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Normal is relative when it comes to how often you are or aren't in the mood...

but it's not normal if your libido (or lack thereof) is negatively affecting you and/or your partner.


Sometimes a woman is in the mood, and sometimes she's not. No one would consider this abnormal. What isn't normal is if a woman has persistently low desire that causes her personal or relationship distress.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), also known as female sexual interest/arousal disorder, is the lack or absence of desire and sexual fantasies or thoughts that causes distress and interpersonal difficulties. The distress is an important aspect of HSDD as some women who might be considered to have a low libido have no personal distress or relationship problems. The Society for Women's Health Research estimates that one in ten women has HSDD, making it the most common female sexual dysfunction disorder.

The causes of HSDD can be physical, psychological, or a combination. The main hormones influencing libido are estrogen and testosterone, so anything that impacts these hormone levels can affect libido: perimenopause and menopause, hormonal birth control, breastfeeding, and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism can affect libido. Medications that can decrease libido are antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Psychological causes include relationship issues, history of sexual abuse, anxiety, and depression. It's ironic that if someone's libido is low because of anxiety and depression, the medications used to these conditions can lower libido even more.

The good news is HSDD is treatable:

  • Stress reduction. Stress can not only impact your mod, it can disrupt your hormone levels.

  • Regular exercise. A study on exercise-induced arousal showed that just 20 minutes of exercise could boost arousal by 169% (and GLISSANT lubricants can increase arousal too).

  • Maintain ideal body weight. Obese women have lower libido both because of potential effects on hormone levels an negative body image.

  • Hormone replacement. If estrogen and/or testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement can be extremely beneficial.

  • Medication. For premenopausal women with HSDD, there are two FDA approved medications medications flibanserin (pill) and bremelanotide (injection) that may improve desire and the number of satisfying sexual events.

  • Sexual experimentation such as different positions or introducing sex toys.

  • Couples/sex therapy.

The bottom line is normal libido varies among women, but if your wanting to want it is causing you and your partner distress, then it's probably time to seek help.


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