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What are the causes of lack of libido in women?

Robyn J

What are the causes of lack of libido in women?

As is the case with men, lack of desire in women can be of either physical or psychological origin. But physical causes are quite rare.

Physical causes

  • Anaemia, which is quite common in women because of iron loss during periods.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Drug abuse.
  • Major diseases, such as diabetes.
  • Post-baby 'coolness', a term we have coined for the loss of libido that often happens after childbirth. It is almost certainly linked to hormonal changes that occur at this time, though this has still not been proven. The general trauma of childbirth also plays a part – and after having a baby, many women are too exhausted to think about sex.
  • Prescribed drugs, particularly tranquillisers.
  • Hyperprolactinaemia – a rare disorder in which the pituitary gland is overactive.
  • Other hormone abnormalities: leading Swiss gynaecologist Dr Michael Nemec claimed to us that abnormalities in the production of luteinising hormone (LH) often cause lack of desire, though there is little world-wide backing for this idea. And top British gynaecologist John Studd says that many women who have lost their libido lack androgenic (male) hormones, like testosterone. This view remains controversial.

You may be surprised that we haven't mentioned the menopause as a physical cause of loss of desire.

Contrary to myth, the menopause doesn't usually cause loss of libido, and indeed many women feel a lot sexier and have more orgasms in the postmenopausal part of their life.

Psychological causes

These 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
  • anxiety
  • hang-ups from childhood
  • past sexual abuse or rape
  • latent lesbianism
  • serious relationship problems with your partner
  • difficult living conditions, eg sharing a home with parents or parents-in-law.




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