What's Wrong With Me?

It seems that women the world over are suffering from a loss of libido. They just have no interest in sex and suffer periods of guilt over their lost sex drives. Meantime, pharmacies are racing to offer the newest drugs to fix the problems as others worry that sex has become too, well, medicalized.

A study that appeared in a 2008 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology discovered that up to half of all women have a sexual disorder of some kind. An even more recent report that was issued by the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health says that one in every ten women say they have a low sex drive and feel distressed over their lack of libido. As a result, women are running to their doctors to ask them what's wrong, while the doctors respond by saying the fault lies with the patients' lifestyles and the medications they take.

Creating Desire

For one thing, the pill's every-burgeoning popularity since it came on the market in the 60's plays a part in robbing women of their sexual drive. The pill increases the levels of a chemical that binds with the hormone testosterone. Testosterone plays a central role in creating desire. Without testosterone, there is no sexual drive.

But there are many other factors that can rob a woman of her libido. Not all of them are treatable and many may not even be diagnosable.

Body Image

Social psychologist Petra Boynton, of the University College London explained, "In truth there is lots of detailed and interesting research on women's sexuality that specifically addresses the many issues that may cause low sexual desire—like pregnancy, menopause, bereavement, divorce, a lack of privacy or poor body image."

Dr. Jan Shifren of Massachusetts General Hospital adds that some conditions such as vulvar vestibulitis cause chronic vaginal pain and as a result, tend to dampen sexual ardor. The condition is considered serious and often requires treatment. "Women in good relationships who are physically and psychologically healthy are generally satisfied with their sex lives," says Shifren.

Other than the pill and medical conditions, reasons for low libido, according to the experts, include economic worries, the stress of raising a family, and strange as it may sound, societal pressure for having a high sex drive. On the other hand, low sex drive may not really be as low as we think. Instead, our perceptions may be skewed by having sexual expectations that aren't in synch with reality. After all, we can't all be Tiger Woods.

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