Low Libido in Women: Causes and Solutions

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

low libido in women

Low libido in women is common from time to time, as women's sexual desires naturally fluctuate over the years.

But, knowing more about the causes and solutions of low libido in women can make your sex life more fulfilling!

Low libido, also known as low sex drive or low sexual desire, is common during certain life changes and stages.

Low libido in women can diminish your quality of life or cause relationship problems with your partner.

However, a low sex drive isn't something to feel embarrassed or ashamed about, as simple solutions are within reach to boost your sexual desire!

Read on to learn what causes low libido in women … and what you can do about it.

Are you healthy? Check out this health checklist for women over 40 to find out for sure!

What Are the Symptoms of Low Libido in Women?

Signs and symptoms of low libido in women can vary from person to person.

They often include:

  • Having no interest in sexual activity
  • Seldom or no sexual thoughts or desires
  • Feeling concerned by lack of sexual desire or activity
  • Relationship tension with your sexual partner

There's no “normal” when it comes to how often you should have — or want to have — sexual intercourse.

However, if your desire is less than it once was or much lower than your partner's, treatment might help restore your relationship and overall quality of life.

What Causes Low Libido in Women?

Having low libido from time to time happens to just about everybody.

Common causes and risk factors include:

Hormone Changes

Because hormones are commonly associated with sexual thoughts and desires, it's no surprise that hormone imbalances can affect libido in women.

For example, suboptimal estrogen associated with going through menopause or other life stages can lead to low sex drive.

It may also cause vaginal dryness, painful sexual intercourse, weight gain, thinning hair, or other undesirable symptoms.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Specific life stages, including pregnancy and breastfeeding, are common contributors to low libido in women.

Hormone fluctuations, changes in your body, chronic fatigue, and the demands of caring for a new baby can easily contribute to a low sex drive.

The good news is that your libido might return to its normal state on its own after hormone levels stabilize, or the demands on your time decrease.

Relationship Problems

If you and your partner struggle with relationship problems, low libido in women can result.

Many women desire emotional closeness to maintain a strong sex drive and fulfilling sexual intercourse.

Relationship problems that can diminish your libido include unresolved fights, lack of an emotional connection, poor communication, trust problems, extramarital affairs, and emotional or physical abuse.

Consider seeing a couple's therapist if you're unable to get through difficult situations on your own.

Mental Health Challenges

Your mood and state of mind can significantly affect your ability to get sexually aroused.

Psychological issues that may contribute to low libido in women include anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic stress, financial problems, low self-esteem, and a negative body image.

Previous negative sexual encounters and a history of sexual or physical abuse can also contribute to a lack of sexual desire in women.

Chronic Fatigue

If you have chronic fatigue because of thyroid problems, other hormone imbalances, medical problems, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, being overweight or obese, or physical inactivity, reduced sexual desire can result.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is one of the best ways to avoid libido-lowering fatigue.

Some Medical Problems

Certain diseases and other medical problems can contribute to low sex drive in women and men.

Examples include high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, neurological diseases, coronary artery disease (CAD), and other health problems.

Properly managing medical issues can reduce your risk of low libido and more serious health problems, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Certain Medications

When you take certain prescription medications, such as some antidepressants, sex drive changes may occur.

If you take medications regularly, ask your doctor if low libido in women is a side effect.

If so and low sexual desire negatively affects your life, ask your doctor if they can change up your medication regimen or offer alternative treatments.

Substance Misuse

Drinking alcohol, using drugs, and smoking can all diminish sexual arousal.

If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

This equates to one drink per day (or less) for women.

Avoid tobacco products and steer clear of street drugs entirely.

Doing so optimizes your health and lowers your risk of low libido in women.

How To Increase Your Libido

If you're tired of having a low libido, you don't have to live with it.

Talk with your doctor about the severity of your symptoms, as well as possible causes and solutions.

They will discuss your medical history and might complete a physical examination.

Your provider may recommend you undergo a blood test, other diagnostic testing, or a psychological evaluation to detect or rule out specific medical problems linked with low libido.

Examples include stress, depression, anxiety, and hormone imbalance.

The treatment that's right for you depends on the underlying cause of low libido in women.

Ways to help boost your sexual desire include:

Get Regular Exercise

Getting regular exercise, including cardiovascular workouts plus strength training, can improve your energy, mood, stamina, body image, and libido.

Check out the Fit Mother Project YouTube channel, which features great exercises you can complete at the gym or from the comfort of home.

Doing these workouts regularly can increase muscle definition and help you gain confidence in the bedroom.

Aim to complete at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

When doing resistance training, work all major muscle groups at least twice weekly.

Lift weights, try resistance bands, or use your own body weight as resistance.

Consider push-ups, jump squats, walking lunges, sit-ups, planks, pull-ups, leg raises, or other bodyweight exercises.

Rope jumping, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and burpees are excellent high calorie-burning workouts you can easily do at home.

Try this resistance band workout for weight loss! You can do it at home in under 30 minutes!

Reduce Chronic Stress

If chronic stress in your life contributes to low libido, find ways to help yourself relax.

Take a vacation, get outdoors, go walking daily, get a massage or pedicure, and spend time with friends and family.

