Treating Low Sex Drive

Women’s sexual patterns naturally change over the years. Changes in sex drive can come from many different places, from a new relationship to major life changes, such as pregnancy, menopause, or illness. A continued lack of interest in sex may cause personal or interpersonal distress, and perhaps a sign of deeper health complications. If you’re concerned about a low sex drive or decreased sex drive, our team is here to help you out. At McTammany Health Services, your sexual health is our top priority. Let’s take at the different factors that affect sex drive and how it can be treated.

What causes low libido in women?
Sex drive is based on a complex interaction of many things affecting intimacy, including physical and emotional well-being, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle, and your current relationship. If you’re experiencing a problem in any of these areas, it can affect your desire for sex. In terms of physical symptoms, some factors can impact your sexual activity.

Common Causes
A wide range of illnesses, physical changes, and medical conditions can lead to a low sex drive. These causes can include:

    • Sexual problems: If you have pain during sex or can’t orgasm, it can reduce your desire for sex, which in turn lowers your sex drive.
    • Medications: Certain prescription drugs, especially antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can lower the sex drive.
    • Medical diseases: Many nonsexual diseases can affect sex drive, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and neurological diseases.
    • Lifestyle habits: Too much alcohol can affect your sex drive. Smoking decreases blood flow, which can lower arousal.
    • Menopause: Estrogen levels drop during the transition to menopause. This can make you less interested in sex and cause dry vaginal tissues, resulting in painful or uncomfortable sex. Although many women still have satisfying sex during menopause and beyond, some experience a lagging libido during this hormonal change.
    • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Hormone changes during pregnancy, just after having a baby, and during breastfeeding can put a damper on sex drive. Fatigue from caregiving, changes in body image, and the pressures of pregnancy or caring for a new baby also can contribute to changes in your sexual desire.
    • Surgery: Any surgery related to your breasts or genital tract can affect your body image, sexual function, and desire for sex.
    • Fatigue: Exhaustion from caring for young children or aging parents can contribute to low sex drive. Fatigue from illness or surgery also can play a role in a low sex drive.

Treating Low Sex DriveSymptoms of Low Sex Drive
If you want to have sex less often than your partner does, neither one of you is necessarily outside the norm for people at your stage in life. Similarly, even if your sex drive is weaker than it was in the past, your relationship may not be fundamentally different. Sex drive varies among women and can look different depending on individuals and their sexual relationships.

Symptoms of low sex drive in women include:

  • Having no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation
  • Never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts
  • Being concerned by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies

If you’re concerned about your low desire for sex, talk to one of our doctors. The solution could be as simple as changing a medication you are taking and improving any chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Treatment for Low Sex Drive
There are several ways to treat low libido. To find the right treatment, it’s important to know the underlying cause of your symptoms.

As we discussed above, certain medicines and medical conditions can negatively affect sex drive. For example, some antidepressants may cause a lowered sex drive. In such cases, our doctors may suggest a prescription with fewer side effects. Do not stop taking antidepressants without a doctor’s approval.

If it seems that emotional issues are the root of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest counseling. A specialist teaches you how to communicate better with your partner, as well as helps you identify sexual techniques for a more pleasurable experience.

It’s common for premenopausal and postmenopausal women to experience changes in estrogen levels. This is due to a reduction of blood flow to the vagina. If lowered estrogen levels are causing your symptoms of low sex drive, estrogen therapy may be suggested. Your doctor will recommend applying a cream, suppository, or ring that releases estrogen in the vagina. This can increase blood flow without the unwanted side effects that come with taking an estrogen pill.

Another treatment option is the pill flibanserin (known as Addyi), which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This medication has been shown to boost sex drive in premenopausal women with low sexual desire. However, the drug is not for everyone. Possible side effects include hypotension (low blood pressure), fainting, and dizziness.

The injectable medication bremelanotide (known as Vyleesi) has also been FDA-approved to treat low sex drive in premenopausal women. Possible side effects include severe nausea, reactions at the site of the injection, and headache.

Lifestyle changes can relieve stress and help improve a woman’s libido, not to mention one’s overall health. These include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Setting aside time for intimacy
  • Avoiding substances that affect sexual desire, like tobacco and alcohol
  • Practicing stress-relieving techniques, such as mindfulness-based interventions

Don’t underestimate the effect a decreased sexual desire can have on your well-being. If you feel symptoms of love sex drive have impacted your quality of life, talk to one of our doctors. There are plenty of treatment options available. Our experienced, well-trained team is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your sexual health!

Treating Low Sex Drive

Trust McTammany Health Services

At McTammany Health Services, our expert team has helped hundreds of women who deal with issues every day, ranging from menstrual disorders and pelvic pain to endometriosis and ovarian cysts. You can feel confident that you’ll receive the best care for your unique needs. Schedule an appointment with Dr. McTammany at our convenient Melbourne office and start your journey to your best self.