Being part of a couple with mismatched libido can be frustrating, unfulfilling, and distressing. People who have a lower libido than their partner are often made to feel inadequate and struggle to understand or come to terms with why they no longer desire to be physically active with their partner. Continue reading to find out why people can experience a decreased sex drive, what solutions are available, and what their partner can do to help them.
What Can Cause a Decrease in Libido?
Changes in hormone levels
Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause may have an impact on a woman's sex drive. An underactive thyroid can also cause a decrease in libido.
Excessive alcohol consumption and the use of certain drugs can reduce libido.
Decreased libido can signify the lack of an emotional connection between partners, not enough communication regarding each person's sexual needs, distrust, or another relationship issue.
Some medications, including some forms of birth control, can diminish libido. Likewise, certain medical issues - such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity - can decrease sex drive.
Mental health issues
Decreased libido or low sexual desire can be caused by different mental health problems, including depression, stress, anxiety, low body image, low self-esteem, or a past negative sexual experience or sexual abuse. It is important that you help get your partner access to mental health care if they are suffering from a psychological health problem or crisis.
Is it Normal and Will it Return?
No one should not be made to feel “abnormal” because they have a changing level of sexual desire or because they are not always willing to engage in sex with their partner. It is important that if you are bothered by your partner's decreased sex drive that you open up to your partner about how you feel.
If your partner has decreased libido, it may be helpful to suggest seeing a doctor who may be able to diagnose and treat any underlying causes for decreased libido. It can also be helpful to go with your partner to visit a therapist who specializes in sexual health. You and your partner each deserve to have a satisfying sex life, and a therapist should be able to help you get there.
What Can I Do to Help My Partner?
The most important thing you can do for your partner is be loving, understanding, patient, and supportive. Decreased libido can be embarrassing and distressing, so it is important that you open up to your partner about how you feel, allow your partner to be open with you, actively listen to what your partner has to say, and try to be as understanding as possible.
You should not pressure your partner to have sex with you or make your partner feel guilty because he or she chooses not to have sex with you.
It is possible to be intimate with your partner without having sex. You can do this by hugging your partner, cuddling together, kissing your partner, and giving your partner foot and back rubs.
You can suggest and encourage your partner to see a doctor or a therapist, but ultimately it is their decision whether or not to seek help.
More Information about Decreased Libido
There are treatment options for low libido, but the most important thing you can do is listen to your partner, care about them, and allow him or her to make their own decisions. To find out more, follow the link below.
- National Health Service. (2015). Loss of Libido. Retrieved August 7, 2015, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/loss-of-libido/Pages/Introduction.aspx