Loss of Sexual Appetite in Women

Although loss of sexual appetite is rare in men, it is quite common in women. Medically, a low level of interest in sex is referred to as inhibited sexual desire (ISD). Women with ISD will not initiate any sexual activity and nor will they respond to their partner's desire for sex.

What is Lack of Sexual Appetite?

Women with ISD have no real desire for sex and they often do not have any sexual thoughts or fantasies. Thinking about sex does not excite them at all and they would often avoid any activity that could lead to sex. The decrease in interest in sex is so significant that it causes distress and affects other aspects of her life.

Also called hypoactive sexual desire disorder, ISD can be primary or secondary. In primary ISD, the woman always has had low sex drive. On the other hand, secondary ISD is one in which the woman had a normal desire for sex till now, but now it's no longer there.

Some women may experience this low sexual appetite only with one partner, that is, she may be sexually interested in others but not with her partner. For others, it can be general, that is, no sexual interest in anyone.

If the sexual aversion is extreme, the woman's desire for sex is not just low but rather she may find it repulsive and avoid it any cost.

Sometimes, a woman's partner may mistakenly think that his partner's sex drive is low. This usually happens when the male is sexually demanding and their desire for sex is overactive. The mismatch in the levels of sexual appetite may make the male think that his partner is suffering from low libido although the problem may actually be with the man in the relationship.

What Are the Causes of Low Female Sexual Appetite?

ISD is quite common in women and it often happens due to the lack of intimacy between partners. For a woman, emotional intimacy plays an important role in getting her into the mood. If this intimacy is missing, she may not be interested in any kind of sexual activity with her partner.

Unresolved conflicts, lack of communication with the partner, lack of affection in the relationship, or not having enough time to spend with each other are some of the factors that can lead to a lack of intimacy.

Primary ISD may occur in women who have had a strict upbringing that has instilled negative attitudes about sex in them. Traumatic experiences such as rape, incest, or any kind of sexual abuse can also make a woman turn off from sex.

Stress, overwork, depression and anxiety are also some of the factors that can lead to a lack of sexual appetite in women. Medications and illnesses can bring about changes in the body and also make a woman feel fatigued and in pain, inhibiting her desire for sex. Hormonal imbalances are also major factors that can affect the libido of women. Birth control pills and antidepressants have also been found to be leading libido killers.

How to Increase Sexual Appetite?

Life can be stressful sometimes. For example, a major change such as the birth of a baby or moving houses or changing jobs can make a woman feel stressed and this may affect her sexual appetite. In such cases, her sexual desire often comes back on its own without her taking any treatment when things get settled down.

However, for others, it may require some help in the form of medical treatment or sex therapy. Treatment in such cases often depends on the factors that are responsible for the low sexual interest.

  • If relationship problems are the reason behind the women's lack of sexual desire, sex therapy is probably the best option. A sex therapist is basically someone who has a deep understanding of relationships as well as sexuality. This can be a psychologist, psychiatrist, or even a clinical social worker.

    Therapy can help teach the two partners how to resolve conflicts with sensitivity while taking into account each other's feelings. It can also teach the couple how to show affection and how to improve sexual intimacy. An education about each other's bodies can help in developing awareness about the other person's sexuality and bring about an improvement in the sexual relationship of the couple.

  • If problems are physiological in nature, the woman may need a therapy that will restore the hormonal balance in her body. This can be done with an estrogen or testosterone therapy (however these are accompanied by certain side effects) or some natural herbal supplements (make sure you choose a doctor endorsed product such as HerSolution to ensure quality, safety and effectiveness).

  • If the woman is experiencing pain during and after intercourse, it could be due to vaginal dryness. Local application of arousal gels can lubricate the vaginal area and also improve the sensitivity of the area. This will increase arousal and sex will be enjoyable rather than painful.

  • Women on antidepressants may be helped by changing medications. Switching from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to those medications that have lower sexual side effects or adding a medication for counteracting these sexual side effects can be options that she can discuss with her physician. Similarly, switching from one birth control pill to another may also help in boosting sex drive.

  • Besides the above factors, exercising, staying active, taking steps to control stress and anxiety, and eating a balanced diet are things that are not only good for the sexual health of a woman but also for her overall health.

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