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Decreased or Reduced Libido

It is common for women to experience a decreased libido at some point during their lives. This may happen when a woman is suffering from hormonal imbalance as a result of menopause or when problems arise between her and her partner. Given that a healthy libido is important to a healthy life, whatever the cause of decreased libido is, women should be aware of its symptoms and causes.

What Exactly Is The Libido?

Decreased or Reduced Libido1

Libido simply refers to a person's sex drive, or more specifically a person's natural sexual energy. Therefore, a decreased libido describes a woman's loss of sexual desire. Because of the obviously private nature of the subject, many women are not properly informed about the causes of reduced libido.

What Factors Cause a Decreased Libido?

Relationship-based causes of a decreased libido include:

  • Lack of communication. If a woman feels emotionally distanced from her partner, she may be reluctance to share physically intimate moments.

  • Lost trust. Lack of trust may cause a woman to feel insecure when with her partner.

  • Time spent apart. When partners spend less time together, due to different schedules or heavy workloads, their sexual life can easily be affected.

  • Lack of privacy. Sometimes, living with parents or children can take serious toll on a couple's sex life. Couples with children often find it hard to spend time alone together, contributing to a decrease in libido.

Reduced libido can be the result of both physical and psychological factors:

  • Psychological. Menopausal symptoms such as mood swings, depression, and insomnia can result in decreased or reduced libido. These disturbances disrupt sleep patterns and negatively affect desire for romance.

  • Physical. Usually the main cause of decreased libido is the hormonal imbalance in a woman's body, which happens during menopause. Testosterone is the key hormone in stimulating sexual desire, and when a woman's level of testosterone drops during menopause, so does her subsequent sexual response.

Night sweats and hot flashes are also physical symptoms of menopause that cause a lack of libido. These symptoms are irritating and unlikely to put someone in the mood for physical intimacy.

How Can I Recover My Libido?

Three approaches can be considered for treating decrease libido:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Alternative treatments
  • Medication and surgery

The safest way of treating a decreased libido is to start with the least risky approach and then to progress to the next level if necessary. This means a combination of healthy lifestyle adjustments and alternative treatments like herbal supplements. For more information on loss of libido and how to treat it, follow the links below.

Q&A: Treatment Options for Low Libido in Menopausal Women

Loss of libido is one of the most unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Fortunately, there are methods to boost your sex life.

Exercise To Lose Weight and Boost Libido during Menopause

During menopause, erratic hormone levels can result in low libido. However, body image and self-esteem can also contribute. Learn how to fight back.

The Definition of Libido

The definition of libido, or sex drive, can be divided into the psychological and physiological. Read on to find out more.

Sources:
  • Channon L.D and Ballinger S.E. "Some Aspects of Sexuality and Vaginal Symptoms during Menopause and their Relation to Anxiety and Depression". British Journal of Medical Psychology. June 1986. 59 (2): 173-80.
  • Sarell, Philip, M.D. "Psychosexual effects of menopause: Role of androgens". American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. March 1999. 180: 3S-II.
  • Studd, John. "Loss of Libido and Menopause". The Management of Menopause. Annual Review 1998. Partenon Publishing.