The term “libido” is also known as “sex drive”. It’s what makes sexual fantasy, arousal and sexual enjoyment possible.
Low libido should not be dismissed as unimportant. It is a serious condition that reaches far beyond sexual feelings. It can also diminish psychological health and well-being, not to mention have a huge impact on personal relationships. Low libido doesn’t have to run your life though. There are many treatments out there to help you manage your libido that are for women as well as men. Women are too shy to discuss sexual function issues or feel uncomfortable doing so. It’s widely talked about as a man’s problem but not discussed so publicly as a woman’s problem. Sexual function issues can include everything from feelings of low libido (not being interested in sexual relations) to the inability to climax even though you are aroused. Having an un-fulfilling sexual relations impacts on the personal relationships as a result.
How is Libido Classified?
fatigue, serious illness and stress can all cause short-term low libido. Every woman can experience bouts of short-term disinterest in sex due to these reasons. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s quite normal and it’s not considered to be actual low libido. True low libido is when there is no lull in the feeling. Low libido is a persistent disorder that doesn’t improve no matter what you do and it causes personal distress.
4 distinct medical classifications of female sexual dysfunction can lead to low libido developing:
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) – This is when sexual fantasies, thoughts or inclinations are not present. It’s when a woman has no desire to engage in sexual activity of any kind and is not interested in sexual activity being advanced on her.
Here’s what a woman with HSDD might say with regards to her condition:
“I have no sexual desire”
“I’ve lost my desire and I’m sorry for my partner”
“I do not care about sex anymore, I have no interest in it at all, but my husband insists that I should see a doctor”
“I’d prefer to sleep or read a book, but I do it anyway”
Sexual Arousal Disorder (SAD) This is when a woman is interested in sex but is unable to get sufficiently excited. Women with arousal disorder might describe themselves in the following way:
“I do not feel mentally excited”
“I have vaginal dryness”
“It takes ages to get wet/lubricated”
Orgasmic Disorder This is when a woman cannot orgasm (climax) at all or the orgasm happens as a delayed reaction. Women with orgasmic disorder might describe themselves in the following ways:
“I’ve never had an orgasm”
“Orgasm is now difficult to reach, it’s brief, not like it used to be despite foreplay and excitement”
“I cannot have an orgasm any more”
Sexual Pain Disorder This is when a woman experiences vaginal pain during sexual relations. A common cause of pain is called “dyspareunia”, caused by lack of vaginal lubrication. Another form of sexual pain is “vaginismus” where the muscles in the outer third of the woman’s vagina spasm involuntarily and may close the vagina, making vaginal penetration impossible or very difficult.
Women with sexual pain normally describe themselves in the following ways:
“We rarely have sex now because I feel pain and my husband doesn’t want to hurt me”
“I cannot have sex any more because it hurts”
“Since I lost my periods, having sex has become more and more difficult. I have pain and sometimes cystitis afterwards. I want to regain a normal sex life”
Understand more on low libido in women:
The information in this article has been taken with permission from the official Lawley booklet on Understanding Low Libido in Women.