Low Sex Drive in Women: Symptoms and Causes

Jenna Hilton
May 19, 2022

How often a person feels the desire for sexual intercourse depends on many things and no two people are alike. Libido fluctuates throughout our lives but if a lowered desire for intercourse affects your wellbeing there are ways to improve the situation.

Many things affect the desire for sex, from our physical and emotional well-being to lifestyle and stress. This article explores some of the reasons behind low sex drive in women and suggests how to turn the situation around.

Symptoms and causes of low sex drive in women.

What Are the Symptoms of Low Sex Drive in Women?

There is no number that determines the optimal frequency of intercourse and you should never compare yourself to other couples. Use your own past experience as a benchmark when assessing your current sex drive. However, the following symptoms indicate a low sex drive in women:

  • Reduced or no sexual activity with a partner
  • No interest in masturbation
  • Little or no pleasure during sex or masturbation
  • No sexual desires or fantasies
  • Concern about a lack of sexual desire

Causes of Low Sex Drive in Women

Sex drive in women can fluctuate throughout life depending on the woman’s physical and psychological experiences. Events like pregnancy, menopause, relationship breakup, job loss, and difficult family situations can stifle a woman’s libido.

The causes of low sex drive in women generally fall into one of these groups.

Psychological Causes

Our emotional and mental well-being dictate our desire for sex. In many cases, these psychological factors weaken the libido:

  • Stress and exhaustion related to work.
  • Mental problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • Low self-esteem related to one’s appearance.
  • Trauma related to previous sexual experiences.
  • Emotional difficulties in one’s current relationship (lack of communication, trust issues, etc.).

Hormonal Changes

Hormones affect us on many physiological and emotional levels, including our sex lives. Women typically experience significant fluctuations in hormonal levels during pregnancy, nursing, and menopause.

Apart from estrogen and progesterone fluctuations, women also experience physical changes that can negatively affect their self-image and, consequently, sex drive.

A drop in estrogen levels during menopause can cause vaginal dryness and pain during sex, weakening a woman’s desire for sex.

Low thyroid function, often resulting from high cortisol levels or autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, can also decrease the libido.

Physical Causes

Low sex drive in women due to exhaustion

Physical causes that lower a woman’s sex drive are medications, medical conditions, and challenging life situations, including:

  • Surgery or diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer, neurological disorders, high blood pressure, etc.
  • Certain antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety, and anticonvulsant medication
  • Exhaustion due to work and/or childcare
  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Vaginal dryness or vaginal atrophy, which cause pain during intercourse

Note: Learn about the causes of low sex drive in men and the effective ways to treat this condition.

Where Can I Get Help?

If you feel that you don’t have enough sexual intercourse or your relationship suffers because of this, you should seek medical help.

Your medical provider will perform a series of tests, including lab and physical exams, to determine the underlying cause of your condition. Your doctor might determine you suffer from a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). After an assessment, your doctor will give you advice and possibly prescribe therapy.

How Do I Get My Sex Drive Back?

Enhancing your sexual desire is sometimes as easy as switching to different medication. Psychological causes, however, take longer to remove.

Your medical professional may recommend some of the following strategies for improving your sex life.


Medication for low sex drive

If medication you are taking is lowering your sex drive, your doctor will prescribe a drug without these unwanted effects.

Also available are pills and injections made specifically to boost libido, and doctors sometimes prescribe them to premenopausal patients.

If your low libido is caused by a health issue such as high cholesterol or diabetes, medication for these conditions should increase your sexual desire.

Sex Education and Counseling

Sex education and counseling can help patients whose low sex drive is caused by psychological factors. Individual or couple therapy can help identify and remedy the emotional causes of a decrease of sexual desire. Patients also receive helpful reading material and specific assignments for overcoming the issues that are causing the lack of sexual interest.

Hormonal Therapy

Decreased estrogen production in perimenopause is a common reason for low sex drive in women. Doctors recommend hormonal therapy because it balances the patients’ estrogen levels, increasing their sexual response and sensitivity.

At Vibrant Vitality Clinic, we provide female hormone replacement therapy for our patients with female sexual dysfunction and effectively solve their sexual problems.

Note: Read our article and find out if testosterone increases sex drive.

Lifestyle Changes

Mindfulness for low sex drive in women

Not all patients with a low sex drive require medical help. Implementing certain lifestyle changes may help you increase your libido.

  • Regular exercise – Physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, improving your mood. It may also improve your body image and self-esteem, increasing sexual desire.
  • More romance in your life – Weekend getaways, quality time spent together, more honest conversations, and unexpected romantic gestures can contribute to an improved sexual experience.
  • Sexual innovation – People often lose interest in sex due to the monotony of their sex habits. Experimenting and trying new things may bring back your sex drive.
  • Mindfulness – Exercises such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can improve many emotional and psychological issues, including those that cause low libido.
  • Abstinence from smoking and alcohol – Since nicotine and alcohol are known to lower the sexual drive, refraining from these harmful habits may help improve your sex life.


If you have a low sex drive and it negatively affects your life, consider getting treatment at the Vibrant Vitality Clinic. Our medical professionals have years of cumulative experience in helping women boost their sexual desire and improve their overall well-being.

Jenna Hilton
Jenna Hilton has been a practicing PA since 2009, specializing in Family, Internal Medicine and Medical Aesthetics. She attended Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree and graduated magna cum laude. She received her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from A.T. Still University.

Jenna has been injecting neurotoxin and dermal filler since 2013. She received certification as a Master Injector in 2017 through Empire Medical in Los Angeles, California. She is currently working on a Fellowship Program in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Her special interests include use of PLLA, Ablative/Non ablative skin resurfacing, PDO threads, hormone therapy and nutritional therapies to improve cellular regeneration and medically supervised weight loss.

Jenna Hilton believes in a multi-factorial approach, considering internal factors that accelerate aging and disease development. She always enjoys teaching. She co-founded Vibrant EDU courses at Vibrant Skin Bar and regularly performs one-on-one training with fellow injectors. She teaches Aesthetic and Advanced Injectable Courses at National Laser Institute. She has been named Preceptor of the Year and is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Midwestern University. She was born in Iowa, and lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, AZ.

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