It’s completely normal for your inclination towards intercourse to fluctuate but if your libido has hit a serious lull it might be time to take action. Here are some of the physical, psychological, and lifestyle factors that can be behind a diminished sex drive and how to combat them.
From an overwhelming workload to a ridiculous amount of extracurricular commitments – when life is slamming you, your partner probably isn’t. Stress is a normal and natural human response in small doses, but when you’re struggling to cope it can have major impacts on your body, mind, and subsequently your sex drive.
“If you’re too stressed, you can’t get into the moment,” Doctor Lauren Streicher told Women’s Health. “For men, sexual activity seems to be a stress reducer, but for women, it’s not. They have to deal with their stress first."
Easier said than done though, right? Pinpointing the biggest stressors in your life and working to manage them is essential, whether it involves cutting overtime at work, turning off emails when you get home, and saying no to unnecessary social engagements. Sometimes those factors are out of our control so other techniques can help. Several studies have proven that practicing meditation, regular exercise and a healthy diet can significantly reduce stress.
Understandably, when sex doesn’t feel good, you don’t feel like doing it. Pain during sex affects around one in five Australian women and can be put down to a number of things including endometriosis, vaginismus, pelvic inflammatory disease, trauma, STDs, dryness, and a lack of foreplay, to name a few factors. Its effect goes far beyond the physical, significantly impacting relationships, self-esteem, and mental health.
If extra stimulation and additional lubrication aren’t working, it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s behind the pain you experience during sex so speak to a medical professional about your concerns.
When you’re in a hot new relationship and you’re having all of the sex, a sensible option is to start taking an oral contraceptive. Nek minute, your sex drive is officially MIA. Yep, unfortunately, some contraceptives can lessen your libido as they reduce the amount of free testosterone floating around and impact the desire-boosting hormonal changes that happen around ovulation.
And the pill isn’t the only medication that can squash your sex drive – antidepressants, antihistamines, and some pain relievers can also have an effect.
Speak to your doctor about your options.
Have your dinners become less wholesome more whole pizza? Is your exercise routine officially nonexistent? Are you finishing a busy day by polishing off a glass of pinot (or two, or three)? If your healthy habits have slipped of late, it could be causing your sex drive to take a dive.
"Too much alcohol can interfere with your performance and make it hard for your body to respond sexually, resulting in issues like erectile dysfunction and a decreased ability to orgasm,” says doctor Josh Axe.
While you’re cutting back on the booze, boost the frequencies of your sweat sessions. Studies have found that exercise can increase libido, even in women whose sex drives have been lowered by antidepressants.