As the baby boomer generation ages, more and more women are losing their sex drive. Many are entering perimenopause, and others are moving beyond menopause. Too many report little or no sexual desire, and they are not happy about this.
Known medically as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), low libido seems to affect more women than ever simply because more women are entering middle age. Doctors may hear more reports of sexual dysfunction because more women are open to the subject. This may stem from the success of male potency drugs like sildenafil.
Discovering Low Libido in Women
While the male sex drive is easy to recognize, define and restore, female libido may seem like a mystery. It is certainly more complex and involves a number of factors, from physical and hormonal to emotional and relational.
Emotions are a frequent cause of diminished sex drive in women, especially those who are younger than 45. In older women, low libido is usually connected to the aging process and hormonal changes. The fact that women stop ovulating on a regular basis naturally lowers the sex drive.
The Natural Female Sex Drive
Because of biology, women have a natural, built-in desire for sex. This sex drive increases just before ovulation and continues for a few days. This is the only time of the month that conception is possible.
Once women stop ovulating, they lose their regular monthly libido boost. There is nothing wrong with this; it is simply how nature works. However, women do notice this change, and their diminishing sex drive is a common complaint.
During menopause, and the years or months leading up to it, less estrogen circulates in the female body. This too causes a drop in sex drive. Hormonal changes often paint a grim picture for women, but there are many ways to revive the sex drive. Here are some examples.
Ways to Revive the Sex Drive
Iron deficiency anemia and low thyroid function are two common disorders that affect women’s libido. A simple blood test can diagnose these problems, and their treatment can increase sexual desire.
Low-level depression also affects libido. Switching to a different antidepressant drug may be the solution. In some cases, taking a male potency pill like sildenafil may improve sexual desire.
Many women are hesitant to try hormone replacement therapy because of the associated health risks. However, localized estrogen therapy can soothe the vagina and encourage sexual secretions. Unlike oral estrogens, vaginal creams, rings and suppositories are generally safe.
Testosterone creams and gels may also help some women. Applied to the vagina or clitoris, these topical treatments may increase sexual sensations and orgasm. They are definitely worth consideration for women’s libido.
Vitamin E, nutritional supplements and genital massage oils that contain botanicals are natural ways to revive the sex drive. Studies have shown that herbal remedies can increase sexual desire, stimulation, arousal and orgasmic abilities. Because they may interact with medications, however, they should only be taken with a doctor’s approval.