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Low Sex Drive and Libido in Women


I was doing research on low libido in men when I came across an article written by a frustrated wife trying to make sense of the fact that her husband had little to no interest in sex with her, or anyone else for the matter.

A comment to her post by a gentleman caught my attention due to the tone and seeming lack of knowledge on his part. According to him, “the converse is much more common and never addressed by women, that is the legions of men who are good providers, attentive husbands and find themselves relegated to the bottom of the list when it comes to intimacy with their wife. Women are known, from time in memoriam, to become uninterested in intimacy with their husbands.”

I understand that the issue of low libido is more common in women, or it is at least something we hear about more often than low libido in men. I don’t agree with this man’s assertion that a lack of desire for sex is something women “never” address. But I had to wonder if this man’s belief on the subject was representative of most men who are in a marriage that lacks the level of intimacy they desire.

I sincerely hope not! But just in case, I wanted to tackle the subject in the hope of giving men a clear picture of what causes a wife to pull away from intimacy and also dispute the above gentleman’s belief that lack of desire is a matter that is never address by women.

Why Do Some Women Suffer From Low Libido?

Research shows that more than 43% of women suffer from low libido or a lack of desire for sex at some point in their life. A woman’s desire for sex can ebb and flow because of hormone fluctuation, stress, relationship issues and spiritual beliefs. Below are some of the reasons women find themselves suffering from low libido:

Emotional Causes for Low Libido:

Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression or mood disorders can cause low libido in both men and women.

If a woman is not happy with how she looks she is less likely to feel comfortable with the sex act. If she feels over-weight or has some sort of body image issues her desire for sex can drop.

Women who were physically or sexually abused as children may not be able to give themselves fully to their husband. The desire to have sex may be there but their libido may be locked away somewhere behind a wall of fear and shame.

Physical Causes of Low Libido:

Painful intercourse (dyspareunia) or an inability to come to orgasm can keep a woman from wanting to engage in sex. Recurring infections, scar tissue from child birth or vaginismus are all common reasons for pain during intercourse.

Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and cancer can affect a woman’s desire for sex.

Prescription medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications and antihistamines are responsible for low libido in both women and men.

Any surgery related to a woman’s breast or genital area can affect her body image, function and desire for sex.

The fatigue and exhaustion of taking care of children, a home and work responsibilities will also interfere with a woman’s desire to have sex. Women tend to do most of the child rearing and housework and as a result are more likely to suffer from fatigue.

Hormonal Causes of Low Libido:

Estrogen helps maintain the health of a woman’s vaginal tissues and her interest in sex. It only makes sense that if estrogen levels fluctuate or become low, so will her desire for sex. During menopause a woman not only experiences a drop in estrogen but testosterone also which is the hormone that boosts the sex drive of both men and women.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding cause hormonal changes. After having a baby and while breast-feeding hormone levels can drop causing a loss of interest in sex. During this time in a woman’s life there is also fatigue, changes in her body image and the pressure of taking care of a new baby that may also contribute to her lack of desire for sex.

Relational Causes of Low Libido:

Most women need to feel emotionally close to their husband in order to desire intimacy with him. A lack of emotional connection with a husband causes some women to withdraw sexually.

Conflict and marital problems that go unresolved can be a libido killer. Women are problem solvers, if a husband thwarts her attempt to solve problems in the relationship by shutting down or stonewalling the last thing she is going to want is sex with him.

A decreased interest in sex can be caused by poor communication between a woman and her husband. Not only does she need to be able to communicate her emotional needs, she also needs to be able to communicate her sexual needs and inclinations.

If a husband has an affair a woman feels a lack of trust in him as a sexual partner. Until trust is rebuilt after an affair, she will not be interested in an intimate relationship.

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