If your erotic life has gone from an all-out sexfest to a G-rated event, you are not alone. While chronic aversion to sex is a serious issue, an occasional drop in your sex drive is perfectly normal.
The reasons for a lowered sex drive can vary from person to person. But the following will help you sort out the sources that might be taking the X out of your sex.
The work on your desk keeps piling up and your latest dot-com investment just took a nosedive. When stressful events take over, they suck the sexual energy right out of you.
You won't be feeling too sexy when your nose is running and the pile of tissues next to your bed keeps growing exponentially. Likewise, PMS may leave you temporarily uninterested in sex. But more serious illnesses such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, cancer, heart and lung disorders, and STIs may also be responsible for the drop in your sex drive. If you suspect something more serious, make an appointment with your medical professional.
Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs can decrease your sexual appetite. Well-documented sex drive crushers include antidepressants such as Prozac and Xanax but medication for hypertension, psychotropic drugs, sedatives, opiates and even birth control pills can lessen your interest in sex or make reaching orgasm difficult.
If you've recently married, ended a relationship, changed jobs or moved, you may be mentally and physically out of sorts. Lifestyle changes are yet another form of stress, and even if they are positive ones, they can sometimes adversely affect your sex life.
While some studies have revealed that sexual responsiveness may get better with age, hormonal imbalances in perimenopausal and menopausal women lead to a diminished sex drive. Some women may experience an aversion to touch, and intercourse may be painful due to vaginal dryness caused by a drop in oestrogen.
Temporary disinterest in your partner is normal. But if you're finding that the seesaw of sexual desire is grounded on the down side for an extended period of time, it could be tied to relationship issues. If there's tension or unhappiness in your relationship, it will eventually show up in your sex life.
Learning to love your body is probably one of the greatest hurdles to developing a strong sense of sexuality. If you feel uncomfortable with your physical self, you may hide your body from your partner, which can lead to a slowdown in sexual activity.
If you are depressed, sex will not be at the top of your agenda. Everyone experiences a bad day or two, but if those weeks turn into months, your depressed state will put your sexual interest on hold.
In addition to a new small person demanding your constant attention, lactation and postpartum depression (which occurs in about 10% of women) can contribute to a low libido. The lower oestrogen level in lactating women is known not only to lower the sex drive, but can dry the vaginal walls, making intercourse painful.
Drugs and alcohol
Excessive consumption of drugs and/or alcohol may increase the quantity of your sexual encounters, but in the long run it can take its toll on your sex drive. Be aware if your drop in libido seems to correlate with an increase in alcohol or drug consumption.
If a lack of sexual interest is bringing you down, there are steps you can take to boost your sex drive. A healthy diet, the right amount of exercise and a daily dose of fresh air can help whet your sexual appetite.
Allowing yourself to explore a new erotic desire or fantasy can spark newfound interest in sex. Talking about your sexual discontent with a trusted friend, your partner, an online support group or a good therapist can help you sort out some of the emotional or psychological issues that might be causing you grief. Sexual disinterest that stems from a physical problem, such as a hormone imbalance, or depression, may need to be treated with medication. Contact your healthcare provider for an exam and consultation.
Whatever the reason for your sex drive troubles, remember this: low libido is a natural part of the human sexual response cycle - what goes up, must come down. – (Dr Elna McIntosh, updated October 2010)
(Picture: problems in bed from Shutterstock)