A Woman's Guide to Reviving Sex Drive
Sex-drive zapper: Normal aging
Desire slows with age for both women and men. Women are two to three times more likely to have this problem. In part, blame dropping testosterone. It's the hormone active in every stage of sex response, starting with desire.
What helps:There's no FDA-approved testosterone therapy, but some doctors prescribe creams off-label for some women. Kegels, exercise, and not smoking also help your sexual health.
There's good news about aging and sex, too: Many women say they feel an uptick in desire after menopause.
Sex-drive zapper: Mood disorders -- and meds
Double whammy: Depression and anxiety can add to sexual problems, and menopause itself can cause mood changes. Women get mood disorders more, and they peak around 40 to 59.
It doesn't help that key treatments for depression, SSRI and SNRI antidepressant drugs, can also mute desire and slow sexual response. Many women who aren't depressed are prescribed antidepressants short-term to deal with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Though the pills fix these problems, desire can tank.
What helps: See a doctor about treating depression with both pills and talk therapy. Some non-SSRI antidepressants, such as bupropion, cause fewer sexual side effects.
Sex-drive zappers: Other factors in your head and body
If graying hairs, extra pounds, and dry skin make you see yourself as "old," you're less likely to see yourself as "hot."
Women may also blame menopause for lost desire when other health problems are the real stoppers. Common culprits: Bladder problems, an underactive thyroid, chronic pain, and medication side effects.
What helps:Get a checkup to make sure there's nothing else going on with symptoms that bother you. When you make time to take care of your body and relationships now, it pays off in many ways -- including more fun in bed. Your brain is one of your best sex organs.