In a committed relationship, we all experience peaks and valleys in our sexual activity. We might be attracted to our significant other but our crazy schedules, fatigue, pregnancy, menopause, illness and childrearing can derail intimacy for even the most devoted couples.

It becomes a problem, however, if you find yourself without any desire to connect with your partner sexually for prolonged periods of time. There is no magic number to define low sex drive but most woman will recognize a point where the issue should probably be addressed by a visit to the doctor. 

Physical Causes

Decreased libido can be caused by a wide range of physical ailments, many of which are treatable. Nonsexual disorders including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and neurological diseases as well as medications, drugs and alcohol, surgery and fatigue can decrease sex drive.

Hormonal Changes

Unsurprisingly, our sex drives are closely connected with the hormones in our bodies. Changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can have a huge impact on our libido, not just because of the ever-changing hormones but also due to fatigue, discomfort, body image issues and fear of harming the baby.

Menopausal women will experience drops in their estrogen levels as they go through the transition which may cause decreased libido and a reduction in vaginal moisture resulting in uncomfortable or painful sex.

Psychological Factors

Emotional and mental struggles can be just as damaging as sexual drive as physical problems. If you are trying to manage anxiety or depression, attempting to cope with stress, poor body image or low self-esteem, you may find it hard to get into the mood. Also, if those who have a history of physical or sexual abuse may also experience decreased libido.

Relationship issues

If your relationship is in a rut, you feel a lack of connection with your partner, you haven’t discussed sexual needs or infidelity has occurred, your sex life will probably suffer. The best way to approach this is to be open with your partner and tackle any unresolved issues affecting your relationship. Seek the help of a therapist if you are unable to make things better on your own.

Prepare For Your Doctor’s Visit

It is normal to feel a little embarrassed or flustered discussing your sex life with your doctor.  For this reason, it’s a good idea to be prepared.  Write down any questions you have along with details about the sexual problems you’ve been experiencing. If your doctor decides to further investigate the issue, they may perform a pelvic exam, blood tests or refer you to a specialist.

Improving Libido

Depending on the cause of your decreased libido, there are things that may make things better including changing medications, seeing a therapist, hormone therapy and lifestyle changes such as exercise, better stress management, improved communication with your partner and making time for intimacy. Some people find that spicing up their sex life can make a real difference.

Too often, we neglect the importance of that special connection with our partner and discard it as frivolous but it really is an area of relationships that needs to be nurtured. Seek help if you feel that something isn’t right and make small gestures every day to keep the flame alive.