Not as interested in engaging in sexual activity as you once were? If you find that you’re dismissing your partner’s interest in sex, avoiding initiating it yourself or noticing you would rather read a magazine than heat things up between the sheets (for the fourth time this month), then you’re experiencing at least some time of physical and mental change that can decrease your sex drive.
Here are some common reasons why your sex drive may be diminishing.
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1. Relationship troubles
Let’s face it—every relationship comes with its share of disagreements and arguments. Romance is hardly top of the list after an intense tiff in which you can hardly stand to look at your partner, let alone have sex with them. Just about every couple has such moments. But when you find your relationship in the throes of constant bickering or more serious problems, waning sexual desire is not uncommon. Take a look at your relationship. Does it leave you feeling happy and interested in sex, or is it draining you and making romance something you rarely consider?
When you go through the menopause, your body produces less testosterone, which is referred to as the sex drive, hormone. Additionally, some of the physical changes associated with the menopause can make lovemaking more challenging—you may experience decreased blood flow to genital organs, diminished response to touch, discomfort during penetration due to thinning vaginal walls, and lessened vaginal lubrication.
We all experience stress in life, but when it transcends the usual worries of bills or work issues, your love life can suffer. For example, a job loss or the death of a loved one can drain your energy so much so that sex is put on the backburner. Even happy occasions can create stress. A new job, promotion or a baby are common stressors that have the potential to zap libido.
4. Eating junk food
Too much consumption of junk foods that include harsh chemicals, additives, and excessive amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on more than your waistline—it can disrupt your interest in sex too. Sugar highs that ultimately lead to fatigue certainly don’t do your libido any good, nor do foods with high salt content (since salt can constrict blood vessels and inhibit circulation, thereby reducing responsiveness to touch and undermining male sexual performance in particular).
5. Too much alcohol consumption
Although sharing a bottle of wine seems to go hand in hand with creating a romantic environment, too much can create the opposite effect. Reaching for another glass of your alcoholic beverage of choice can impact on your nervous system and make you tired. As a result, you’ll be less interested in sex and may find it difficult to become aroused in the first place.
6. Low self-esteem
Changes in your self-confidence can also lower your sex drive. Struggling with changes as a result of menopause, pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss can throw off your interest in sex due to negative self-talk. Even non-physical changes like a nagging boss or an upsetting personal experience can diminish your confidence levels. The stress that results can lower your self-esteem, leaving you feeling less desirable and therefore less inclined to head to the bedroom with your partner.
7. Birth control
While birth control has its benefits, it has also left many experts with concerns. Some suggest that contraceptive hormones—namely ones called progestins—can lead to changes in the genital tissues and create central nervous system interactions that may lessen vaginal lubrication and diminish libido.
8. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is essential for recharging your batteries and helping your body stay healthy. As it turns out, sleep also plays a role in maintaining an active libido because it helps keep the stress hormone known as cortisol at bay. Since stress can diminish your sex drive, making sure you’re getting enough shut-eye is important. Getting by on just a few hours of sleep isn’t conducive to healthy sex life.
9. Health problems
If your desire for sexual activity is waning, it could be due to an underlying health issue. The problem may involve a hormonal imbalance or diabetes complications, but it could also relate to a more serious development like cancer or kidney disease. Be sure to get routine physicals regardless of any symptoms, but make a point of always discussing changes in libido with a medical professional who may be able to rule out serious health problems.
10. Not getting enough exercise
Finally, if your exercise routine has fallen by the wayside (or you don’t have one at all), consider getting back on track. Exercise has been shown to boost libido. The magic combo is engaging in a heart-elevating cardio activity for at least 30 minutes.