido. There are a variety of things that can be done to support more restful sleep and the impact can be transformative.

Life imbalance: work, family, kids, friends, events and activities add up quickly in many of our lives. When we don’t get “down time” to prioritize ourselves and our own needs, we suffer.

Body Changes: When anyone talks about weight, most people feel self-conscious and often, self-critical.  Yet, weight changes can be a signal that something is out of balance in the body. And, imbalance in the body can be the cause of weight changes.  BMI (weight evaluated in terms of height) that is too high or too low impair normal physiologic function, including hormone function and libido.

Pain: The signals that tell us something is painful flood the brain and “tell us” not to do that again- or they brace us in anticipation of the expected pain. Think about touching a hot pot, having done it once our brain learned to not do it again and we instinctively withdraw our hand to prevent (or minimize) any burn. We don’t even really have to ‘think’ about it, our body just responds. It is our pain response.  If we have experienced pain- for any reason, vaginally or during intercourse, it is common for the body to react in a way that ‘anticipates’ pain again. This can be in the form of muscle spasm, muscle contraction, vaginal dryness, and other responses. And there is a lot that can be done to support healing and reprograming those pain signals.
Common causes of pelvic floor/vaginal pain include: persistent vaginal dryness, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, trauma, scarring, muscle spasms, infection, energetic discord, emotional and/or mental influences.

Medications: There are very real side effects from certain medications on libido. A frank conversation with one of our providers on the medications you are taking and the effects you are experiencing may provide you with possibilities you hadn’t considered. While for some individuals their medications are essential and any medication chafes inadvisable, for other individuals alternative medication options (or alternative healing modalities) with lower side-effect profiles may be good options. The key is to recognize that certain medications may be causing an effect on libido and come in to talk to our specialists about it. Medications that may effect libido: anti depressants, anti-anxiety medications, sleep aids, blood pressure medication, diabetes medications.

Where to begin?

Seek medical care from someone you can talk to honestly, that takes the time to listen and that specializes in women’s health to ensure there are no medical conditions that are contributing to the problem.

Image courtesy Miss Turner