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Hey Dude, Where's My Libido?

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What happens when “not tonight” becomes never?

This is a possibility all women face regardless of our feelings about a particular partner or sex itself. Our libidos are fragile things, at times raging and persistent, at other times barely a flicker.

But don’t worry; there are many reasons for loss of sex drive and the sooner you identify the cause, the quicker you can begin to identify a treatment or even cure.

One of the most cited causes of libido loss is stress. We know stress is a terrible thing and its elimination is the subject of many books; however, ridding ourselves of all stressors is nearly impossible. What we can do is identify stressors and learn how to more effectively deal with them. Upping your coping skills will reduce the stress you actually experience and give you more mechanisms for lifting your libido.

Sometimes a waning libido is tied to internal functions rather than external forces. A hormonal imbalance could affect desire for sex. Plunging progesterone levels during pre-menopause or even the wrong birth control pill can slow your sex drive. For these biological culprits, consult your doctor. He or she can recommend healthy ways to stabilize hormone levels.

Another treatment you might consider is seeing a sex therapist. This type of therapy is exclusively talking therapy. For those wary of physiologically altering prescription drugs, this may be an ideal possibility for investigating the possible causes of libido loss.

This is not a hopeless situation. You don’t have to accept this condition as just a part of aging or a condition of womanhood. You’re entitled to a healthy libido no matter what.

Add a Comment3 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Im 22 and I seem to have no libido at all, i remember in my teens it was there but recently over the past year it seems to have fizzled away :(
My boyfriend isnt happy about it and atm i think its stress of last year university work. Im concerned though, i feel its more than that and I dont know why...

May 16, 2009 - 7:53am


This is a huge topic and a wonderful post to get the conversation started.

One of the problems in a lack of libido is that once it's lost, it just doesn't feel that important to get it back. Like you said, a woman with a loss of libido may be dealing with multiple issues, but getting that libido back may not be highest on the list.

Especially during the perimenopausal years, women are dealing with jobs, maybe spouses, maybe children, and aging parents. In the middle of carpooling kids to soccer games, trying to get presentations ready at work, and managing daily activities -- in addition to just trying make sure the family eats nutritious food, for instance -- I think women are overwhelmed, overworked and often overlooked. We are the best at nurturing others and not nearly as accomplished as nurturing ourselves.

I'd love it if you'd write more about libido in the coming days, especially toward those for whom sex just feels like another in a long list of things that they aren't experiencing in their lives anymore. When something has to give, I think this is often the first to go.

April 8, 2009 - 8:17am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

From a man's standpoint, you bring up an interesting paradox. I think you are certainly right in saying that once a woman has lost her libido, getting it back just may not seem that important. Obviously if she has a partner who still feels inclined to be sexually active, that may create a big imbalance in the relationship.

Is it right to medicalize what may be a natural decrease in or loss of interest altogether in sex? How does a woman convince herself that she "should" be wanting sex? Are women generally willing to attempt some sort of "therapy" to increase their interest? Of course, all this must vary greatly from person to person.

These are very complex issues and surely drive a lot of couple further and further apart.

May 13, 2009 - 11:47pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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