Loss of libido occurs more frequently in women than men, and can happen for a number of often inter-connected reasons. There’s a wide number of causes for why people in general lose their sex drive, and this is more complex for women who also have to contend with more physical changes that occur as they grow older. Although loss of sex drive can happen at any time in life, it’s generally more likely to develop as women age and go through hormonal changes caused by the onset of the menopause – however this is by no means a catch all ‘rule of thumb’.
Uncomfortable & Over Familiar Sex
Some women who lose their interest in sex may suffer a condition called vaginismus, when the vaginal walls tighten before pending penetration. Often this is a subconscious occurrence, and can occur even in women willing to engage in sex. Relationship therapists usually suggest that this occurs due to sex becoming – again, often subconsciously – over familiar and routine, where it all becomes about going through the motions rather than in pursuit of excitement and pleasure. It can be a challenging situation to get through, as the longer it goes on the more self-perpetuating stress will be created.
Underlying Health Issues
In some cases, physical and mental health issues can lead to a decreased libido. One prominent example is an under-active thyroid, which fails to generate enough of the hormones needed to stimulate a natural sexual drive. Depression and anxiety are the leading psychological reasons, but in both mental and physical terms there’s a vast number of health conditions that can lead to a lower level of sexual enthusiasm.
Stress & Exhaustion
This is especially common in women who live busy lives and might have kids to help care for. Fact of the matter is that such a lifestyle will often cause a sense of general exhaustion, that as years go by can accumulate to a level that severely limits sexual appetite. Think about it – in your youth you have energy and freedom, and are looking to sexually explore. In older age you have settled your nest and can go about reliving said youth. Those decades in the middle are high stress and often high responsibility, culminating in the menopause. It’s a recipe for sexual disinterest.
Aging & Menopause
Leading on from the last point, women’s body’s undergo significant hormonal changes as they age into their latter middle decades. Levels of estrogen in particular will play a part in reducing the chemical impulse to pursue sexual pleasure. The menopause is physically very uncomfortable, with issues such as vaginal dryness, low mood, depression and general discomfort likely to put many women physically off the idea of sexual intercourse as well. Remember also that the menopause symptoms can continue for a few years after the last period, and can be enough to challenge even the most stable of relationships.
Medicines & Contraception
It’s not uncommon for women to encounter sexually related problems that are related to their contraceptive medication, especially when switching. Often this will level out after a few months, but it’s different for everybody. The same is true for many medications – especially anti-depressants – and the symptoms can be very subtle to identify.
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