We know the drill. You come home late after a long day, cook dinner, and basically just melt right into bed. Your partner, of course, was wishing for other plans. While most of us shrug this off to stress or exhaustion (which it can be!), there are other reasons you might not get as excited to get down to business tonight. It’s normal to not be in the mood every now and then (I mean, sometimes we just want to sleep!); however, when it becomes a consistent occurrence, there could be something deeper going on.
A low libido seriously sucks, but it’s something most of us will go through at some point. Instead of causing yourself more stress, we looked into all the reasons you’re not too keen on doing much in the bedroom right now — besides sleep.
We all know how it feels to get home and still have a to-do list. Whether you’re experiencing work, school, or personal stress, it’s easy to let that get into your head and discourage you from engaging in time with your partner.
Try one of these — might I add, wonderful — ways to reduce your day to day stress, so you and your partner can get back to it. You could also start adding some self-care to your routine, or if you’re feeling ~spicy~, treat yourself with a little me time. We promise you’ll feel renewed.
2. Certain medications
Antidepressants, some anti-anxiety medications, blood pressure medications, and more can have a low sex drive as a side effect. If you’ve started taking a new medication recently, look back at the list of side effects your pharmacist gave you (that you probably wanted to throw out and thought again that it might be important). If you think it’s impacting your life or your relationships, you can talk to your doctor about another option.
3. Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Pregnancy and breastfeeding cause a lot of changes to occur within your body. Your hormones are raging, which can cause fluctuations in your sex drive. One day you might want to go at it like rabbits, and another, you’re not interested at all. Understand that this is just a change in your body, and it won’t last forever.
Aside from your hormones, the other side effects of pregnancy can turn you off from sex. Nausea and fatigue in the first trimester just make sex uncomfortable — who wants to go at it when they feel sick!? Then, as your body grows and changes (woohoo! A baby!), traditional sex positions can feel kinda awkward, and women can sometimes be self-conscious about their pregnant bodies. Be kind to yourself, you’re about to birth another human into the world!
4. Lack of sleep
Along with stress, we completely understand. Whether you had a work report due at 8am, you had a scary dream (I watch too much AHS), or you stayed up reading (#guilty), you didn’t get your full eight hours last night. And that’s okay! It’s when you continuously forgo sleep that you start to notice a consistent decrease in your libido.
Try some lavender oil in your diffuser, turn off your electronics an hour before bed, or my personal favorite, give yourself a good Saturday morning to sleep until noon.
5. Negative body image
When you don’t feel comfortable or accepting of your body, it’s hard to want someone else to see you naked. Continued fear and self-consciousness when having sex is enough to make you never want to do it again. Yoga, meditation, or buying a cute new set of lingerie are all examples of ways you can start to gain a little confidence (and maybe feel a little sexier, too!).
6. Mental health issues
If you’re struggling with depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder included) or anxiety, it can significantly impact your sex drive. This can have to do with medication, issues with trust, anxiety and worry about your partner — the list goes on. Because there are so many ways mental illness can affect your libido, reach out to your doctor to discuss ways in which you can either bring it back or make it easier on yourself.
7. Relationship issues
You and your partner might have gotten in a fight recently, or you feel as though you can’t trust him or her. There are many different issues that you and your partner can experience that might lower your libido. If you’re experiencing conflict, talk with your partner openly and honestly. The conflict might be stressful and hard to deal with at first, but you’ll be grateful when it’s over and you and your partner feel closer than ever.
8. Conditions that make sex painful
Vulvodynia and endometriosis are known to cause painful sex, which can not really make you super excited to get in the sack, right? If you suffer with these conditions, talk to your doctor about treatments. You can also talk to your partner about different positions that might reduce or avoid pain. You deserve to feel good during sex, not uncomfortable!
9. Birth control
Again with the hormones! Birth control pills can sometimes lower the hormones in your body — like testosterone — that make you want to have sex. Luckily, there are alternatives, such as non-hormonal IUDs, condoms, and diaphragms. You could also talk with your doctor about trying a different birth control pill or option, like the NuvaRing.
How have you handled a low libido? What are your tips and tricks to keeping your sex drive up?!
This article was originally published on November 17, 2018.