OVERCOME LOW LIBIDO AS A CAUSE OF SEXUAL FRUSTRATION AMONGST COUPLES
So far we are in part three of causes of sexual frustrations in marriage. Under this article, we will look at what is libido, causes of low libido and solutions to low libido.
Since sexual satisfaction plays a crucial part in a man and a women’s physical and mental well-being, problems with low sex drive deserve an equal amount of attention and treatment as any other physical or mental illness. To understand the nature of low sex drive in women here’s a breakdown of most frequent causes.
Natural causes of Low sex drive in women :-
1). Sex drive issues in various forms affect nearly 50% of women. Relationship issues, anger, and resentment towards themselves all result from unaddressed sex drive issues.
2). Cultural aspects of a women’s upbringing, such as religion and subtle messages about female body anatomy passed through generations, also affect women’s sexuality. Family and cultural influences have a lot to do with the psychological aspect of female sexuality.
3). If your background and upbringing included harboring shame towards your own body, or subtle messages that having sexual desires is wrong or immoral, you are most likely to experience low sex drive.
4). Confidence and self-esteem. A woman needs to carry love and acceptance for herself and her own body in order to have a healthy sex life. If your confidence is shaken, you could feel insecure about your body and desire less sex.
5). Trauma and abuse. Being in an abusive relationship, whether the abuse is emotional, physical, or sexual, can cause low libido in women.
SYMPTOMS OF LOW LIBIDO.
Symptoms of low sex drive in men or women include:
- Having no interest in any type of sexual activity.
- Never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts
PHYSICAL / MEDICAL CAUSES OF LOW LIBIDO.
According to researchers:
These are outlined below:
- You’re skimping on sleep.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that, for women, more sleep led to higher levels of sexual desire and better arousal the next day. In fact, just one more hour of sleep was linked to a 14 percent increase in the odds a woman would engage in sexual activity with a partner. Consequently, bad sleeping habit can reduce your sex hormone.
- You’re dealing with some relationship issues.
Problems within a relationship can make it tough for women to get in the mood. But the length of your relationship can also impact sex drive. “Early in relationships, women have a spike in desire,” Thomas explains. But over time, that falling-in-love feeling softens. It’s normal, but it can make things feel more routine. “You kind of just have to accept that it’s going to soften, but you can do things to kick it up.” Here are some easy ways to heat things up again.
Interestingly, many studies have been done on women’s rape fantasies. The theory is that a woman’s sexuality is connected to feeling wanted. “It’s not necessarily the rape, but there’s a hook that being wanted is a turn on,” Thomas explains. When you feel less ogled at in a LTR, it can mess with your own level of desire.
- You’ve been exposed to potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Some types of phthalates, a class of chemicals found in plastic, personal care products, cleaning products, and even fast food, are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. Meaning, enough exposure may mess with your hormones and reduce testosterone levels. Lower testosterone means lower libido. One study from the University of Rochester showed that women who had more phthalates in their urine were two and a half times more likely to report libido problems. “There’s a lot of little studies, with bits and pieces like this we can gather,” Thomas says. Whether or not phthalates have a major impact or not, “indirectly, good nutrition and being healthy ultimately do make a difference in sexuality,” Thomas adds.
- You’re taking certain medications that affect sex drive.
Some medications, like antidepressants, blood pressure meds, and some oral or transdermal birth controls, are known to mess with libido. “More and more, we’re seeing gynos switching to IUDs for that reason,” Thomas says. If you’re taking any meds that list “decreased sex drive” as a side effect, go see your doctor to discuss other options that may not be as big of a buzzkill.
- You recently had a baby, or are post-menopausal.
When it comes to hormonal factors (those not influenced by medications or environment), Thomas says they’re really only proven to interfere post menopause or after giving birth. “Within the first year after pregnancy, a woman’s sexual drive diminishes, for physiological reasons,” Thomas explains. “Prolactin [a hormone that facilitates breastmilk production] is elevated postpartum, and that is directly related to a decrease in sexual drive.” New moms may also feel less desire to get down if they’re simply exhausted from taking care of the new baby. Post menopause, women can receive hormone therapy to boost their drive to previous levels.
- You tend to drink (a few) too many glasses of wine.
A few drinks may initially get you raring and ready to go, but imbibing too much can make your sex drive plummet. Alcohol may just make you pass out before the main event, or make you so tired your desire drops. Heavy drinking messes with the body in many serious ways, one of which is interfering with hormone regulation in the reproductive system. If you’re a heavy drinker, this can ultimately result in drop in libido.
- You smoke cigarettes, or do other drugs.
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it decreases blood flow throughout the body. Research has shown that for women, even though blood flow to the sex organs isn’t as important as it is for men to become aroused, nicotine is linked to a drop in libido. Thomas also notes that other using other drugs, like heroin (which is linked with inhibiting orgasm for both women and men), can have a negative impact on your sex drive.
- You can’t remember what the inside of a gym looks like.
“Exercise has been correlated with sexual drive,” Thomas explains. “Study and speculation both suggest that since exercise helps us balance and stabilize physiological processes and hormones, that it can help with libido.” There may also be a deeper psychological piece connected to confidence—physical activity can give you a serious self-esteem boost, which can translate to more confidence in bed.
- Your stress levels are through the roof.
