1. Reduced blood flow
Diabetes and high blood pressure are among the health problems that can restrict genital blood flow.
2. Hormonal issues
Menopause, breast-feeding, birth control pills, and thyroid problems can dampen sexual desire.
3. Medication side effects
Antidepressants and chemotherapy agents such as tamoxifen are frequently to blame.
Pelvic surgery can cause nerve damage, as can diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's.
Other reasons for low desire might include lack of sleep or depression.
Talk to a doctor or sex therapist
If you have low desire, get checked out by your primary care doctor. Whether or not he or she finds a physical problem, a consultation with a certified sex therapist can be helpful, because physical sex problems usually create a psychological or relationship issue, as well. "It's usually not just one thing," says Marjorie Green, MD, director of the Mount Auburn Female Sexual Medicine Center in Cambridge, Mass., and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.
On the other hand, if you feel your lack of desire is a physical issue and your primary care doctor is not able or willing to help, you may want to consult a sexual medicine specialist.
These vary depending on the source of the problem, but may include switching prescription medication, taking estrogen or testosterone, taking a drug that increases dopamine levels, or trying products such as Eros Therapy, an FDA-approved prescription-only device that uses gentle suction to increase blood flow to the clitoris and vulva. Some women may also see improvement with regular exercise, sex therapy, or relationship counseling.