Let me ask you an honest question….now remember, be honest: how many nights a week do you feel “in the mood” for sex? One? Two? Maybe once every two weeks? Less than once a month? Do you have issues orgasming easily or at all? How about arousal – is it difficult to become aroused? Does your partner wonder why you are uninterested? If you are one of those women who just doesn’t feel very interested in sex- or has issues with orgasm or arousal - then this article is just for you! Every woman (heck, every person) goes through at least one period in their life when they are not that into sex.
Usually, this is a temporary situation and their libido comes back in a short time. However, for some women a lackluster libido can signal that something is wrong – medically or mentally – and this can put a severe strain on a relationship, not to mention cause some women great concern! Perhaps you are a woman who always had a high or normal sex drive and now it is diminished or gone all together. Or, you have never had a high sex drive and quite frankly, you could take it or leave it. Even worse, you can’t orgasm and always could before! Whatever the case, this article will address some of the main reasons why a woman’s sexual desire goes kaput and what – if anything – can be done to correct the problem!
It should come as no surprise that having a baby can be the number one “temporary” killer of a woman’s sex drive. Why? Well, let us begin with the hormonal drop. When you are pregnant, your hormones are raging – literally – and you might actually be MORE sexual. However, after pregnancy, your body goes through a dramatic and quick drop in hormones. As soon as delivery, your body looses the pregnancy hormones and has to re-regulate its natural hormonal balance. This can take weeks, months or even up to a year to get under control. While these hormones are stabilizing, the hormones that control the sex drive are also in-flux – and as a result, loss of libido results. Most often, this hormonal pandemonium is only temporary, and most women find that they feel more sexual in 2-6 months. Be patient – and if you do not notice a recharge of your libido, speak to your OBGYN.
Along with the hormonal imbalance comes the evident fact that YOU HAVE A NEWBORN BABY! Yes, this means sleepless nights, days without showers (yes, sometimes we forget to shower), frustration and just adjustment. Having a newborn is not always conducive to feeling sexy – especially if you are breastfeeding and can’t even THINK about being naked without a bra and nursing pads! Ewwwieee…leaking breast milk, now THAT is sexy! The fact is, many women have issues with the dual role of sex goddess and mommy! Finding a way to consolidate your “roles” and allowing yourself the time to be sexual (with a partner or alone) is something that is instrumental in your “recovery” from childbirth. You have to be able to communicate your feelings to your partner – ask for help if you feel overwhelmed – and to take the time you need to adjust. Some women feel like jumping back into the saddle as soon as their OB gives them the “go” at the 6-week appointment, while still others like to take more time. The fact is, if your newborn is no longer so new and is walking around the house and you STILL are not feeling sexual – you may want to talk to your OBGYN or evaluate if it is having a new child that is turning off your libido, or something else.
Finally, there is one obvious connection between libido and childbirth – your BODY. Besides the hormonal shift, there is also a healing period to consider. Whether you have had natural childbirth or a C-Section, birth is traumatic and painful in many cases. When you think about how you got pregnant……and then about the birth process….your brain does one of these “Never AGAIN!” moments. While it is mostly true that once you hold your baby you “forget” about the pain – it is still ingrained in your innermost memory center, and for many women this can be a big libido killer! No sex = no pregnancy = no childbirth! If you think that you are being adversely affected in this way, it helps to discuss these feelings with your partner. Let him know that you are scared or apprehensive about becoming pregnant again. Try to relax and separate your feelings of love (or lust) for your partner from your child. Think about pleasure, relaxation and stress relief and try to associate that with sex – not a baby. Many times this is a short-lived experience – so give it some time.
HOT FLASHES AND NIGHT SWEATS
On the opposite end of child bearing comes MENOPAUSE! Menopause (and perimenopause) are the times in a woman’s life when she once again goes through a traumatic shift in hormones. The body is preparing to change once again. During this time, a woman’s body stops producing the female hormones – estrogen and progesterone – her ovaries quit producing eggs and her period stops. While, for many women, the lack of a monthly period is gratifying (40+ years is quite enough, thank you!) – this joy comes with a price. Women going through menopause have a plethora of symptoms – from night sweats, hot-flashes, headaches, weight gain, mood swings, urinary tract infections, insomnia to, yes, – lack of libido. This is the second irony when it comes to a woman and her hormones as she can finally have sex without worrying about pregnancy - the first being SHE peaks in her 30’s and 40’s and MEN peak at 18-25. So here, a woman is freed of her monthly menstrual meditations and no longer has to worry about birth control and here she has NO interest in sex!
During menopause a woman’s hormones are not the only things changing. Her body (specifically her vagina) may go through some odd and uncomfortable changes. As Estrogen leaves her body – so does her ability to lubricate easily. For many women, this means a dry, tight, uncomfortable vagina that is prone to infections and makes for very sore sex! While artificial lubrication can help TREMENDOUSLY, many women find that this does not help.
9 Ways To Boost Your Sex Drive
There are also countless women who have encountered loss of sex drive after having hysterectomies. This is one of the top side affects of this surgery because as the woman looses her “woman parts” – the parts that produce the female hormones – she goes through a dramatic shift in hormones. Most doctors begin hysterectomy patients on hormone replacement therapy right away, but this is oftentimes unsuccessful. If you have had a hysterectomy, speak to your doctor about products and medications that may assist you in regaining your sex drive! There are new products just being introduced on the market that can help with this specific issue.
