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16 Apr 2004

No more sex drive
Hi there. I have a probleme which I am afraid will start to affect my marraige. I have an asolute wonderfull husband. He is cute funny and sexy. I've known him for three years now. The problem is my sex drive is starting to dissapear.
I am tired every night and when my husband lays on top of me I get so irritated I could scream. I love him very much and my drive was never like this. I used to love sex. I really would appriciate your help. I've also gained some weight in the last year. I don't know maybe it is that. I am also on birth control named triphasal, could it be that? Please help me. I never get an orgasm anymore unless I am ontop or with oral sex. Do I need more romance or what?
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Expert
Sexologist
sexy

01 Jan 0001

Many factors influence sexual energy. Nowadays, it's unlikely that birth control pills decrease libido, or sex drive. In the past, when birth control pills contained much higher doses of hormones, some women described a lowered libido and decreased signs of sexual arousal (such as less vaginal lubrication). While unlikely as a cause nowadays, it may make sense to speak with a gynaecologist or women's health nurse practitioner to talk about changes in your sex drive and a possible relationship to your oral contraception. Perhaps another birth control pill could be prescribed that may create a difference in the way you feel.

Since the pill is also an elective medication, it's something a woman chooses to take for contraception. Often, women on birth control feel more sexual since their concern about pregnancy decreases. Sometimes, women who have the additional hormones circulating through their system can experience an increase their libido.

Decreased sexual energy is a common side effect of a number of medications. If you started taking any new medication around the same time that you began to notice a difference in your sex drive, mention this to the health care provider that prescribed the medication. You may need to change the dosage or even try a different medication instead. Do not stop taking your medication without first talking with your provider.

One of the most common causes for a decrease in sex drive is fatigue. Tired people, especially women who balance hectic lives, can — understandably so — be less interested in sex. Has anything been happening in your life lately that is causing extra stress and leaving you tired? You might want to think about your schedule and stressors in your life. Sometimes just making a list can help you see what's making you feel stressed. Books or workshops on stress management can be helpful resources if you think undue stress and/or being tired might be having an impact on your sex life.

Beyond being tired, depression, as well as anxiety disorders, especially undiagnosed and untreated, often affect one's libido. Take some time to think about how you've been feeling lately, separate from the obvious frustration at not being as sexually charged as you want to be. Antidepressants can reduce libido and/or inhibit orgasm, so it's important to discuss these issues with your health care provider if you already take or are thinking about taking these drugs.

What else is happening in your life? Arguments between partners, a lack of trust or intimacy, communication problems, or other issues that cause friction in a relationship can easily make a woman (or a man, for that matter) lose interest in sex. You may want to work with your partner(s) to fix barriers to intimacy, which may include seeking couples counseling that can provide you with perspective as well as doable approaches. You can read Harriet Lerner's books, The Dance of Anger: A Woman's Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships and The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships, for more information.

Many people go through periods of decreased arousal in their lives (how long has this lasted for you?). Focusing too much on what your body isn't doing might just exacerbate the problem. If you want to be sexual and find that you're dry, using a little lube for masturbation or penetration can help. Finally, if none of the things mentioned here seem to be relevant to you, schedule an appointment with your health care provider to talk more in depth about issues more closely related to your own unique medical and sexual history.

You can call the SA Sexual Health Associtaion on 0860 100 262 for a referral in your area, or you can call the DISA Sexual Medicine Centre for an appointment (011) 787 - 1222

Dr Elna McIntosh
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