Emotional Issues and Sex Drive

Highs and Lows

If you're like most women, you might have found your sex drive peaked in your thirties. Nevertheless, throughout your lifetime, you're liable to experience highs and lows in your libido. There are many factors that can cause these ups and downs and while some causes of decreased sex drive are physical, just as many factors are emotional or psychological in nature. That doesn't make these causes any less significant or their effects less real. If you have a sense that there is a significant decrease in your desire for sex, you may want to read on about the possible emotional aspects of this phenomenon.

The most common psychological causes for lowered sex drive include:

*Past history of physical or sexual abuse

*Poor self-esteem

*Poor body image

*Money or work related stresses

*Mental illness, for instance depression or anxiety

Intimacy Issues

There are also emotional issues that can put a pall on your sex life, for instance, intimacy issues. If you have a problem with your partner, sex isn't going to be your top priority. Examples of relationship issues include:

*A spouse's infidelity or dishonesty

*Difficulty in communicating sexual preferences

*Conflicts which remain unresolved

*A feeling of disconnection with your partner

No matter the cause, your doctor will want to know if you are concerned about your lack of desire for sex. It doesn't much matter whether you're having sex several times a day, or once a month—if the desire seems to have deflated, it's time for a talk with your physician, who just may be able to help you put some life back into things. This is an appropriate subject to bring up during a routine medical checkup with your primary care physician or your gynecologist and a great chance to have an open discussion about issues of concern with your sex life. Even if your doctor doesn't bring up the subject, you bring it up for him. This is as it should be, since a healthy sex life is part and parcel of your general good health.

Meantime, here are some changes you can make on your own, which can often improve libido:

*Kegels-Strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises, since this is known to help you sense the parts of your body that are integral for sexual satisfaction. Becoming more aware of your sexual muscles does serve to increase the sex drive. Clench your muscles as if you were stopping a stream of urine. Hold for five counts, release and repeat. Do Kegels whenever the thought occurs to you. You can do them anywhere without anyone being the wiser.

*Joy-Make yourself happy by giving yourself treats and thinking good thoughts. If you like chocolate, eat a square every day. Take a hot bath and use good smelling toiletries. It's the little things that add up to a good state of mind—so important for good sex.

*Cope with Stress-Take deep breaths, do tai chi, find ways to give yourself better financial security. Anything that relieves your stress increases your libido.

*Exercise-Strength training and aerobic exercise brings on the endorphins, those amazing natural mood enhancers. Exercise also makes you feel stronger and better about yourself. All of this can set your blood a tingling.

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