Once upon a time, you used to chase him round the bed. And now? Well, it’s been a while. And it’s not just him. You never even opened ‘Fifty Shades’. There are no movies playing in your head. You wonder what you ever saw in Ryan Gosling. Sex? You’d rather have a cup of tea. 

libido

And you’re not alone. Low libido affects one third of women age 18-59, and solutions aren’t obvious. Whereas erectile dysfunction in men is relatively straightforward and fixable, women’s sexuality is far more complex and mysterious.

However common reasons include:

Interpersonal issues. We need to feel good about our partners and our bodies. There may be relationship issues, trauma from births, the stress and exhaustion of work and small kids. Sex and/or relationship therapy may help here, or simply taking the time to reconnect.

Media perceptions of sexuality can lead to anxiety about our bodies and performance. It’s important to remember that when it comes to sex, there is no normal. Frequency and tastes are all different. Even a low sex drive is only a problem if it is causing us distress.

Medical problems such as thyroid issues or gynaecological problems can decrease sex drive. The contraceptive pill, anti-depressants and medications that lower blood pressure can also make us lose interest. Talk to your GP about alternatives.

For many women, low testosterone can be a problem. Testosterone peaks in the mid-20s and declines towards menopause. Talk to your GP about a hormone test. Oestrogen patches can help with vaginal dryness among older women.

Simply being run down and chronically fatigued. Choose a better diet. Those famed aphrodisiacs, oysters, may actually live up to the hype, as they are a rich source of zinc, which increases testosterone naturally. Other seafoods and red meat are also good sources. Oatmeal doesn’t sound sexy but it, too, boosts testosterone. Dark chocolate contains magnesium which helps us relax as well as compounds that help with the production of feel-good endorphins. Salmon, mackerel and walnuts contain Omega 3 fatty acids for better brain health – and us women know that the brain is the true sex organ! B vitamins are vital because they help us convert food into energy. There is no food for instant arousal – over time, a better diet will simply help us feel like confident, healthy and sexual human beings.

Sadly, age can affect sex drive. However, this is not a given. While many women report low libido post-menopause, others find themselves having more fun than ever before.

Women’s sexuality seems to wax and wane throughout our lifetimes. We may lose our drive completely in the years after having children. We may not orgasm ‘til 25 but enjoy the best sex of our lives at 50. Nothing is set in stone. None of us need to accept a libido-free life, unless that is what we prefer, so talk to your partner or a healthcare professional.