Your sex drive, or libido, has probably been gradually dropping off over the years, but it’s possible that it suddenly took a nosedive and left you wondering where it went! This is especially likely if you have had a baby. Loss of sexual interest after childbearing is often attributed to being tired, too busy taking care of the little one, feeling fat, or other life changes that come with being a new parent. All of those things happen, but the real cause of a loss of interest in sex is much more likely to be an imbalance in your hormones.
For women who are experiencing lack of sex drive, but haven’t had a baby recently, low libido is typically written off as an effect of aging, but that’s only a small part of the truth.
Bring Back Your Sex Drive by Balancing Your Hormones
There are many factors that impact your libido, including medical, lifestyle, sexual and hormonal problems. If sex is painful, then clearly your body won’t crave it.
Medical causes include quite a few conditions that are not sexually-related, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and coronary artery disease. Medications are also likely suspects, particularly anti-seizure meds and antidepressants. If your lifestyle is running you ragged, fatigue is likely to play into your lack of sexual interest. Smoking and regular use of drugs and alcohol will squash your libido too.
As you age (from as early as the time you hit 30), your hormone production slows down. Menopause is the natural end of menstruation and the reproductive time of your life, but is doesn’t happen suddenly, or even over the period of a year. It begins with perimenopause (also called premenopause) which lasts for several years, and can be as long as ten years. During this time, your body is changing, hormone levels drop, menstrual cycles alter, and gradually you stop having periods altogether.
During that long period of hormonal adjustment, estrogen drops dramatically, but other hormones change as well. Along with low libido, you may be experiencing insomnia, depression, weight gain or loss, and a host of other symptoms that are all associated with hormone imbalance. And that is the key to the solution—the problem is not that you don’t have the right hormones, but that you have an imbalance.
What Causes Low Libido in Women?
The primary hormones that play into low libido are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Estrogen is the primary hormone involved in regulating your menstrual cycles and it drops dramatically with menopause. One of the effects of low estrogen is vaginal dryness, which can cause painful intercourse. It also affects mood and sleep patterns.
You will have lower levels of hormones in your later years, but that doesn’t mean you are stuck with low libido! By bringing your hormones into balance, you can get back on track to feeling great and enjoying life as much as you did in your younger years—including a healthy sex life!