Consider yoga, tai chi, or meditation, and schedule relaxation time into your daily routine.

Ask friends or family for help when you need it.

If you struggle to overcome stressful life situations, depression, or anxiety, see a counselor who can teach you effective coping strategies.

Sometimes simply saying no to too many commitments is all that's needed to nix stress and your risk of low libido.

Find out how to stay positive in hard times and become a happier person!

Consider Relationship Counseling

If you and your partner struggle with poor communication, constant arguing, or other relationship problems associated with low libido in women, consider couples therapy.

This type of counseling can help you and your spouse resolve challenging issues, communicate better, and improve your libido and sex life.

Even if your relationship seems fine, counseling can help prevent future issues.

Avoid Substance Misuse

To reduce your risk of low libido and medical problems, steer clear of substances that can negatively impact your sexual health.

Ditch smoking, drug use, and excessive alcohol in favor of healthy lifestyle habits.

Doing so helps create a more desirable, fulfilling sex life for you and your partner.

See a specialist if you struggle with addiction and can't seem to break the habit.

They can offer recommendations for medications, group therapy, or online classes to help you kick your addiction to the curb.

Ask Your Doctor About Medication Changes

If you're taking medications that contribute to low libido in women, ask your doctor to replace them with other medicines if possible.

In some cases, your provider can recommend alternative treatments to help you avoid taking medications altogether.

Lose Weight if You're Overweight

If you're overweight, body image issues might hinder your sex drive or make you feel too tired for sexual intercourse.

If this is the case, consider joining the Fit Mother Project 30X program (FM30X), which is a weight loss plan designed specifically for busy moms.

The program has helped hundreds of thousands of members get excess weight off and keep it off for a lifetime.

When you sign up, you receive custom meal and menu plans, fat-burning and muscle-building workouts, healthy recipes, newsletters, online health coaching support, private fit mom social media access, and more!

Choose the best weight loss diet plan for women and start succeeding today!

Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone imbalance is a common cause of low libido in women.

It's also associated with vaginal dryness, unwanted weight gain, thinning hair, increased body fat, and loss of muscle.

Fortunately, hormone therapy can often reverse these and other unpleasant symptoms associated with low estrogen.

After undergoing a blood test, your doctor can let you know which hormones, if any, are too low or too high in your body.

They might recommend you try estrogen patches, sprays, gels, vaginal creams, suppositories, or pills to increase low estrogen levels and your sex drive.

Focus on Getting Quality Sleep

Fatigue is a common contributor to low libido in women, and in many cases, it's linked to getting poor quality sleep — or not enough sleep.

To ensure you're getting a good night's rest, go to bed at the same time each night.

Keep your bedroom clear of clutter and make your bed daily if you can.

Set your thermostat to a cool temperature at night, and make sure the room you sleep in stays dark.

Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Don't go to bed hungry or too full, avoid caffeine late in the day, and don't smoke or drink alcohol right before bedtime.

Avoid late-night workouts that make you feel energized right before you sleep.

If you struggle with sleep apnea that reduces sleep quality and causes libido-lowering fatigue, check in with your doctor.

They can help you find an effective sleep apnea treatment.

Examples include dietary supplements, a special breathing device, and mouth guards you can wear at night.

Learn how to improve your sleeping habits, helping you to wake up feeling well-rested in the morning.

I Want to Improve My Sex Life: Where Should I Begin?

Low libido in women isn't something to feel embarrassed or ashamed about, as it's common in women of all ages and is often situational.

If you're overwhelmed and wondering where to begin, try the following:

Pinpoint the Problem

The first step in figuring out the solution to low libido in women is to evaluate your lifestyle, relationships, and overall health.

You might be able to pinpoint the cause of low libido right away and make lifestyle habit changes that improve your sexual desire, energy levels, and mood.

If a low sex drive doesn't bother you, treatment isn't necessary unless you suspect an underlying medical problem.

Prioritize Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Making healthy lifestyle changes is a good first option to eliminate low libido.

Eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, sleep enough, achieve or maintain a healthy weight, don't smoke or drink alcohol excessively, and seek relationship counseling if you and your partner struggle to get along.

Learn how to create a healthier lifestyle and body with these 5 actionable tips!

See Your Doctor Regularly

See your doctor for assistance if you suspect low libido is linked to a medical problem, certain medications, depression, other mental health challenges, or hormone fluctuations.

It's a good idea to see your primary care specialist regularly, or at a minimum annually, to get screened for common women's health problems.

Examples include diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer, cervical cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis.

Looking for signs you're a healthy woman? Try these 7 health tests you can do at home!

Make Time for Your Partner

Make time for you and your partner to connect and enjoy each other's company.

Schedule in date nights weekly if you can, work out together, and eat dinner together whenever possible.

Go to bed at the same time as your partner most nights if you can.

Make good communication a top priority to ensure you're on the same page regarding sexual needs, emotional needs, desires, and preferences.

Become a Fit Mother Project Member

If you're looking for a simple way to improve your overall health, including sexual health and wellness, consider joining the Fit Mother Project program.

The plan was designed specifically for busy moms of all ages.

Doing so can help you get or stay healthy for life, lowering your risk of medical problems and low libido in women.

Sign up for a free meal plan and fat-burning workout to get started today!

Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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