Experiencing a drop in your libido can be worrying. Still, it's a common problem that affects many men and women at some point in their lives, especially during times of stress or relationship upsets. Of course, everyone's sex drive is different, and there is no such thing as a "normal libido," but if your lack of desire to have sex affects your relationship or happiness, it may be time to pinpoint the cause and then get help. Having little to no desire to have sex can come down to several things, but here are 5 of the most common causes and how to resolve them.
After a stressful day at work, you feel irritated tired, and all you're thinking of is going home and watching your favorite show. The last thing you're thinking of is sex. We've all been there. Stress is one of the biggest libido killers (Mayo Clinic, 2020). It distracts your mind from being in the moment when you are doing the deed, and it can even interfere with your body's hormone levels which causes a drop in libido levels. Did you also know that stress can cause the arteries to narrow, restricting the blood flow, possibly leading to erectile dysfunction (Hedon, 2003)?
How to Fix It
Manage your stress. We don't mean eliminating all stress but rather learning how to cope with it. Set aside some quality "me time" a couple of nights a week, avoiding anything to do with work. Setting these boundaries will mean, if possible, you are not tempted to work overtime hours and give you some time to wind down in the evenings before bed. Have a relaxing bubble bath with a glass of red wine (which is also an aphrodisiac, so it's a win-win), or go for a relaxing walk in the evening to take your mind off things.
You Have Relationship Upsets
Problems within a relationship are one of the most common causes of low libido. Maybe you can't get your mind off that stupid, ill-thought-out thing your partner did a few weeks ago? He thinks you're over it, but you're not. Or maybe you've been with your partner for a long time, and things have lost their spark? Every relationship has issues from time to time, it's only part of a normal healthy relationship, but it is not beneficial to leave these issues unresolved.
How to Fix It
Talk about it with your partner. One of the most significant relationship killers is a lack of communication or miscommunication. You will never know how much could be fixed through a clear, understanding conversation with your partner unless you try. And for those who may need a little helping hand, relationship therapy is also a common way to help resolve any issues, strengthen your bond, and improve your communication with one another.
Your Contraceptive Pill
Contraceptives have many potential side effects, some familiar and others not likely, which affect all women differently (Davis & Castano, 2004). Side effects that can occur (among many) include mood swings, nausea, bloating, depression, headaches, and irregular bleeding. It's no wonder you may be experiencing a loss of libido with any of these side effects. In addition, since contraceptive pills contain hormones that can affect your own hormones' natural balance, they can also affect your libido.
How to Fix It
It is uncommon to experience an effect on your libido from contraception, and for those that it does impact, they may notice it resolves within a few months. But if you have harmful side effects that you believe are from the ongoing pill, you must switch birth control to one that agrees with you (Davis & Castano, 2004). Before coming off birth control or changing, consult your doctor first, who can advise you.
Low Self Esteem
Fortunately, the current cultural narratives around self-worth and unrealistic beauty standards are shifting. Yet, many of us grew up comparing ourselves to celebrities or the world's influencers, not feeling thin enough, pretty enough, or sexually desirable. It's hard to feel sexy and be fully present in the moment when your self-confidence is down, and feeling unattractive will make you much less likely to want to engage in sex.
How to Fix It
Look in the mirror, and instead of pointing out all of which you feel insecure about, notice what you like about yourself. Change how you view and talk to yourself, and you will feel much more desirable.
Lack of Time
If you have small children, you may find it hard to find quiet time for you and your significant other. Or maybe you're trying to upkeep a full-time job and social life and have been too busy to find time for sex. If you don't make time for intimacy, a lack of sex can lead to low libido.
How to Fix It
Daily life can be hectic, and it can be easy to put sex on the back burner, but to increase your libido, you need to get the sexual energies flowing again. If you feel too busy for sex, consider scheduling this with your partner. Find when you will be accessible in the week or weekend, and view sending a suggestive text to your partner saying what you want to do with them and when. Communicating with your intimate partner builds excitement leading up to your sexual encounter, and the more often you do this, the more your libido could increase.
Davis, A. R., & Castano, P. M. (2004). Oral contraceptives and libido in women. Oral contraceptives and libido in women, (15), 297-320. Retrieved September 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16913282/
Hedon, F. (2003, June 24). Anxiety and erectile dysfunction: a global approach to ED enhances results and quality of life. Int J Impot Res. Retrieved September 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/3900994#citeas
Low sex drive in women. (2020, December 17). Low sex drive in women. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 2020, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/low-sex-drive-in-women/symptoms-causes/syc-20374554