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3 Signs It’s Time to Talk to Your Doctor About Your Low Sex Drive

Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, PhD, LCSW, CST on October 24, 2017Written by Rachel Nall, RN, BSN, CCRN on October 24, 2017
female low sex drive

There are many taboo topics, conditions, and symptoms that women don’t always talk to their doctors about. One of these can be low sex drive. Women may be uncomfortable talking about lacking the desire for sex or enjoyment of it as much as they once did.

Sex is often tied to many complicated factors, including how you feel about your own body, your satisfaction in your relationship(s), and your overall happiness. If any of these factors aren’t in balance, your sex drive may be affected.

But low sex drive isn’t something to be embarrassed about. There are many treatments that can help increase your libido. Here are the signs that it’s time to discuss your low sex drive with your doctor.

1. Low sex drive is affecting your relationship

Sex, intimacy, and a healthy relationship are often connected. When a woman’s sex drive decreases, her relationship may also be affected.

Feeling stressed about your lack of desire can take a toll on your relationship. Your partner may have difficulty understanding this change in your libido, thinking you don’t desire them sexually or don’t want to be close.

Several sexual disorders and underlying causes are associated with low sex drive. One of these is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), now known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder. This chronic condition causes women to experience low sex drive, leading to distress.

Female sexual interest/arousal disorder is the most common sexual health condition that affects women. If your relationship is strained due to sex drive changes, talk to your doctor to find out if the cause is HSDD or another condition. This disorder is highly treatable.

2. Low sex drive is affecting your quality of life

Low sex drive doesn’t just affect your relationship — it can also affect your overall quality of life. Symptoms of this include:

  • worrying about why you have a reduced sex drive
  • fearing that you’re no longer desirable or attractive due to low libido
  • getting less enjoyment from activities besides sex than you once did
  • avoiding seeing friends because you’re fearful of the topic of sex coming up
  • feeling stressed out because of your low sex drive

Low sex drive can impact your overall self-esteem, work performance, or relationships with your partner and friends. You may be so preoccupied with your sex drive (or lack thereof) that it becomes difficult to complete other tasks. Sometimes this can cause or contribute to depression.

If low sex drive is affecting you, talk to your doctor. Whether it’s your primary care doctor, gynecologist, or therapist, they can help start you on a path to treatment and enhanced libido.

3. At-home treatments haven’t worked

With so much information available on the internet, you’ve likely sought information before deciding to see your doctor. You may have tried communicating more openly with your partner, trying different sexual positions, role playing, or using sex toys for different kinds of stimulation. You may have also tried stress-relieving techniques. But if these treatments haven’t effectively increased your sex drive, it’s time to see your physician.

According to the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, an estimated 1 in 10 women will experience HSDD in their lifetime. It’s not unusual for women to lose interest in sex occasionally due to changes in hormones or relationship difficulties. But when it causes personal distress, this could be a sign of HSDD.

The takeaway

Regardless of the cause, there are many treatments available for low libido in women. If you’ve tried a few options that haven’t worked, this doesn’t mean that you can’t or won’t regain your sex drive in time.

Often, low sex drive could simply be result of taking a certain medication or supplement. Other times, aging-related hormone changes could be the reason. But until you see a doctor, you won’t know the cause and the potential treatments. This is why it’s important to start an honest and open dialogue with your doctor.

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