As a leading women’s sexual health provider, one of the most common questions I hear from my patients is, why do I have no sex drive? I want to address this because, for many women, this is a source of shame. They may think something is wrong with them or that they are broken. But the truth is, there are a variety of physical and emotional causes that can be tied to low libido. My goal is to empower women to discuss these issues, and for no woman to feel shameful in addressing them.
Let’s start with the “why.” Low libido can be caused by common medications that interfere with sex drive, including antidepressants and birth control pills. It can also be related to pain during sex, which often leads to lack of desire. It can be caused by a hormonal imbalance, too.
Many of my patients will comment that they aren’t yet menopausal, and so they don’t believe they can have a hormonal imbalance. But, that’s just not true. It’s just one example, but a lot of medications will lower a woman’s testosterone – and testosterone is vital to our sex drive.
For many women, a lack of desire can be attributed to emotional causes like shame, isolation, embarrassment and guilt. It can also stem from lifestyle issues like having young children who sleep in bed with them, caring for a sick child, financial stress, partners who work and/or travel on opposite schedules and aren’t often in the same place at the same time, or just not liking their partner.
One thing that has always been clear to doctors and sexual health specialists is that women really need the emotional connection to their partner in order to feel desire, whereas men are very visual. If we, as women, are not emotionally connected to our partner, it can drastically impair our libido.
So, why do you have no sex drive? While the question may seem simple, the answer is often multifaceted. For this reason, it’s important for women to understand that a gynecologist is often not the final stop for them. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help women with pain issues, a sexual therapist can help women address emotional issues, and other specialists are more well-versed in other causes of low libido. Each woman is unique, and her cause for lack of sex drive is going to be unique, too.
This is why I founded HERmd. We provide all women with access to access to experts in the field of sexual medicine, including gynecology, oncology, urogynecology, pelvic floor physical therapy and sexual health counseling, through referrals between local providers.
The biggest takeaway I want for my patients and for any woman struggling with lack of desire is this: you are not alone, and you do not have to just live with this.