Stress pretty much ruins everything—your skin, your sleeping habits, and your sexy time. Stress makes you anxious, distracted, and throws hormones out of whack. Since stress affects sleep, it can also sabotage your sex life from that angle. When you’re frustrated about having a low sex drive, you may stress about that, too. Talk about a vicious cycle.
- What is libido, exactly?
You might have heard this term used as a catch-all to describe a few different sexual phenomena. “It’s one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, and [people can have] a different idea of what it means,” according to Madeleine M. Castellanos.
Experts, however, typically use the term “libido” to refer to the psychological aspect of sexual desire.
“It’s that feeling of drive or motivation to engage in sexual behavior,” sex and relationships according to researcher Kristen Mark. Libido is about what’s going on in your mind (like when you’re lost in a hot fantasy) while sexual arousal is about what’s happening in your body (like getting wet if you have a vagina or getting an erection if you have a penis). The confusion comes in because libido and sexual arousal often rise and dip together, says Mark, this is why difficulty getting physiologically aroused can inhibit psychological desire and vice versa.
But arousal and libido aren’t always connected. You may experience high levels of libido without the physical signs of arousal (like when you feel really turned on but aren’t getting wet). Or you may experience physical signs of arousal (like increased lubrication or erection) even if you’re not really mentally in the mood.
This is known as arousal non-concordance. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just something that can happen sometimes when you have a body. It’s typically thought that people with vaginas who identify as women tend to have less coordination between their physiological sexual arousal and psychological desire than people with penises do, Mark says. But, like many other things when it comes to sex, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule.
SOLUTIONS TO LOW SEX DRIVE
Increasing your libido really depends on why it was low in the first place. If you have a medical issue impacting your desire, such as depression or painful sex, talking to a doctor may put you on a path to treatment that changes your libido. Or if you feel like you and your partner have fallen into a rut, you can definitely work to amplify your closeness.
“Because sexual desire is related to satisfaction in the relationship, it can be really helpful to improve the parts of the relationship where something’s missing,” Mark explains. “You might see that sexual desire will follow.”
If your spontaneous desire has been low, you can try to feed your responsive desire, like with physical intimacy that doesn’t involve sex but might lead to it. It can be healthy for some people to consciously choose to engage in sex with the aim of increasing intimacy in the relationship or meeting each other’s needs, Mark says. What’s less healthy is feeling like you need to have sex to “get it over with,” avoid a fight, or fulfill a duty to someone else that doesn’t make you satisfied or happy. This produces a negative sexual experience that “can actually further decrease desire and satisfaction in relationships,” Mark explains.
While only a doctor can pinpoint the exact causes of low sex drive, you can do a lot to relieve stress from your life and regain a sense of balance and satisfaction. While getting the right treatment to help you overcome low sex drive, you can try easing the load in your daily life by:
1). Getting more help at home. Prioritizing friends and quality time with family over housework.
2). Getting more sleep, even at the cost of unfinished work.
3). Addressing relationship issues. Would your relationship benefit from counseling? Could you and your partner spend more time together and regain the lost connection?
4). Talking about sex. Don’t keep your problem to yourself. If sex is a taboo topic in your circles, find friends who you trust enough to share your struggles.
5). Diseases decrease libido
Physical illness can affect your body in a way that reduces your desire for sex. Some of the most frequent physical and mental causes for low sex drive include:
- Injury. Any injury that affects reproductive organs, as well as nerves and blood vessels can reduce sex drive.
- Disrupted blood flow to female genitals often results in reduced sex drive. Procedures like hysterectomy, but also injuries that result from childbirth, link to less desire for sex.
- Chronic illness, particularly pain, harms the overall physical and mental wellbeing. A range of illnesses, from hormonal imbalance, hypothyroidism, diabetes, anemia, or neurological disorders, all affect the female body’s normal functioning.
If these conditions affect healthy sleep and disrupt normal daily routines, it’s normal for women to feel ‘out-of-place’ and lose the sense of balance necessary for a healthy sex life.
- Mental problems. Anxiety and depression most often reduce sex drive in women. Aside from underlying issues with self-love and self-confidence, depression and anxiety drain physical energy. This further results in a sluggish, tired feeling that doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a vibrant sex life. If you’re taking medications for mental illness, such as anti-depressants, or regular treatment for other chronic illness, the side effects can also include low sex drive.
HOW TO IMPROVE SEX DRIVE
If you’re wondering how to improve your sex drive, the answer is as complex as the condition itself. Working with a right team of experts, that includes a physician, a therapist, and a sex therapist will help you regain physical health and solve psychological issues that result in less desire for sex.
There are many low sex drive remedies available in pharmacies and drug stores, but you shouldn’t use them without consulting your doctor. Women’s sex drive pills are a pharmaceutical innovation, and they might help you overcome your issues. Still, considering how complex low sex drive issue is, you want to look into the right causes behind it.
When to seek professional help?
What drives women’s libido is a tender balance between physical and mental health, as well as satisfaction with one’s self and personal relationships. When a woman experiences distress in one or multiple of these areas, be it physical illness, stress, or being in a bad relationship, sexual dysfunction might follow.
To overcome low sex drive and regain a healthy relationship with your own body, you must look into the major reasons for low sex drive and how they’re affecting you. While it’s normal to feel a lack of desire for sex at times, you should seek help if the issue starts to concern you.
You don’t have to have a diagnose of any illness to treat low sex drive. If you feel like lack of sexual desire is causing you distress, or you simply want to improve quality of life (sex included), physicians and therapists are there to help. Consult a doctor.
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