Loss of Libido

Lack of sex drive in women (lack of libido)

Lack or Loss of sex drive (lack of libido) is common in women, but quite rare in men. It is a form of 'female sexual arousal disorder' (FSAD) or Hypo - active Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). In the UK, family planning clinics and Relate clinics see quite large numbers of women who complain of low libido. It is estimated that at any one time, several hundred thousand women in Britain are troubled by lack of sex drive. Many of these women have no problems with having orgasms. Rather, they have no real desire to have sex and their minds are not turned on by the prospect of love - making.For many women this lack of libido is only temporary. Some will get over it by themselves, and a lot more can be helped by expert medical or psychosexual advice. Others do not really want their sexual desire to be re-initiated and and are quite happy to lead lives without it..

Causes of Female Loss of Libido

Lack of desire in women can be of either physical or psychological origin.

Physical causes

  • Anaemia, which is very common in women because of iron loss during periods. Anaemia may also be associated with tiredness, which can explain the to lack of interest.
  • Major diseases such as diabetes.
  • Post-Delivery, and Breastfeeding-Loss of libido is very common immediately after childbirth, especially in the first three months – this time varies in different women. It is almost certainly linked to hormonal changes that occur at this time. The general trauma of childbirth also plays a part - and after having a baby, many women are too exhausted to think about sex.
  • Prescribed drugs, particularly tranquillisers and anti-depressants.
  • Hyperprolactinaemia-a rare disorder in which the pituitary gland is over active.
  • Other hormone abnormalities: association between low testosterone levels and abnormalities in the production of luteinising hormone (LH) has been implicated in some studies.
  • Alcoholism & Drug abuse.

Psychological causes

These causes are very common. It's understandable that when a woman is having a bad time emotionally, she may lose interest in sex. Psychological causes include:

  • depression
  • stress and overwork
  • anxiety
  • hang-ups from childhood
  • past sexual abuse or rape
  • serious relationship problems with your partner
  • difficult living conditions, eg sharing a home with parents or parents-in-law.

Treatment of Loss of Libido

Due to the complexities of the various causes of lack of libido, and it various interactions, it is difficult find a specific treatment, other than attempt to treat or address the underlyting casues(s), which can often be due to several factors and which may vary from time to time. Hence, support and understanding from her partner goes a long way in helping a woman overcome this problem. Trying to indentify the underlying reasons does a long way in the treatment and may involve the expertise of general practioner, psychologist, psychosexual counsellor or sex - therapist.


Hormones are often suggested as a treatment for FSAD (HSDD), particularly the male sex hormone testosterone. There is clinical evidence to support the use of testosterone as a treatment for low sexual desire, especially in women who loss of libido is attributable to gynaecologically surgery, especially Hysterecto my (removal of Uterus) and or Oophrectomy (removal of ovaries).

In 2007 a testosterone skin patch called Intrinsa became available in the UK. This patch is only licensed on the NHS for women who have had an early surgically - induced menopause. It may also be helpful in other women with low libido . Side-effects include hairiness, spots, a deep voice and enlargement of the clitoris.

Suction vibrators

Inventions that are supposed to increase female desire come and go. The gadget applies suction to the clitoris and so increases desire. It is also undeniable that ordinary non-suction vibrators have helped a lot of women in the last decade.

Others remedies such as Viagra or “Desire Creams” have been tried, with varying report of usefulness. (See treatment of anorg asnmia–lack of orgasm)