Again, if this is plaguing you and reducing your libido, talk to your OBGYN and see what he or she recommends for you. Many women also try Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for help with ALL the symptoms of menopause. Many times, these therapies have Estrogen and Progesterone in the oral pill, and this can help tremendously with libido and vaginal dryness. If you have not discussed HRT with your doctor, consider it as a way to ease your pain!
One of the simplest explanations for loss of libido (in men AND women) is a reaction or side affect to a medicine. Particularly, anti-depressants, blood pressure pills and birth control pills. Yes, birth control pills can kill or affect sex drive (another irony huh?) If you are on a new medicine and notice a decrease in sexual desire – or – if you know that your medicine does affect libido, talk to your doctor. Many times there is another option to replace that medicine that has less of a libido affect. If you can not replace that medicine with another, look into a libido increasing options. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about a woman’s “Viagra” that is to be hitting the market.
There are other options. Particularly, vaginal / clitoral creams. While these creams do not “internally” increase libido, what they do is help with sexual response so that sex is enjoyable. By increasing blood flow to the clitoris, creams like Viva Clitoral Cream simply bring the clitoris to an aroused state. There are also prescription strength creams available that do the same thing. While I have personally tried and enjoyed the effects of Viva Cream, I have not tried any others. For women who have issues that can not be helped by changing medications or other changes, this may be a viable option. Oftentimes, even if there is a lack of libido, there can be and increase in desire if sex is enjoyable and comfortable. Clitoral Creams offer many women that option.
PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL POSSIBILITIES
One of the less rare and less talked about reasons for lacking libido is sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction in men is talked about and addressed far more than in women. In fact, it is estimated that 43% of women suffer from sexual dysfunction, while only 31% of men do. So, why is this not addressed as vehemently as it is for men? Women do not talk about their sexual dysfunction as openly or honestly as men do – and men are not always willing either. Admitting that you are having difficulties with sex is not something that either gender wants to publicize. For this reason, the numbers regarding sexual dysfunction in both sexes are probably underemphasized. Also, while male sexual dysfunction is more often a result of a medical or physical problem, a woman’s sexual dysfunction seems to be more psychological than physical.
Women tie sex to emotional attachment – and if she is not feeling emotionally attached or fulfilled, she can “turn off” her own sexual arousal and libido. This is not to suggest that there are no physical reasons for a woman’s libido loss – as previously discussed, there are. However, it is more likely a psychological block than a physical one. Some major physical reasons for libido loss in women are: Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Thyroid Disorders, Lupus and a whole host of Neurological disorders. Another irony when it comes to women and sexual dysfunction is that sex is proven to HELP physical strength, elevate and equalize mood, and generally make people happy – all the things one would need if he or she was dealing with a serious disorder or disease – such as Cancer. However, the medications to treat these disorders – as well as the disorder itself – kill libido in most cases – thereby robbing the person of their sexual happiness and causing depression for dual reasons. Once again, if you are dealing with any of the above and are noticing a lack in libido – talk to you doctor – she or he may be able to help you regain that part of your life.
SAGGING BOOBS AND TUMMY TUCKS
While it is true for most women that sex drive INCREASES with age, there are some women who see a noticeable decline in libido – especially if they have undergone a physical change later in life – such as obesity. As a woman’s body changes, her breasts sag, she retains more weight and she generally goes through a metamorphosis that comes with age she may feel mentally unsexy – and therefore act like she is unsexy and feel thusly the same. Once again, a psychological condition that can manifest itself physically. Admittedly, it is hard to feel like having sex when you think that your body is no longer YOUR own. This is a problem that women have at all different times in their lives.
The most important thing to remember is that EVERY WOMAN IS SEXY in her own way and that if you feel sexy on the INSIDE you will present that persona to your partner and thusly, he will also find you sexy. This is a much harder dilemma to fix – as we women are not good at giving ourselves praise and lifting ourselves up – but it is instrumental if we want to remain sexual beings and get the most out of our lives! Basically, life is too short to worry about physical changes – we need to be healthy and happy and live our life to the fullest….PERIOD!
SURVIVING SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
If you have read this article and have found some truth in what I have wrote – I implore you; do not take this situation without being proactive! Many doctors will tell you that “well, those are the side affects” – in short, “sorry your libido is gone; there is nothing I can do.” This is a bunch of BS – there are other options for certain drugs that do not have the same side affects, there are creams and products that may greatly help with sexual response, and there are psychologists available to counsel you about your feelings and depression regarding your dysfunction.
The main point is: this does not have to be the end of sex for you! Keep asking and talking and finding answers. Be willing and able to tell your doctor what is going on and what you want to try. Sexual satisfaction is something that every person is entitled to. Be cognizant of your resources and be prepared to experiment. Make sure that you discuss all options with your OBGYN or doctor - this is important to getting the right help. Remember, this is not the end of sex for you – find the answers! I sincerely hope that this article is a small stepping stone to reclaiming your sexuality!
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