Mental illnesses such as depression , or medical conditions, such as endometriosis , fibroids , and thyroid disorders , impact a woman's sexual drive both mentally and physically. Physical causes A wide range of illnesses, physical changes and medications can cause a low sex drive, including: Putting the Desire Back in Women's Sex Lives Because a loss of sexual desire in women is caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, it usually requires more than one treatment approach to fix the problem. In addition, several therapies involving testosterone pills or skin patches specifically designed to treat female sexual problems are currently being studied in hopes of FDA approval in the near future. If it seems that emotional issues are the root of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest counseling.
Fatigue, changes in body image, and the pressures of pregnancy or caring for a new baby also can contribute to changes in your sexual desire. She says sexual drive is the biological component of desire, which is reflected as spontaneous sexual interest including sexual thoughts, erotic fantasies, and daydreams. Loss of sexual desire, known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder HSDD , is the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages. This can increase blood flow without the unwanted side effects that come with taking an estrogen pill. Also, smoking decreases blood flow, which may dull arousal. Initial studies have shown that the patch significantly improved both sexual desire and satisfaction compared with placebo among postmenopausal women who had their ovaries removed. Having no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation Never or only seldom having sexual fantasies or thoughts Being concerned by your lack of sexual activity or fantasies When to see a doctor If you're concerned by your low desire for sex, talk to your doctor. They're not just complaining of one plumbing problem, says Shifren. Changing medications or altering the dose. Decreased interest in sex is often a result of ongoing issues, such as: However, sometimes there is no specific underlying cause for HSDD. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic Causes Desire for sex is based on a complex interaction of many things affecting intimacy, including physical and emotional well-being, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle, and your current relationship. Although no hormone or drug has been approved by the FDA to treat sexual problems in women , many gynecologists recommend off-label uses of testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire to restore testosterone to normal pre-menopausal levels. Symptoms of low sex drive in women include: Certain prescription drugs, especially antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are known to lower the sex drive. If you feel symptoms of HSDD have impacted your quality of life, talk to your doctor. For example, some antidepressants may cause a lowered sex drive. Job stress , peer pressure , and media images of sexuality can negatively influence sexual desire. Your doctor will recommend applying a cream, suppository, or ring that releases estrogen in the vagina. If it seems that emotional issues are the root of your symptoms, your doctor may suggest counseling. A blood test to check for affected hormone levels might be performed, as well. Another treatment option is the FDA-approved pill flibanserin Addyi. This is due to a reduction of blood flow to the vagina. She says that until recently, the only studies on women's sexual issues were very small, often short-term, and rarely well designed. A recent study showed that nearly one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a lost interest in sex , and it's not all in their heads.
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