If you feel like you haven’t had as much interest in sex as you used to, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Sexual desire is a complicated issue, mostly because we are wonderfully complicated people. But it can be frustrating to feel like you don’t want sex, especially when your partner does. Because sex and intimacy are an important part of any relationship.
And if you’re not feeling up for it like you used to, it can cause strain on interpersonal dynamics. But it might comfort you to know that there are definitely reasons that might explain your lower libido. Here are five of the most common ones to help you figure out what may be going on.
1You’re too stressed.
But when we’re stressed, our body produces stress hormones like cortisol in place of sex hormones like testosterone. So your stress not only takes over your day, it can also take over your hormones. And that totally makes sense. After an especially crazed day at work where you felt pressured and overwhelmed, you don’t feel super sexy when you get home. It makes sense you feel like snuggling up on the couch with Netflix.
2You might not be moving enough.
In a study published in the Journal for Sexual Medicine, scientists found that women who did 20 minutes of exercise had increased sexual arousal compared to those who did not exercise. Plus, when you feel great about your body, your confidence often reverberates into the bedroom. So make sure to take those important steps to make yourself feel amazing, because you’ll be that much more interested in sex.
3Your mental health may have gotten in the way.
According to Anxiety.org, those who suffer from anxiety and/or depression might find themselves with reduced sex drives. Feeling physically anxious and tense can make you less inclined for sex, both physically and mentally. And for those with depression, sexual desire proves to be closely tied to mood. When you feel good, you feel good about sex, but when you feel down, you’re not as interested. Also, when you’re feeling great, make sure to take advantage of your positive mood. Your mood can benefit from all the feel-good hormones associated with orgasms.
4Your diet may lack fat.
Your diet might actually be affecting your libido. When we’re looking to lose fat, we often cut out fat. But it turns out, healthy fats aid in hormone production. And as we discussed above, those hormones are key to a revved up sex drive. And on the other side of things, a diet too low in fat has been shown to decrease libido. So grab those avocados and snack your way to some sexy times!
5You may be affected by your medications.
One of the biggest culprits can be, you guessed it, your birth control pills. According to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the hormones in birth control pills can mess with naturally occurring sex hormones like testosterone. Birth control pills can cause a chemical in your body — SHBG – to increase, and that chemical binds to testosterone. Less free-circulating testosterone can lead to a lower sex drive.
Other medications that can affect sex drive include antidepressants, beta blockers, opioids, and anti-anxiety medications. If you take any of these meds, talk to your doctor to help find a solution for your lagging sex drive.
Remember, sexual desire is complicated, and getting to the bottom of your lowered sex drive may take some time.
And if you’re in a relationship, make sure to talk to your partner about these issues. Openness and communication can make you both feel better about the situation. Particularly in our high-stress, overly busy lives, all of these factors can come into play to affect our sex drives. But with a little change in routine and possibly a convo with your doctor, we bet you’ll be ready for a roll in the hay in no time!