Psychological Issues Can Fuel a Low Libido


couple-sex-problems
Corbis
Sex drive problems are so often a product of how you feel and what you've experienced that there is something to that "headache" saying after all. It's said that the brain is the most powerful sexual organ, and that goes for both men and women.

The most common psychological reasons for disinterest in sex include:

  • Cultural factors, such as the way you were raised to think about sex
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Conflict with your partner
  • A history of sexual trauma such as abuse or assault
  • Stress and psychological health
Download Flash player
"He wanted to have more frequent sex and it was the last thing on her mind" (1:48)
Stress also has physiological effects. "Chronic stress changes hormones," says Michael Krychman, MD, executive director of the Southern California Center for Sexual Health and Survivorship Medicine in Newport Beach, Calif. "And hormones affect sex drive."

More about the brain-sex connection
Either way, treatment of psychologically based sex drive problems can be very effective.

Talk therapy
A certified sex therapist can sit down with you (and your partner, if you have one) and work at finding hidden issues that may be affecting your sex drive.

"Some people have trauma they dont even realize theyve had," says Marjorie Green, MD, director of the Mount Auburn Female Sexual Medicine Center in Cambridge, Mass., and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School. "And sometimes people think that there isnt a problem in a relationship and there is."

Medication
In addition to individual and couples counseling and any nonmedical therapeutic techniques, antidepressant medication may be prescribed. Some antidepressants may add to sex drive difficulties, so its important to work closely with your doctor so that the prescription can be tailored to your needs.
Lead writer: Louise Sloan
Last Updated: May 05, 2008

Stay fit, feel younger, and get special offers and insider health news—from beauty to breast cancer—just for women.

More Ways to Connect with Health
Advertisement