24 Jan 5 Reasons Your Sex Drive Is Low
The funny thing about sex is that everyone’s expectations are different. There is no right number of times to have sex per week or per month. What is considered sex or intimacy will also vary person to person. A declining libido or sexual performance is common in both men and women and it’s important to get to the core reason behind it.
First it’s important to evaluate where you are in your partnership.
Have you been in a long term relationship that has slowly dwindled to intercourse once a month but you are both satisfied, great, keep going along! On the other hand, do you have desire without performance? Do you have sex just out of obligation? Do you experience pain with intimacy? These are all very different scenarios and it’s important to address all of them!
Prevalence of low sexual desire ranged from 26.7% among premenopausal women to 52.4% among naturally menopausal women. The prevalence of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (a lack of sexual interest that causes distress) was highest among surgically menopausal women (12.5%). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18625925/ Low libido may be a common experience and may be difficult to talk about but it should definitely not be ignored! So what causes low libido?
Perimenopause/Menopause and Andropause
Hormones! Estrogen and Testosterone run the show when it comes to libido. As we age these hormones naturally start to decline. Once you reach menopause, your ovaries essentially shut down and no longer pump out hormones. On average, this happens at age 51. In fact women ages 40 to 60 are most likely to experience a distressing lack of desire for sex.
The symptoms of menopause are not ideal to put you in an optimal mental or physical space to want to take off your clothes. There are the hot flashes, sleep changes, and mood problems that won’t get you in a sexy frame of mind.
Vaginal dryness is a big concern, too. As The American College Obstetrics and Gynecologist explains, with a lack of estrogen, the lining of the vagina thins and becomes dry. Without lubrication and stretch, sex can easily become uncomfortable or hurt. And if it doesn’t feel good, you’re not going to want to do it.
Men experience hormone shifts too!
Andropause tends to be overlooked in men as it occurs more gradually, and let’s face it, most men are taught to “just tough it up” so health concerns can be more easily put aside. In 2013, The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study on low sex drive in men. Scientists reported that in a sample of over 5,000 men, 14% of the men between the ages of 18 and 29 had experienced low libido within the previous year. The rate was 17% for men between 50 and 59 years old.
If your hormones are fluctuating Winter Wellness can help you get tested and balance with nutrients, herbs, and/or bioidentical hormone replacement therapies.
According to a review of 40 years of research published in the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews in 2019. As many as 63 percent of patients with hypothyroidism and 77 percent of patients with hyperthyroidism report problems with sex.
Thyroid dysfunction impacts sex hormones that drive down desire and also make sex less enjoyable (decreasing arousal and lubrication, orgasm, and even contributing to pain during penetrative sex) If a thyroid disorder is behind your low libido you will most likely have other symptoms such as weight gain, hair loss, constipation, dry skin, and low mood.
If a thyroid disorder is suspected it can easily be identified in standard lab testing.
Depending on how bothersome your symptoms are, you may be prescribed thyroid medication. Other times, you may talk about lifestyle factors that can improve thyroid function without drugs.
Relationship Status or Issues
Not currently dating? That alone causes a natural decline in desire. On the brink of a break-up? Yep, you’re probably not feeling it. Old married couple? You might not be feeling hot and heavy. The main take home point here is to evaluate the health of your relationship and your mutual intimacy goals.
Depression and mood disorders can be a complicated and multifactorial problem that cause the inability to find pleasure in life, including sex. Lifestyle mood boosters include a nutrient dense diet full of color and omega 3 fatty acids, daily movement, sunshine, time in nature, and quality sleep.
Sometimes outside sources are needed such as talk therapy, supplements, and medications. Buzz kill, some anti-depressants such as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can cause low libido as a side effect!
New job, new baby, recent move, illness in yourself or loved one? All of these changes can be major stressors! Just juggling our way through life can be enough to put sex on the back burner.
In this case taking the time for self care can turn things around, sometimes you don’t even realize how tight you are wound up until you start to loosen the strings. Schedule out time to do relaxing things you enjoy, even small things can make you feel recharged and more balanced.
Dr. Erin Winter
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