I have been married for just over eight years. When I was first with my husband I used to want him just by looking at him. Now, I can hardly muster the energy to think of making love with him. Maybe I just don’t want to have him see me naked because of the weight that I haven’t lost after our child was born. But it’s more than that, too. I just don’t feel that sexual spark when we are together. I don’t want to lose him, what can I do?
Libido is the sexual marker for wellness. The question of libido is a complicated one, yet often is framed in a simple black and white of “do you have any libido?” Our drive to be sexual is impacted by a complex interaction between our physical health, mental health, emotional connection and our own individual tendency/preferences about our sexuality.
The range of physical health problems that impact libido comprise a long list. Chronic illness and diseases like high-blood pressure, arthritis, and diabetes, to name just a few, often contribute to low libido. Also, a wide range of prescription drugs, including anti-depressants, blood pressure drugs and even antihistimines can take a toll on your sex drive. Yet more often than serious illness, many people as they age do not maintain the eating, exercise and sleep habits that keep us well. Over 55 percent of women are overweight to some degree in this country.
Our hormones are the cocktail that drives our passion in life. Normal life events like pregnancy, nursing and peri-menopausal to menopausal shifts can make big impacts on the libido mechanism. Although low libido is common to most women (over 40 percent) at some point in their lives, ongoing and persistent lack of sex drive may well respond to hormonal treatments. Hormones are an interesting and vital part of what it takes for both sexual and overall wellness. Hormones are worthy of you and your doctor’s attention.
For many women, the libido function is deeply tied to their psychological and emotional life. The brain is the sexiest organ in the body; the arousal function starts there, so if you are plagued with emotional issues like low self-esteem, poor body image, depression, anxiety or even constant stress, it is not surprising that you can’t find your libido. These issues are just as legitimate as any biological ones and, for many women, more tenacious.