Women’s inability to get aroused, low libido: causes and solutions
What causes inability to get aroused in women?
The sexual dysfunction we are talking about in this article, in most cases is accompanied by other disorders (sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, vaginismus), causes difficulties in forming or maintaining relationships with a sexual partner.
Risk factors of low libido in women
The inability to get aroused in women is caused by a complex of biopsychosocial causes. It is noted in 30-40% of women. Manifestations of sexual dysfunction can occur at different age periods, be primary or secondary. The most likely risk factors are:
- A history of early childhood trauma (violence);
- Chronic psycho-emotional stress;
- Personality disorders (schizoid disorders, borderline features, etc.);
- Psychological problems: low self-esteem, sensitivity, increased anxiety;
- Delay in psycho-emotional development (infantilism);
- The presence of depression, anxiety, dependence on surfactants;
Other factors: postmenopausal period, advanced age, somatic, neurological and gynecological diseases.
Clinical manifestations of low libido
- Physical and psychological discomfort associated with sex;
- Avoidance or refusal of sexual contact;
- Difficulties in achieving sexual arousal, pain during sexual intercourse.
How is diagnostics made?
The disorder can be suspected by a general practitioner or gynecologist as a result of a clinical examination. Screening diagnostics of depressive and anxiety disorders, dependence on surfactants is required. In some cases, it is recommended to undergo therapy at sexopathologist and other specialists with experience in dealing with similar disorders. Consultation with a psychiatrist may be recommended.
If the disorder is common for a woman from an early age, it is likely to be associated with psychological trauma or a mental disorder. But if a woman had been previously sexually active and happy with her sexual life but suddenly it has changed, there could be other problems, for instance, hormonal imbalance.
Understand the reasons to fix the problem.
Libido, that is, sexual desire, can change throughout life: weaken or become stronger. If the second happens, everything is fine, but the first option is a problem, and you need to figure it out. But before proceeding with therapy, it is necessary to understand the essence of the causes why arousal does not occur.
To speak the same language in the future, let's immediately determine what arousal is and what sexual attraction is. Sexual arousal (libido) arises when you want sex, tenderness, contact not with a certain person but in general. In this case, the desire can be satisfied without a partner, for instance, by masturbating. Sexual attraction, unlike libido, is when you want sex with a specific person.
Having dealt with the terminology, we will move on to the question "what causes lowered libido in women?"
1. Incorrect attitude
Sometimes a woman herself is to blame for the fact that her libido is rapidly falling down. The reason is attitudes in the head that are rooted in her mind and interfere with the emergence and / or manifestation of sexual desire, e.g:
- Sex is a sin,
- Men only need decent girls who are virgins before marriage.
- If a woman has multiple partners she is easy,
- A woman who likes to have sex is not worthy of respect,
- Sex is designed for having children and not for pleasure.
Similar attitudes are formed in childhood, and their main translators are parents - conservative, strict, religious, etc. If the girl has a high sexual constitution by nature and the “sex - sin” attitude is opposed to this, then in adult life she will constantly have to choose: pleasure or moral principle. The body demands and screams about sex, but the mind insists that it is impossible. As a result, she risks developing mental disorders such as depression, become aggressive and anxious.
Another trouble is when a woman is deeply believes that sex needs to be done only with her beloved. As a result, it is extremely difficult for her to relax and get satisfaction even when the long-waited for “prince” is her a partner - she is so afraid to make a mistake, to make something wrong. Such beliefs have to be eliminated, with the help of an experienced psychotherapist.
2. Psychological and physical trauma.
Libido is very fragile, like our psyche in principle. Sometimes trauma, either mental or physical, violates the development of libido, which is unconsciously formed from infancy. If sexual desire is unformed due to the fact that, for example, a father beat a woman in childhood, she will subconsciously seek the same aggressive and destructive partner. Or it will shut from the world because she associates men with pain and betrayal. In both scenarios, sexual desire will low. Only a specialist can help here, who will work out your childhood injuries with you.
