When it comes to libido, it can be high or low based on several factors. As much as you might want to have sex, it doesn’t always happen. And unfortunately, if the desire to get intimate with your partner becomes routine—where you’re not making time for each other in that way for weeks or months—it could stress your relationship and create a disconnect.
Plus, sex is fun! So, there’s no reason to give it up when you could be enjoying it regularly. If your libido has plummeted, look to these various factors, all of which could be lowering your urge. With a few easy solutions, you’ll be hopping into bed in no time!
7 Possible Causes of Low Libido
“We are never without some form of stress in our lives, but an overabundance can put a damper on your sex life,” says sex and relationship expert Megan Stubbs, EdD, ACS. Try to see what you can take off of your plate to lessen the burden it puts on your relationship in order to make time for sex and to feel more often in the mood. That means, maybe hire a babysitter for weekends or ask for help on a time-consuming project at work. And try to manage stress through healthy habits, like yoga and meditation.
2. Lack of satisfaction
If you aren't receiving the pleasure you want with your partner, chances are you aren't going to be too eager to get under those sheets. And that can totally lower your libido. Yet, this can be fixed! “If you find yourself in the place where you are faking your orgasms with your partner, take a step back and have an honest conversation with them,” says Stubbs. Provide a few tips, explaining what you like in bed in order to make the experience better.
3. Poor body image
“If you aren't feeling confident in the skin you live in, chances are that its hurting your intimacy. You may feel more reticent about how your partner may perceive you and just shut down the entire idea of sex before it even gets brought up,” says Stubbs. Instead, try to see yourself through your partner's eyes (they likely find you beautiful and sexy!), and spend some time alone with your body to show it appreciate and self-love.
“Consider making a gratitude list for your body and feel free to refer to it whenever you're feeling like you’re less than,” says Stubbs. Once you rock that confidence and feel sexy yourself, your libido will skyrocket.
4. The wrong diet
Poor food choices can definitely influence your desire to have sex. “For example, really heavy and fatty foods with a lot of saturated fat, like bacon, steak or fried foods, can make you feel lethargic or bloated. As a result, your desire to have sex can diminish,” says Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. The same goes for foods that make you gassy, such as beans or cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower, she adds.
“While these are considered ‘healthy’ foods, they may cause gas and stomach irritability in some people, which may decrease your sex drive,” she says. So, eat them and enjoy, but in moderate doses, and if you’re looking to have sex on a given night, eat something else before!
5. Depression or anxiety
If you are depressed or dealing with high anxiety, there is a strong likelihood that it is impacting your sex life, too, making you more sad and distant and unable to connect with your partner. “Seek out a therapist to confirm the diagnosis and talk to them about steps you can take to help with the symptoms. Talk to them about your sex life, as well, because some medications used in the treatment of depression can actually hinder your sex drive,” says Stubbs. If it’s due to medication, see if there’s another solution that won’t have such an impact.
6. Lack of sleep
Sleeping keeps your mind and body balanced, so if you’re not getting enough hours (aim for 7 to 8 nightly), then you could end up too tired to have sex and maybe even feel cranky or irritable. The solution? Hit the hay early. (And try to have sex before, perhaps!) “Make sure you prioritize sleep and get eight hours so that the body can reset and the hormones can re-regulate to best support the libido,” says Jenni Skyler, PhD, LMFT and CST, AASECT certified sex therapist, sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist for AdamEve.com.
7. A sedentary lifestyle
Working out keeps you active and healthy, with studies showing you'll be more likely to desire sex and have better sexual function. “Make sure you prioritize exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Three days a week, try to get the heart rate and sweat going to stimulate hormone production to support the libido,” says Skyler. Since endorphins are released during workouts, that translates over to the bedroom, putting you in a good mood and ready to have sex.