The elusive female libido.
Most people think that a young wife has no trouble with libido. Which isn’t necessarily true. Numbers are beginning to say it isn’t uncommon for the 18-30 year old female to suffer low libido.
For several years, I searched for my libido. But, it was like a scavenger hunt. The clues didn’t seem to make any sense. I even wondered if finding it was important. However, it became important to me when I realized how important it was to my husband.
If you are in a marriage with a higher drive spouse, sexual interest is important. A sexless marriage was not part of God’s perfect design.
I remembered the yearning of young marriage, don’t you? You ached for his touch. Higher drive spouses feel that a large percentage of the time (at least my higher drive spouse says so). Could you imagine trying to focus when that feeling is pervasive?
Now, let’s discuss more of the female yearning….
This post is about the normal ups and downs of a wife’s sexual appetite as it waxes and wanes through a lifetime. Low libido usually parallels stressful times.
Chronic low libido in women is known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. This doesn’t mean the inability to climax. It’s the lack or even repulsion of sexual thoughts and desires. If you feel you lean into the HSDD category, please see your doctor. Check out this link to the mayo clinic for Female Sexual Dysfunction.
REASONS for Low Libido:
Use this list as a starting place in re-creating your sexual interest.
(DISCLAIMER #1: I am NOT a health professional. I’m just your girlfriend throwing some thoughts out there on what I’ve researched.)
1. Health Problems
Health problems that could affect libido; anemia, major diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, depression/anxiety and many others. If you have low libido and you’ve not been feeling yourself (brain fog, weight gain, can’t lose weight, hair loss, etc…) go see your doctor armed with a list of your ailments and questions for him/her. Other things to consider are: adrenal fatigue if you are chronically tired.
Certain prescription medications could be affecting your libido. Check the side of effects. You may be able to ask your doctor for an alternative prescription of a drug that accomplishes the same thing with fewer the side effects.
3. Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance does not happen to only women in menopause. (I was greatly encouraged by a British article that says there isn’t necessarily a correlation between low libido and menopause.) Testosterone plays a major factor in female sex drive as well as male. However, there has to be a delicate balance between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. The luteinizing hormone may also play a factor in low libido.
4. Emotional disconnect with your spouse.
Do your conversations revolve around a to-do list, or do you discuss hopes and fears of the day? If the majority of your conversations are of the to-do list variety, put Emotional Connection on your to-do list. Do you believe him when he says you’re gorgeous?
5. Poor Body Image/Self-Esteem
Flawless females are a dime a dozen on magazine covers. If I traveled with my air-brush artist, I’d be looking pretty awesome all the time, too.
I think this is self-explanatory. Stress and over-activity zap our energy and are huge libido squelchers.
Beautiful readers, I do not want to gloss over the fact that numbers of adults have been violated sexually at some point in their lives. We all need to be aware that this is a very real facet. I am not equipped to converse on that issue other than to say, if you have been abused and have not sought out counseling to heal, please do. Email me, I will gladly be your prayer partner in this. (See: Healing from Sexual Harassment)
My Story of Libido Rescue
The scavenger hunt for my libido was eventually abandoned. I went on a bona fide rescue mission. I started with prayer and a very open heart. Then I started going down the above check list.
I experienced night sweats, foggy brain, and inconsistent cycles. All these were clues that something was starting to misfire. I made an appointment with a menopause hormone specialist.
Personally, I did find a slight increase in libido when I started bio-identical hormone therapy. This therapy is prescribed by a medical professional who specializes in menopausal hormone therapy. She measured my hormonal levels and put them in balance. Disclaimer #2: Bio-identical hormones are not regulated by the FDA.
If you suspect hormone imbalance, go to your healthcare provider. I sought out a healthcare professional who was an advocate of bio-identicals. However, only you can determine what is best for you. Do research on traditional prescription hormones versus alternative bio-identical hormones. See My pro/con discussion of bio-identical hormones here: Menopausal Snake Oil?
The easiest cure for emotional disconnect is the present of presence. Time alone together is the key. Do something you both enjoy (conversation over a cup of coffee, game of boggle, fishing, it doesn’t have to be sexual……but it can be). It doesn’t have to involve a lot of talking.
We bought a deck of ‘conversation cards’ to prime the conversation pump at first. These cards have simple questions on them. This link, Conversation Starters, is another good list.
I am 64 inches tall. I was 56 inches around at 32 weeks of pregnancy with twins! Do you know what crepe paper looks like? Welcome to my lower abdomen. It will never again be worthy of a two-piece bathing suit. I’m OK with that.
I wasn’t OK with getting winded unloading the groceries from the car. I wasn’t OK with my blood tests showing pre-diabetic conditions. I wasn’t OK with having borderline high blood pressure and a sluggish thyroid. I wasn’t OK with the 30 extra pounds. Gone were the feelings of being a powerful, vigorous body.
I knew change wasn’t going to happen by magic. “Life doesn’t come with a remote. You have to change yourself.” I had to get up off of the couch and take a few steps.
My cure for negative body image was exercise. I know, I know, it’s a dirty 8 letter word. Chew on this for awhile, let it simmer in your brain. We’ll explore exercise and sexual health later.
Mr. Muscle (a.k.a. Dave, my husband) and I began to pray together, out loud. It was uncomfortable at first. With consistency, it didn’t take long for it to be wonderful bonding time with our Lord and very comforting. It went a long way in helping us emotionally connect, too. (See Best Kept Secret to Lift Low Libido.)
He counts our tears and preserves them. He is a kind and compassionate Lord. God cares about every detail of our lives. Since he does care about every aspect, when I go through seasons of low libido, I pray about it. I have prayed for my libido to improve, for my husband’s libido to dimish, and everything in between. The most effective prayer is when I pray prayers of thanksgiving.
I was finally on my way to re-claim my Sexy. You can be on your way to sexy, too, beautiful friends!
My prayers are with you radiant readers, that your marriage can be a beacon for your children and others to see Christ shining through.
I agree with One Flesh Marriage that Sex is the Glue.