Lack of sex drive (lack of libido) is more common in women, and quite rare in men. Many women suffer from what doctors there call 'female sexual arousal disorder' (FSAD).
Family planning clinics and Relate clinics see large numbers of women who complain of low libido. Many of these women have no problems in having an orgasm - they just have no real desire to have sex. They don't get turned on by the prospect of love-making.
Lack of libido is only temporary. Some women get over it by themselves, while some need to be helped by expert medical or psychosexual advice. Others do not really want to get back into the world of rampaging sexual desire and are quite happy to lead lives which are untroubled by lust.
Lack of desire in women can be of either physical or psychological origin.
Physical causes include Anaemia, Alcohol use, Drug abuse, Major diseases like diabetes, childbirth after-effects, hormonal changes, prescribed drugs, Hyperprolactinaemia (overactive pituitary gland), or other hormone abnormalities.
The menopause doesn't usually cause loss of libido - many women feel a lot sexier and have more orgasms in the postmenopausal part of their life. Psychological causes are very common. It's understandable that when a woman is having a bad time emotionally, she may lose interest in sex.
Psychological causes include depression, stress and overwork, obesity and weight problems, anxiety, childhood hang-ups, past sexual abuse or rape, serious relationship problems with a partner, difficult living conditions,
What can women do to get their sex drive back? See a GP to discuss the problem. Go to a family planning clinic. In cases of psychological or relationship problems try Relate.
What medications are available for female loss of desire? There are no effective drugs for the average female who wants to pep up her libido a bit.
It is far more important to have support and understanding from a partner who wants to help you defeat the problem - and who understands how to get you excited in bed.
Testosterone - Hormones are often suggested as a treatment for FSAD, particularly the male sex hormone testosterone.
Intrinsa is being prescribed privately for some women with low libido, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) as it is now being termed.
Suction vibrators - Inventions that are supposed to increase female desire come and go. A device called the EROS was designed for treating low sexual desire. This applies suction to the clitoris and increases desire. It is easy to similar devices online for £20 to £30, but the EROS can cost up to £200.
Ordinary vibrators seem to have helped a lot of women to regain an interest in sex and self arousal, leading to more sexual activity with a partner. Some online shops selling Sex Toys offer a discreet brown-bag service.
Desire cream contains an ingredient similar to wintergreen, which creates a tingly sensation in the clitoris. There are various similar products now available.
Erection drugs like Viagra have still not been proven to help women who have a low libido. They may have a beneficial local effect in increasing blood flow to the vagina and clitoris for a few hours. They may also increase lubrication in some women.
Loss of sexual desire can often be improved but you need to identify the causes of the problem, possibly with the loving cooperation of a partner. A high proportion of women do eventually achieve a return to normal libido. The hardest part is recognising or reaching the point of knowing when help is needed, before a relationship gets irretrievable damaged.
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