3. Accumulated grievances
Even a small resentment against a partner can hit our libido hard. And if there are a lot of them and each time they become stronger? Then sexual desire has no chance, even if you respond the insult the same, or calmly discussed the conflict. Hidden grievances can become pitfalls when you said nothing or pretended that nothing was happening, but you were offended anyway. Accumulated grievances manifest over time in frequent refusals to the partner, such as “I have a headache”, in irritability, even because of trifles, in over-employment, in accusing the partner of all sins. What to do in this case? Speak your grievances with a partner.
4. Physiological problems
In addition to psychology, our physical condition is also very influential in our libido. For example:
1. Fatigue, when your thoughts throughout the day are occupied with dreams of sleep, then sex, which implies physical activity, is out of the question.
2. Medicines. Antidepressants, even some birth control, can affect our libido. If you notice such changes with the start of medication, consult your doctor.
3. Hormonal imbalance. Track changes in nutrition, stress levels, physical activity: find deviations - eliminate them. For instance, try to sleep for 8 hours, exercise moderately (do not be lazy, but do not drive yourself), try to consume less caffeine, alcohol, and “bad” food.
4. Insecurities about her appearance. Here, as they say, no comment. A competent psychotherapist can help with this.
So our sexual desire is very easy to hurt. Improper attitudes in the head, psychological and physical trauma, resentment, physiological problems - all this can suppress our libido. The main rule is to deal with everything and not hide “until better times”. As soon as you find a problem, start looking for the causes of its occurrence and try to eliminate it, but not without the help of a specialist, of course. Note that some troubles are resolved quickly, while others will take years to resolve.
More often than not, we betray ourselves by setting limits on “possible” or “impossible”. We ourselves drive ourselves into some kind of framework that compresses us on the physical and psychological level.
Do not forget to talk to your partner. This is the easiest and most affordable way to solve any problems.
How can you solve the problem of low libido if no health problems are found?
Sometimes, there is no underlying cause for low libido in women that can be treated with hormones, psychotherapy, and so on. For instance, it can happen in menopausal women who want intimacy but have certain discomfort ort because their body seems to be never ready, i.e. there is not enough lubrication, the genitals are not sensitive or even painful to touch, and so on. In this case, to enjoy sexual life to the full, women can used drugs similar to male’s erection enhancers. Such medicines like Tadalafil on which the drug for men Cialis is based, improve blood circulation in the pelvic area ensuring that normal physically pronounced arousal occurs in stimulation. For men it means erection and for women the insignificant swelling of the genitalia, lubrication, increased sensitivity to petting, and slight widening and improved elasticity of the vagina for the painless penetration. Besides, such medicines can enhance the sensations from intercourse and help achieving an orgasm.
The sexual problems we discussed above can happen not only in postmenopausal women so medicines for improved blood circulation can be used at any age above 18 years. They do not affect hormones or blood circulation in other parts of the body because Tadalafil and other similar medicines act only on the certain type of smooth muscles located in the genitalia.
Postmenopausal women also may use estrogen as namely due to its drop sexual problems discussed above can happen. But hormones must be used only under an experienced doctor’s supervision because their use can cause severe health problems up to cancer if there are certain circumstances, precancer conditions, history of reproductive system cancer in family, and so on.
The safe solutions for low physical manifestation of arousal besides Tadalafil pills are lubricants and warming gels that also improve blood circulation in the genitalia making them more sensitive and responsive to foreplay.
You can use Tadalafil and lubricants or other topical products except for hormonal ones without consulting a doctor first because they are safe unless you have certain conditions in which their use is contraindicated (you can find this information in their user guides). But it is always better to find out the real reason of your low libido/inability to get aroused which can be done if you undergo a comprehensive medical examination, and, preferably, consult a psychologist or sexologist.
Medications to enhance libido in women
Post by: Rachel Lewis, Senior Medical Advisor at Medibank, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia