An­drea Helten

Low li­bido in women

Re­a­sons for loss of li­bido

Se­xual an­he­donia in women can have many causes and most often it is an in­ter­play of several fac­tors. For the sake of sim­pli­city, we will first list the most im­portant re­a­sons and then ex­p­lain them in de­tail. However, the ter­mi­no­logy is im­portant: While ge­ne­rally not ever­yone al­ways feels like ha­ving sex, the issue only be­comes a pro­blem when one’s own lack of de­sire is per­ceived as a burden. Then we speak of a “se­xual ap­pe­tite dis­order”.

Common re­a­sons for low li­bido in women

1. Hor­monal fac­tors

Hor­monal ba­lance na­tu­rally plays an im­portant role when a woman no longer feels plea­sure in se­xua­lity. Espe­cially the most im­portant sex hor­mones es­t­rogen and pro­ges­te­rone are in con­ti­nuous in­ter­play with each other. For ex­ample, an ir­re­gular mens­trual cycle can have an im­pact on de­sire. A lack of the “male” hor­mone tes­to­ste­rone, which women na­tu­rally also pos­sess, can also lead to a de­crease in li­bido. This is the case for ex­ample, du­ring me­no­pause, where there is a hor­monal im­ba­lance over a longer pe­riod of time — si­milar to pu­berty. In ad­di­tion to the loss of li­bido, there can also be pain du­ring sex, which is trig­gered by an in­cre­a­singly dry va­gina. Ac­cording to gy­ne­co­lo­gist Sheila de Liz, an es­t­rogen de­fi­ci­ency is usually re­spon­sible for this phe­no­menon. The­re­fore, your gy­ne­co­lo­gist should be the first point of con­tact here.

Na­tu­rally, there are other hor­monal prio­ri­ties than sex after child­birth: the hor­mone pro­lactin en­sures milk pro­duc­tion in women and at the same time in­hi­bits se­xual de­sire.

In times when we are very busy at work, the de­sire for sex also de­cre­ases. A high stress level and the as­so­ciated high con­cen­tra­tion of stress hor­mones not only has a ne­ga­tive ef­fect on our li­bido, but also re­duce the pro­ba­bi­lity of be­co­ming pregnant. Which brings us to the psy­cho­lo­gical fac­tors.

2. Psy­cho­lo­gical fac­tors

Re­se­ar­chers at the Uni­ver­sity Me­dical Center Ham­burg-Ep­pen­dorf (UKE) have found that women and men bet­ween the ages of 18 and 35 have sex around five times a month. Now is that a lot or a little? Ex­pec­ta­tions about how often sex should take place, what ful­fil­ling sex looks like or what se­xual prac­tices are used, often create pres­sure. Women in par­ti­cular then start to wonder whe­ther they are doing “ever­ything right se­xu­ally”. In ad­di­tion, dis­sa­tis­fac­tion with one’s own body can make women feel even more in­se­cure. Un­rea­listic be­auty ideals in so­cial media create an image of fe­mi­ninity and at­trac­ti­ve­ness that most women simply don’t live up to. And that’s a good thing!

Even for women who want to have children, the fe­male li­bido so­me­times falls by the way­side. When the in­ti­mate act is only seen as a means to an end and the de­sired pregnancy is in­cre­a­singly de­layed, this puts a strain on both part­ners. Blame, unspoken or ex­pressed in an open ar­gu­ment, leads to stress in the re­la­ti­onship. And re­la­ti­onship stress is con­si­dered a lust killer par ex­cel­lence.

In ad­di­tion, se­xual dis­or­ders and be­ha­viors in the male partner, such as pre­ma­ture eja­cu­la­tion, can also be a re­ason for the woman’s lack of de­sire.

3. Ill­nesses and me­di­ca­tions

Alt­hough the birth con­trol pill is one of the safest me­thods of con­tracep­tion, it is very often blamed for the loss of li­bido in women. The pro­ge­s­tins con­tained in the pill af­fect the hor­monal ba­lance and are thought to trigger the de­cline in se­xual ac­ti­vity.

Chronic con­di­tions such as hy­po­thy­ro­idism, chronic pain, or cancer cause de­cre­ased de­sire. In ad­di­tion, some me­di­ca­tions such as an­ti­hy­per­ten­sives or an­ti­de­pres­sants, have de­cre­ased li­bido as an un­de­s­i­rable side ef­fect.

What helps against low li­bido?

You have to find out in­di­vi­du­ally what is the best way for you to combat se­xual an­he­donia. Lear­ning re­la­xa­tion tech­ni­ques or re­dis­co­vering mindful and un­in­ten­tional touch can help. A greater ac­cep­t­ance of your own body can also make a big dif­fe­rence (key­word body po­si­ti­vity). Sports and ex­er­cise are a won­derful ba­lance to our stressful ever­yday lives. Whe­ther it’s gentle yoga or an ex­haus­ting Zumba workout, sport keeps you fit and lets you ex­pe­ri­ence your body better. It is the­re­fore the first step towards a good and he­althy body fee­ling.

Your gy­ne­co­lo­gist can find out whe­ther your hor­mones are re­spon­sible for the se­xual list­less­ness. De­pen­ding on the di­sease and the level of suf­fe­ring, an en­docri­no­lo­gist may also be re­com­mended, who can ex­amine the hor­mone ba­lance in de­tail. Psy­cho­the­rapy or sex the­rapy can also help to res­tore inner ba­lance if there are deeper re­a­sons for the lack of se­xual de­sire.

In ad­di­tion to these stra­te­gies for gai­ning plea­sure, blogs and fo­rums na­tu­rally offer count­less tips for an ac­tive li­bido, ran­ging from the con­sump­tion of hot spices to hotel dates and sex toys.

About Fer­tilly

At Fer­tilly, we have made it our mis­sion to ac­com­pany cou­ples (ho­mo­se­xual and he­te­ro­se­xual) and sin­gles on the way to ful­fil­ling their child wish. In doing so, it is im­portant to us to create trans­pa­rency in the area of fer­ti­lity ser­vices, to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and know­ledge on the to­pics of pregnancy and fer­ti­lity and to help you to find the most sui­table Fer­ti­lity Center. Through coope­ra­tion with first-class Fer­ti­lity Cen­tres and cli­nics in Eu­rope, en­qui­ries about Fer­tilly are given pre­fe­ren­tial tre­at­ment. This means that our pa­ti­ents avoid the usually long wai­ting times and get ap­point­ments more quickly.

If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about Fer­ti­lity Cen­ters, suc­cess rates and prices, please con­tact us using this ques­ti­onn­aire. We will ad­vise you free of charge and wi­thout any ob­li­ga­tion.

  • An­swer the first ques­tions in the on­line form in order to book an ap­point­ment. This way we can better ad­dress your needs du­ring the con­ver­sa­tion.

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