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Lack of sex drive in women

Libido is the conscious component of sexual function. Decreased libido manifests as a lack of sexual interest or a decrease in the frequency and intensity of sexual thoughts, either spontaneous or in response to erotic stimuli. Libido is sensitive to testosterone levels as well as to general nutrition, health, and drugs.

Low libido is more common in women than in men. In fact, over 40 percent of the women complain of lack of sex drive whereas men who suffer with sexual dysfunction are about 30 percent.

Why is this problem more common in women than in men?

While male libido is mainly physically rooted, female sex drive can be influenced by a number of factors – physical, psychological and emotional.


There are various causes but psychological factors, harmonal factors, and medical illness are improtant factors.

Psychological factors

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Latent lesbianism - reduced libido regarding the opposite gender
  • Poor body image and/or low self-esteem
  • Relationship issues
  • History of sexual abuse or rape
  • Fear of pregnancy

Hormone Factors

  • Changes in hormone levels also change libido. This is particularly true for certain periods in a woman’s life
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Breast-feeding
  • Perimenopause and menopause


  • Antidepressants
  • Antihypertensive- beta blockers
  • Cannabis
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs

Medical illness

  • Anemia
  • Hyperprolactinaemia
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Neurological diseases

Other causes

  • Painful intercourse
  • Impotency
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Surgeries related to breasts or genitals can affect desire for sex
  • Fatigue can really suppress any interest in sex
  • Obesity or anorexia

What should a woman do about lack of libido?

First step is to talk to her doctor, to ensure that a medical problem is not the cause for the low libido.

If no medical problem is found, it may be a good decision to seek the advice of a psychologist or therapist.

If relationship factors and sexual intimacy are predominant for the cause of low libido, then it may be wise to see a sex therapist.

You and your partner will discuss your relationship and sexuality during the therapy sessions and may even be assigned “homework” exercises that will help you improve sexual communication and intimacy.

Types of Libido Enhancers for Women

There are various libido enhancers on the market, some – very effective, and others – rarely providing much benefit.

Testosterone patch or pills

  • For women who have undergone hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) or oophorectomy (or ovariectomy – the surgical removal of an ovary or both ovaries), testosterone treatment has shown some benefits in improving women’s sexual function.
  • Side-effects include hairiness, spots, a deep voice and enlargement of the clitoris

Female Viagra-like drugs

Female Viagra-like drugs work by increasing blood flow to the female genitals. This results in improved vaginal lubrication and relaxed vaginal muscles.

Estrogen pills, patches and gels

  • Estrogen is also a hormone that is known to maintain vaginal lubrication, increase sexual sensation, and maintain interest in sex.
  • It also helps to maintain vaginal tissue healthy. Estrogen therapy increases blood flow to the vagina and possibly helps to improve desire.
  • However, just like testosterone therapy, the use of estrogen for libido enhancement is controversial and rarely with much benefit.

Suction vibrators

The gadget applies suction to the clitoris and so increases desir

Desire cream

It contains an ingredient similar to wintergreen, and its effect is to produce a tingly sensation in the clitoris.


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