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Low Sex Drive in Women

As I've gotten older my interest in sex seems to be diminishing. Can you tell me why?

It is not uncommon to hear women talk of experiencing low sex drive as they get older. For some women this is a perfectly acceptable development; for others it feels as though this is a quality-of-life issue that they would like to address.

Physical Factors of Low Sex Drive in Older Women

The physical factors may often include hormone insufficiencies.

Hormones are a critical component of normal sexual response. Low levels of testosterone-related hormones DHEA-S and estrogens are often associated with peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Understanding the hormone balance is complicated and a very new area for most physicians. Therefore a woman who complains of a low sex drive should have a full battery of blood tests run under the supervision of a physician who specializes in the area of female sexual dysfunction.

Additionally, changes in hormone level can have significant impact on lubrication, which can adversely affect sensation and pleasure during intercourse. This can have both a direct and indirect affect on a women’s sex drive.

The medications you may be taking can also be affecting your level of sexual desire, particularly if you are taking anti-depressants. Additionally, birth control pills can throw off the balance of hormones resulting in a low sex drive in women.

Low Sex Drive in Women - Psychological Factors

On a psychological level, a woman may want to explore her feelings about her changing body and her changing life. Although menopause can be a time of freedom and exploration for a woman and her partner, it can also be a time that includes feelings of loss. These issues can all affect a women’s sex drive.

As in most situations where a woman is unhappy with her sex life, an approach that deals with both physical and psychological factors will be the most successful.

A woman troubled by her low sex drive should seek out a physician who can run a full panel of blood tests, measure nerve sensation and provide a full physical exam, while also looking at the psychological implications of the issues she is dealing with in her life.

I've never been very interested in sex.

Since having children my interest in sex has diminished.


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Information provided on this website is authored and edited by Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, LMSW, MPH, PhD
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