Some women who experience low sex drives are able to blame medical conditions or medications that kill their libidos, others are experiencing hormone changes or the natural process of aging (pregnancy, menopause). But for many others underlying psychological causes may be the real culprit.
We commonly think of middle age and menopause as the time in a woman’s life when she may experience sexual issues, but the numbers of young women (ages 18-44) reporting low libidos is on the rise. About 10% of these young women report low sexual desire.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as any persistent lack of sexual desire that causes a woman distress. HSDD affects millions of women in the U.S. The focus in this diagnosis is on the anxiety caused by a low sex drive.
As many as 40% of women diagnosed with HSDD also report depression. Stress and anxiety are common causes of low sex drive. Financial worries, relationship issues, or the stress of raising children—all of these are great libido killers. A lack of connection with your partner, unresolved fights, poor communication of sexual needs and preferences, and infidelity can all lead to severely lowered libidos.
Woody Allen famously said, “The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it.” Allen has a twisted sense of humor, but there is some truth to his gloomy view. When there is stress in a relationship, libidos fall. When libidos fall, more stress is added to the relationship.
It is a vicious cycle. But there is hope. Working on your relationship with your significant other might be all it takes:
- Start a hobby together
- Institute weekly date nights
- Take a trip together, alone
- Never go to bed angry
- Consider counseling
Woody Allen’s theory of sex and love is gloomy, but relationships don’t have to be. When couples are happy and satisfied together, sex and love can exist in harmony.
Written by Catherine Clubb-Brown, Forward Counseling intern
Photo courtesy of quotes.lol-rofl.com.