Let’s talk about sex, baby! With a name like Crazy Sexy, you’d think I’d be tackling this topic more often. Media, advertisements, TV and film, magazines, Facebook, billboards—sex is everywhere. But have you ever looked at how sex is portrayed and thought, that sure as heck ain’t happening in my bedroom? Pretty normal, since it’s far from most people’s reality. I know that many of my readers struggle at times with this part of life (I do too!)—whether it’s a lack of desire related to a health issue, exhaustion due to a packed schedule, responsibilities, stress, kids…or depression and sadness that stems from trauma or unresolved issues…the list goes on.
Today I’m kicking off a 2-part series on S-E-X. I want to encourage you to really honor this aspect of your life, whether you have a partner or you’re flying solo. And since sexual desire (our level of attraction to others, pleasurable thoughts, etc) and sex drive (our biological urge to have sex) is often tied to our general health, I brought in my dear friend, Aviva Romm, Integrative MD to answer some questions.
Aviva is a Yale-trained MD and Board Certified family physician, midwife, and herbalist who is focused on helping women not only heal their bodies and minds, but transform their lives. She has worked with countless individuals to help them get on a path to a positive and fulfilling sex life, and now she’s here to help us do the same. In part one we’ll look at the main causes of low sex drive and possible solutions. Next week, we’ll be back with Aviva to go even deeper and reveal some of the foods, herbs and supplements that can help boost your sex drive. Ready? Let’s get started!
KC: Do a lot of women struggle with sex drive?
AR: The numbers may surprise you:
- 30% of women age 18 – 44
- 45% of women age 45 – 64
- 80% of women 65 – 80 (and older)
These sex drive dips are tied to more than just sexual desire. While for most women, lulls in sex drive have to do with the lifestyle issues you mentioned (high demand on personal time that leaves them feeling less than rockin’ in the bedroom) some women experience a lull between the sheets because of something else going on with their health. This can lead to things like lowered libido, difficulty with arousal and trouble orgasming. And once pleasurable sex goes out the window, it tends to make sex drive issues even more challenging to work through because negative associations can pile up from stressful encounters.
KC: What are the top causes of low sex drive?
AR: Keep in mind that low sex drive is not always related to health issues. It could just be that your focus is elsewhere, like an intensely creative project or sending your kids off to college. But there are many common health challenges that can impact sexual health. Here are some of the biggies:
- Depression, anxiety
- Adrenal fatigue, general fatigue, stress
- Hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid problems
- Medications such as: anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, blood pressure, oral contraceptives, and many others.
Also, these additional issues can have a huge impact on the feelings of sexual desire and satisfaction beyond just sex drive:
- Low self-esteem, poor body image
- Unhappiness with partner
- Pain from anything from vulvodynia and vaginismus to vaginal dryness
- History of sexual abuse
- Urinary incontinence
KC: What are some of the things women can do to improve their sex drive?
AR: One important thing to do is get in touch with whether your sex drive is low or whether you have “Samantha from Sex in the City” expectations about what your drive should be. Are you comparing yourself to others rather than focusing on what makes you and your partner happy? This sex quiz can help you get in touch with your unique sexual health and how to get it on track if needed.