Low Libido in Women: Common Causes and Treatments
Low libido is the most common sexual concern facing women today. For women, the issue of low libido can be quite complex, and it is often caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors. To add to the complexity, a woman's sexuality changes throughout her lifetime as she experiences major life stages such as pregnancy, peri-menopause and menopause—milestones that bring with them hormonal changes as well as changes in overall sex drive and sexual satisfaction.
In general, low libido in women can usually be attributed to one or more of the following physical and emotional/psychological causes outlined below.
Physical Causes of Low Libido in Women
Sometimes, low libido in women has a physical cause, the most common being hormonal imbalance. Life stages such as peri-menopause, pregnancy and menopause bring with them a variety of hormonal changes (not to mention associated psychological issues such as changes in body image) which can all affect sex drive and desire. During menopause especially, estrogen and testosterone levels drop, causing vaginal dryness and reduction of sexual desire. Other symptoms that can be caused by hormonal imbalance are fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, hot flashes and mood swings, all of which can affect overall feelings of sexuality. Aside from hormonal imbalances, other physical causes of low libido in women include:
- chronic illness or disease (diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer)
- chronic pain
- certain medications (antidepressants, blood pressure meds, antihistamines, anti-seizure meds)
- excessive alcohol consumption
- surgery (hysterectomy or any surgery affecting the genitals or breasts)
Psychological Causes of Low Libido in Women
While low libido in men is more likely to have a physical cause, in women the two most prevalent causes are actually psychological: lack of closeness or intimacy with their partner and poor body image. Other emotional causes of low libido in women include:
- stress (related to job, money, illness, or taking care of other family members)
- relationship issues (lack of communication, betrayal of trust, unresolved conflicts)
- low self-esteem
- insecurities relating to sexual performance
- history of sexual abuse
Treatments for Low Libido in Women
Depending on the cause, there are many effective treatments available if you are a woman suffering from low libido. If your low libido is primarily the result of psychological/emotional factors, therapy or counseling can be very helpful in getting to the root of the problem to ultimately increase libido. For sexual issues relating to hormonal imbalance or if you are going through one of the life changes that affect it, understanding the physical changes that are taking place in your body is the first step to increasing libido.
That being said, there are a variety of ways to successfully restore hormonal balance, the most drastic of which are hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the use of topical hormone creams. Some women find relief and are able to increase libido with natural solutions, such as a high-quality maca supplement or phytoestrogen formula that supports your body's natural hormone production. For others, simple dietary adjustments like drinking more water and switching to a healthier diet can support their body's natural processes and make a world of difference.