Known as libido, your sex drive can fluctuate over time. Men and women both experience times of heightened sexuality, as well as periods of decreased desire. A persistent reduction in your sex drive may indicate outside problems that affect your level of intimacy. The normal aging process may also cause a steady decline in libido. Knowing whether your symptoms indicate a low sex drive can help you and your husband find ways to address the problem. Ongoing sexual problems may require professional tests and methods of treatment.
Lack of Interest
According to the Mayo Clinic, a lack of desire is the major symptom of a low sex drive. You may not notice your waning libido until you realize you haven’t had sex in a while and don’t seem to miss it. Many things can cause a lack of interest in sex, such as exhaustion and fatigue, emotional distress, preoccupation with other issues and hormonal changes. A noticeable change in your level of sexual interest or an ongoing decline in libido may signal the need to consult your doctor. He may want to rule out certain illnesses and review any medications you take on a regular basis to determine the reason for your low sex drive.
Lack of Enjoyment
Even if the frequency of your sexual activities remains the same, you may experience a decreased level of enjoyment. Known as “sexual apathy,” lack of sexual enjoyment can lead to feelings of boredom in the bedroom. Sexual stimulation may fail to provide enjoyment in both men and women. Certain therapies, such as Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles, may increase your enjoyment of sex. Colombia University Health Services recommends that couples experiencing sexual apathy spice things up by trying new positions and locations for sexual activities. Communicating openly and devoting time for intimacy, as well as seeking counseling may increase your sexual enjoyment.
Pain During Sex
Although a variety of conditions can cause painful sex, vaginal pain may also be a symptom of a reduced sex drive. The Mayo Clinic advises that vaginal dryness can cause pain during intercourse. While a low sex drive can create pain during intercourse, this same pain can cause a decrease in your sex drive, making it difficult to determine which occurred first. Your doctor may want to perform a pelvic exam to check for physical changes, such as a thinning of the vaginal wall and dryness of the vaginal tissues.
- romantic couple image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com