Three Causes of Low Libido In Women

Sex will move up and down on your list of priorities at different points in your life — that’s totally normal. After all, getting it on may not be your priority right after having a baby or in the middle of a stressful work change. 

However, you may be dealing with low libido if you’ve noticed that sex hasn’t even been making your list lately (or the idea actively turns you off). Why is my libido low, you may ask? There are a few reasons you may be saying no when you usually say yes, but there is good news — there are also ways to raise it! 

Just asking the question is a step in the right direction, so let’s just jump right in!

What Is Low Libido?

Unlike low iron or vitamin D levels, which have set ranges for when they’re “low,” the definition of low libido differs from person to person. For one person, it may be totally normal to have sex once or twice a month. Anything less than once a day for someone else may be out of the ordinary. 

Think about a time when you were feeling at your best — how many times a day/week/month did you think about or want to have sex (either with yourself or your partner)? If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in that number or are not even thinking about sex at all, you may be dealing with low libido. 

Symptoms of Low Libido

Low libido is just not desiring sex with your partner, right? While that is a big part, other symptoms may point to an issue.

For instance, have you also noticed that you’ve indulged in far less self-love than you usually do? Are you not even thinking sexy thoughts or having erotic fantasies? 

Are you still having sex with your partner but getting little to no pleasure? Are you having trouble getting and staying wet? These are also symptoms of low libido! 

Is Low Libido Normal?

Yes … and no. While it’s normal for your libido to dip occasionally, low libido that lingers around or impacts you emotionally isn’t. Studies have shown that one out of every three people with vaginas deals with low sex drive, and that’s just the people who self-report! There’s no reason to beat yourself up, and you’re not alone.

Some people identify as asexual (or Ace). Aces experience little to no sexual interest in other people, but they’re also comfortable with that. That’s why, even though they have a significantly decreased sex drive from what other people may consider “normal,” they embrace it as just as much an identity as being straight or gay.

What Causes Low Libido in Women?

So, what the heck is going on? Why is my libido low? While every case of low libido is different, for many of us, it’s usually a combination of a few factors (nothing in life can be simple, right?).

Here are the big three.

Some Medications

Everything we put in our bodies has potential upsides and downsides. When it comes to influencing your libido, one of the medications that can have an impact is hormonal birth control. Ironic, right? 

Something you take not to get pregnant can also tank your desire to do the deed in the first place. While the exact link isn’t clear, its effect on our hormone levels likely has something to do with it. 

However, it’s not like you can (or should) stop taking birth control. Instead, talk to your healthcare provider about alternatives and other suggestions if you think your hormonal birth control is leading to a reduced sex drive.

Certain mental health meds, like antidepressants, can also mess with your interest in having sex. Depression can lead to lower libido all on its own, but the medications you take to manage it (including SSRIs) can also impact you. 

Obviously, like with hormonal birth control, there’s a big element of a trade-off here. Never stop taking antidepressants without talking to your doctor, as the side effects can be significant (and your mental health is essential!).

Also (prepare yourself — this may be a shock), we need to talk about alcohol. We know! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but chronic alcohol use can also trigger a lower sex drive. 

While the reasons are different in different sexes, you may sometimes feel like you want to have sex, but your body just can’t get there. We’re not saying you can’t have a drink or two every once in a while, but if you’re drinking every day, you may want to reconsider.

Natural Hormones (or Lack Thereof)

Like our libido, our hormones undergo some pretty wild swings as we age. Think about how you felt when you first got your period. If you were like us, you probably felt like a rage monster most of the time (probably in between crying jags). 

But what comes up must come down, which happens during menopause — especially with estrogen. As your natural estrogen levels dip lower and lower, so does your ability to get and stay wet. 

Hormonal changes don’t just trigger issues like vaginal dryness, though. It can also cause your vaginal tissue to thin out, making sexual activity uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, even though many over-the-counter products say they can make a difference, people dealing with big hormonal shifts may need a gynecologist's prescription for hormone replacement therapy.

Some health conditions can also contribute to hormonal fluctuations and their resulting sexual problems. For instance, conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can lead to high testosterone levels, leading to low self-esteem, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

And it’s safe to say that when your physical health is suffering, your body won’t be super interested in getting it on.

Stress and Relationship Problems

While there are plenty of physical reasons you might be dealing with a lack of interest in having sex with your partner, don’t discount the impact that stress can have — physically and emotionally.

If your body isn’t feeling good, it will be hard to get in the mood for love. This can be due to over-exercising (soreness, in most cases, is not a turn-on) or not exercising enough. 

While our body isn’t necessary a temple, taking care of it helps you feel better about yourself. Poor body image can absolutely lead to low libido. 

We also know we’re guilty of not always taking our mental health seriously. Uncontrolled stress can have a big impact on the body and the mind. Plus, when you’re feeling terrible about yourself or your life, you will probably not want to jump in the sack. 

We’re huge fans of therapy, so if you’ve been feeling low for a while, we highly recommend counseling. Also, if you’re asking, “why is my libido low?” you should look closely at your relationships. 

Loss of libido can be due to something as simple as arguing with your partner. If you find yourself turned off by the thought of having sex with your partner and you’ve been fighting lately, it may just be that you need to resolve that tension and address any relationship issues. 

Pro tip: breakup sex can be super hot, but beware of toxic patterns. 

How Can I Raise My Libido?

“Why is my libido low?” is only one question you need to ask yourself. Once you’ve identified which of the common causes may be causing an issue, it’s time to do something about it! You didn’t think we would let you suffer alone, did you? 

One way to do that is by finding ways to make sex more pleasurable. While it’s not going to get you in the sack, it may help kick in that sexual desire a little quicker and help you enjoy yourself a little more. 

Check out our Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD — when applied to the clitoris, inner labia, and the inside of the vagina, the oil amps up sensation and opens the door for mind-blowing, powerful orgasms. You’ll be back in the game in no time. 

If you’re finding sex to be uncomfortable and fear of pain is making it hard to get your head in the game, we can’t say it enough — use lube! Lube (like our Intimacy Sex Oil with CBD) is a game-changer for every type of sexual function, and it can be especially helpful for reducing the possibility of painful sex.

It also helps to take care of yourself! A lot of the time, our sex drive follows how we feel about ourselves. If we’re not setting aside time for self-care (and self-love), you will not be getting the most out of your sex life. 

We recommend a nice bath, an early bedtime, and doing whatever makes you happy at least once a week. You’re the most important part of this equation, after all!

The Bottom Line

Your sexual health is just as important as any other aspect of your well-being. Instead of asking, “why is my libido low?” start taking steps to boost it and get your sex life (and mental health) back to where you want it. We’re here to help you create your best sex life, no matter what that looks like. 

We’re in your corner!

Sources:

Prevalence of low sexual desire and hypoactive sexual desire disorder in a nationally representative sample of US women | PubMed

Hormonal Contraceptives, Female Sexual Dysfunction, and Managing Strategies: A Review | PubMed

Women, alcohol, and sexuality | PubMed

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