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If you’ve made it to this page, odds are you’ve experienced some noticeable changes in your sex drive at some point in time. We’re here to reassure you that a libido that ebbs and flows is completely normal. A wide range of factors can impact your sexual desire, which can fluctuate day to day, year to year, and decade to decade. With that in mind, let’s jump into some of the most common factors that impact libido. 

But First, a Word on Sexual Desire

 

If we could yell this from the rooftops, we would—your libido is entirely unique and personal to you. There are endless factors that go into your individual sex drive, and it’s impossible for there to be one correct type of libido. Some people experience lowered libido during times of mental or physical stress, while others may fall along the asexual spectrum. Conversely, maybe your sex drive spikes during times of anxiety or at certain parts of your menstrual cycle. 


Your sex drive will change throughout your life, so developing an intimate understanding of what makes you tick sexually is critical to a fulfilling sex life. This will help you feel more fulfilled and empowered in your sexual relationship with yourself and your partners. Ultimately, remember that your libido is unique, and the only opinion that matters when it comes to your sex drive is your own. 

 

5 Common Factors That Can Impact Your Sex Drive


1. Stress 


Think back to a particularly stressful time in your life. Were you especially in the mood at that point in time? Probably not. While stress can kickstart the libidos of some people, feelings of anxiety tend to lower people’s sex drives. That’s because stress produces mental and physical effects that make it difficult to experience desire. 


According to Health, feelings of worry or panic can increase your body’s production of stress hormones such as adrenaline. Not only is this mentally distracting, but the physical stress caused by anxiety makes it harder for your body to experience pleasure. 

2. Hormone Changes


Over the course of your life, your hormones will fluctuate. This is a normal, healthy part of life that can alter your libido with the onset of certain bodily changes. For example, your libido can change due to the drop in estrogen levels that occur as a woman transitions into menopause. In addition to a lowered libido, these hormonal changes can also cause issues with self-lubrication of the vagina and vaginal tissues. 


Another hormone-heavy time that can impact your sex drive is pregnancy. Hormonal changes that happen pre and post-partum can lessen your libido. The body’s lowered estrogen levels, combined with the production of a hormone called prolactin for breastfeeding, make low desire common and normal for new mothers. Plus, the stress of having a newborn can add mental strain and lessen your sexual desire even further.  

3. Medication


Various medications come with unique side effects. Sometimes, certain medications have the added effect of lowering sexual desire.
Time notes that one of the medications that can lower your libido are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications are often prescribed to treat depression and raise serotonin levels, which can in turn decrease sexual desire. 

Birth control pills are other types of medication that can possibly lower your sex drive. Since birth control lowers the amount of sex hormones and testosterone in the body, this could lead to a decrease in libido. Other medications including antihistamines and benzodiazepines (just to name a few) can also lower your sex drive. It’s incredibly important to understand the possible side effects of any medication you take. So be sure to learn more about your medications if you’re noticing a change in your libido. 

4. Menstrual Cycle 


The different phases of the menstrual cycle come with many hormonal changes. These fluctuations can also impact your sexual desire. Particularly, the ovulation phase is where many people notice a sharp rise in desire. Why? During ovulation, estrogen and testosterone levels peak and lead to heightened sexual desire. 

In the same way that your libido may increase leading up to ovulation, you could notice lower desire in the days following ovulation. Many people also experience lowered libido during their period due to hormonal changes and discomfort caused by the physical symptoms of menstruation including cramping and headaches. 

To keep your intimate skin soothed throughout your menstrual cycle, Lady Suite’s Rejuvenating Botanical Oil helps prevent dryness and irritation.

5. Mental & Emotional Health


A large part of sex is emotional and mental. So, it’s no surprise that mental health issues can have a huge impact on sexual desire. In fact,
Cleveland Clinic mentions that low self-esteem, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness brought on by depression can lower your sex drive. Depression can also cause issues such as anorgasmia, which makes it difficult to have an orgasm. 

If you’re struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to reach out to your doctor for assistance. These issues are more common than you may think, and you deserve to feel happy, loved, and fulfilled. 

So, What’s Next?


While a fluctuating sex drive is normal, some people want to find ways to increase their sexual desire. For those wanting to heighten their libido, there’s great news! From nutrition to lifestyle changes, there are many things you can do to overcome the challenges that are getting in the way of experiencing more sexual desire. Here are just a few of the methods recommended by
Mayo Clinic:

  • Sex counseling and education
  • Medications 
  • Hormone therapy 
  • Exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Healthy communication practices

Like with all things, it’s important to understand your body and be prepared to try different methods of increasing sexual desire—if that’s your goal. Not every method will work for everyone, which is completely normal. But don’t give up! Just as every person’s sex drive is unique to them, different solutions work for different people. So try not to get discouraged if some methods don’t work for you. 

No matter what, remember that there’s no one correct way to be sexual or experience sexual desire. We hope you’ll have fun exploring your relationship with your libido. 

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This article was written by Giselle Hernandez. She is a freelance sexual health and wellness copywriter with six years of experience writing blogs, website content, social media captions, digital ads, product descriptions, and collateral materials for clients. Check out her website to learn more about her work.

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