None of us want to admit we’ve lost that lovin’ feeling or that we’ve started to notice a low sex drive. We may have the best partner on earth and feel closer than ever, and yet … libido can be an elusive thing as we age. Stress, hormonal imbalances, weight gain — these are all issues for women of a certain age — and they don’t just affect the way we feel, they can affect our relationships with the ones we love.
You may be going through a low point in your sex life, and that’s ok. It happens to the best of us. But, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it! Low sex drive in women is often the result of underlying health issues that can be identified and corrected with the right combination of lifestyle changes and medical intervention. Continue reading to find out why you may have lost your cravings for sex and what you can do to get them back.
Causes of low sex drive in women
For most women, hormones are at the heart of a lackluster libido. In fact, hormonal imbalances are the cause of 70% of low-libido cases. Our hormones change as we age — especially during perimenopause and menopause. Hormones are constantly changing, and when they do, your libido changes, too. The good thing is that if hormones are behind your low libido, there are ways to balance them and make them work for you and your sex life.
The following are some of the hormones that could be to blame for a lackluster sex drive.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. When stress levels spike, so does cortisol. When you’re chronically stressed out, cortisol is chronically elevated, and this can lead to low libido. This particular scenario can happen at any age. Elevated stress happens to most modern women before perimenopause, and often so does a low sex drive. If you’ve been running yourself ragged, and feel fried all the time, chances are your cortisol is too high. Other signs of chronically elevated cortisol include:
- More cravings for carbs and sugar than normal
- Running on overdrive and feeling overwhelmed in the process
- Gaining belly fat and weight
- Sleep issues
- Skin breakouts
- Blood sugar instability
- Feeling exhausted
Estrogen is the female hormone. When estrogen is balanced, all is good. Your period arrives like clockwork, your sex drive is fluid and stable, and you glow in rosy femininity. Your moods are also relatively stable. But estrogen can rise and fall, and in the process, cause fluctuations in sexual fervor. If your estrogen levels are out of whack, you might experience:
- Migraine headaches
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Vaginal dryness
- Vaginal atrophy
While testosterone is primarily known as the male hormone, women have this hormone, too. It can rise, fall and become imbalanced — especially if you’re taking the pill for birth control. Taking oral contraception decreases testosterone in the body, and this decrease often leads to a lower sex drive. It’s ironic that taking the pill causes low sex drive in women, but that’s the case. If your testosterone levels are out of balance, you’re bound to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Acne or more skin breakouts than usual
- Facial hair
- Low energy and fatigue
- Irregular periods
- Extreme muscular soreness after weight training
- Low self-confidence
Low thyroid function
The little thyroid gland located in the neck area is responsible for a lot of functions in the body — sex drive included. When it’s low functioning, you’re bound to experience a decreased drive in just about everything you do, including making love to your partner.
Low thyroid levels are often a result of chronically high cortisol. They may also be linked to autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s. Endocrine disruptors that get into the bloodstream may also be responsible for low thyroid. If low thyroid function is the cause of a decreased libido for you, the following symptoms might arise:
- Depression and mood swings
- Dry, thinning, tangly hair
- Weight gain
- Thinning eyelashes
- Loss of hair around the outer part of the eyebrow
- Poor circulation in your hands and feet
- Morning fatigue
How to increase your libido
Now that you know the possible causes of low sex drive in women, let’s take a look at how to increase your libido. A less than enthusiastic sex drive does not need to be the norm as we age. You can take control of your hormonal health and work to decrease stress levels.
To decrease cortisol in the body, it’s important to make time for self-care. This doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths and pedicures. Self care is whatever relaxes you and makes you feel most like yourself. This could be a daily walk on a nature trail or it could be regularly devoting time to a creative project or a hobby. Yoga and meditation are really good for releasing tension, while a regular exercise routine is essential for a healthy libido as well.
Herbal remedies may help as well. If your cortisol levels are abnormally high or low, you can try taking an herb called ashwagandha, which helps reduce cortisol in the body and improve resistance to stress.
If low estrogen is the issue, you can add maca powder to your smoothies. Maca has been shown to boost libido in both men and women.
Hormone replacement therapy
It’s possible that hormone replacement therapy is the best bet for your hormones if you’re in the perimenopausal or menopausal phase of life. HRT has helped many women balance their hormones and get back in the sexual swing of things. Consult with your doctor or OBGYN to see if this might be the best course of action for you.
Your sexual pleasure is important, and it’s vital for living a truly healthy, happy life. If you’re experiencing low sex drive, your hormones probably need balancing. To pinpoint exactly how to do this, contact us to schedule an appointment today. Not only will your sex life benefit, so will your overall health and well-being!