Female Low Sexual Drive (LSD)
Women’s sexuality has never been a pressing research topic. The few studies on the subject vary significantly in their results, estimating between approximately 10 percent and 50 percent of women experience problems related to sexual desire. Anecdotally, however, we know that low sexual desire is a significant factor for many women who long to have the satisfying bonds that come with lifelong success at sexual intimacy.
Causes of Female LSD
Aside from hormone deficiencies, imbalances, and medical problems, many women fail to feel good sexually for a variety of reasons — being tense, not having enough information, myths, restrictions, not feeling loved, not having adequate stimulation, poor physical condition, marital discord, poor communication of sexual needs and preferences, and low intimacy or feeling cheated. Ongoing relationship issues can include lack of connection with your partner, unresolved conflicts or fights, infidelity or breach of trust.
A wide range of illnesses, physical changes and medications can cause a low sex drive, including:
- Sexual problems. Experiencing pain during sex or an inability to orgasm can hamper your desire for sex.
- Medical diseases. Numerous nonsexual diseases can also affect desire for sex, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and neurological diseases.
- Surgery. Any surgery related to your breasts or your genital tract can affect your body image, sexual function and desire for sex.
- Fatigue. The exhaustion of caring for aging parents or young children can contribute to low sex drive.
A variety of medications or drugs potentially have serious adverse effects on female sex drive. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Anti-seizure medication
- Alcohol and illegal drugs
Changes in your hormone levels may alter your desire for sex. Such changes are most often associated with:
- Birth Control Pills. Studies have linked oral contraceptive use to decreased levels of androgens, the hormones thought to drive sexuality. Birth control pills can also alter a woman’s natural estradiol fluctuations, considered by many to be a major source of female libido. When the pill changes a woman’s hormonal balance, it may change her desire for sex too.
- Menopause. When estrogen levels drop during the transition to menopause, you may experience decreased interest in sex and dryer vaginal tissues that results in painful or uncomfortable sex. You might also be affected by a decrease in testosterone, which boosts sex drive in men and women alike.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding. This major life change brings hormone fluctuations during pregnancy, post-partum and during breast-feeding. Most new moms also experience fatigue, changes in body image, and the stress of carrying, then taking care of a new baby.
What to Expect at the Initial Visit
A thorough history and physical examination are an essential part of the evaluation of LSD. After a medical assessment, treatment focuses on encouraging the couple to create a climate of profound intimacy, where a woman can really consider, explore and fully appreciate the benefits of sex and pleasure. Achieving this goal often involves a multidisciplinary effort. Urologists, clinical sexologists, psychologists, gynecologists, and many others have much to offer in the understanding and treatment of LSD.
When someone comes to them with a problem, some traditional doctors tend to talk about an individual, “she has a problem; he has a problem.” This individualistic view for understanding and treating sexual difficulties is limited since sex occurs between two people, it can never be a problem with one or the other of them only.
The relational context, which is how a couple relates and communicates, is very important to treat any sexual problem, especially low sex drive. Studies show a strong correlation between a fulfilling relationship and sexual satisfaction. Women’s feelings about their relationship and their partners have an important influence and great impact in performance, response and sexual satisfaction.
Studies have shown the importance of the other and the relationship to deeply understand and treat sexual problems, especially woman’s sexual difficulties.
Therefore, it is very important to ask: Are you READY? It may be that a woman “is available” (she is physically there), but not necessarily “in disposition” (ready or prepared for sex), so she may “avoid” feeling of desires. Helping women to discover and realize their sexual feelings is key to managing them.
It is critical that women with LSD can feel heard and acknowledged without the pressure “to do something.” Instead, they should have the opportunity to reflect on their position and contemplate their thoughts. Focusing on “wanting to want,” with the possibility of building desire, instead of waiting for it to appear, is always helpful.
Sometimes the concept of low sexual desire is wrongly used. Many women say they have no desire, but in fact the problem is that they do not want to be sexual with their partners. Acknowledging this reality is an important part of moving forward.
There’s no doubt that, when women and men feel loved, appreciated and well stimulated, sexual desire arises and can reach its full potential.