Low Sex Drive in Women

I hear many women of all ages in my practice bemoaning their non-existent or low sex drive. What’s the deal? Sexual desire, particularly in women is a complicated issue. There are emotional, spiritual, physical, and psychological reasons why libido may not be where it once was (or perhaps it has always felt low!). The good news is, we can troubleshoot the problem and find solutions to keep that spark alive.
Low libido is a subjective term and experience. What feels like a healthy sex drive is individual to each person’s personality, environment, relationship, lifestyle, etc. There’s no correct level of interest in sex. The ideal level of interest is what feels best to you.

woman in bed covering face with book

Physiological Reasons for Low Sex Drive in Women

There are physiological reasons why you might experience a decrease in libido. Chief among these is hormonal birth control. Hormonal birth control methods like the pill are notorious for contributing to low sex drive in women. On the other hand, fearing pregnancy on a regular basis due to not using birth control may also kill libido. There’s a balance to be struck here. You want to feel safe, but not hormonally castrated by artificially high estrogen or progesterone levels 24/7.

I’m a big proponent of using barrier methods (condoms and diaphragms) and tracking your cycle to know when you are fertile and when you are not. It’s a wonderful way for both you and a partner to stay connected to your natural rhythms.

Other hormonal issues stemming from being overweight, imbalanced blood sugar, xenoestrogens (chemical compounds in the environment that act on estrogen receptors), chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, and under and over-exercising can play a role as well. If you want to rule out physiological reasons for low libido, schedule a functional medicine consult and I will dig into what’s going on so you have clear answers.

Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Reasons for Low Sex Drive in Women

In women aged 20 to 40, in committed relationships, low libido is rarely an issue with hormones alone.

The Security Paradox

There is a paradox between the sense of safety we all desire from our romantic partners and the reality that safety and comfort actually put out the sexual fire.

couple holding hands sillhouettedThe first biggest killer of libido is too much time with your partner. Desire lives in the space between you two. There has to be space. You have to have separate friends, interests, and time apart to create the polarity that is essential for magnetism.

Not feeling in the mood? Go spend a weekend apart. Trust me. So many women find that around year 2-4 of their relationship their sex drive starts to fizzle. This is completely natural and common. The in-lust drugs have worn off and you are now dealing with a real person who farts in their sleep. Effort is required to keep desire alive. Start with more space.

In a co-dependent relationship that doesn’t feel healthy? Couples counseling by the right therapist can be transformative. I can recommend someone where you are or good reading resources, just send me an email.

Too Much Doing

The next biggest killer of your sex drive is not enough downtime. Sexual energy is creative energy. It bubbles up when we have time to feel playful and spontaneous. When we are overworked and rushing around all the time, there’s not enough room for this energy to flow freely. Start carving out chunks of time for no-plans, no to-dos. Ever notice how lazy Sunday mornings can feel like the sexiest time of the week? That’s not a coincidence. Let your busy mind relax enough to get back in touch with your physical body.

Disconnection

A major cause of low sex drive is feeling disconnected from yourself or your partner. But, let’s start with you. Sexual energy requires that we be in touch with our body. If you live in your head all of the time or disassociate from your body when you’re stressed, your sex drive will be M.I.A. Sexual energy and creative energy (they are the same at the core, sex is an act of creation), ask us to become intimate with our five senses. Light up your sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound to get back into your body and the desire that lives there. Spend more time doing physically active or creative activities that put you into an embodied state such as breathwork, yoga, painting, singing, acupuncture, dancing, drawing, etc.

woman dancing in a groupOne reason we may be disconnected from ourselves, and experiencing low libido as a result, is the repression of painful emotions. Feelings like shame, fear, and guilt are notorious assassins of desire. We often disassociate from our physical body as a way to avoid noticing the way these feelings are showing up in our body— heaviness, tightness, fatigue, numbness. Allowing space to feel these hard things is the first step towards creating a connection with self that will fuel the desire for sexual intimacy again.

Feeling disconnected from your partner can also cause low libido. When we feel like we haven’t been seen, heard, appreciated, or valued by the person we love, this can create stress that undermines our desire for intimacy.

What Makes You Feel Sexy?

Another way to approach this topic is to ask yourself when you feel most sexy? When you do have a sex drive, what is going on? How do you feel, who is there, what is the environment like? Get familiar with the factors that foster a sense of sexual aliveness within you. Low sex drive in women doesn’t have to be such a mystery.

For me, I feel sexy when I am embodied, empowered, connected, present, and in-flow. Some of the things that help spark that feeling within me is climbing mountains, riding motorcycles, and having a full morning at home to luxuriate around my house with absolutely no agenda. All of these things help me feel connected to myself first and foremost, help me get out of my head and into my body, and get my creative energy flowing.

Want your sex drive back? Schedule an appointment!

The contents of this site, including text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only. Nothing contained in this site is or should be considered or used as a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please schedule an appointment for personalized health advice.
2018-11-14T17:02:07+00:00

About the Author:

Caitlin Gordon, M.S., L.Ac., C.M.F.P., is a functional medicine clinician, board-certified acupuncturist, and transformative health coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Owner of Amaluna Acupuncture & Wellness, Caitlin treats patients online and in-person. She specializes in treating stress, anxiety, and depression without pharmaceuticals.

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