Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size

Married With Kids: Is Libido Lower for Women?

Study Shows Women With Young Kids Are Most Likely to Report Lower Sex Drive
WebMD Health News

Sept. 28, 2005 -- Married women are more likely to have sexual desire problems than either single women or married men, and those with children under the age of 5 are the most likely to report having little interest in sex, a new study shows.

Researchers in the U.K. surveyed 11,000 men and women between the ages of 16 and 44 about their sex lives -- or lack thereof.

They found that the women were significantly more likely than men to say that they had experienced a short-term or long-term problem in their sex lives over the past year.

Forty-one percent of married women said they had little interest in sex for up to a month during the previous year; one in 10 reported sexual desire problems lasting at least six months.

"Women with small children were the most likely to report short-term and long-term problems with desire," researcher Catherine H. Mercer, MSc, PhD, tells WebMD. "But interestingly, this was not the case among married men."

In fact, married men and men living with a partner were much less likely to report sexual problems than single men.

First Encounters

Men and women who reported having negative feelings about their first sexual encounter also reported more current problems with their sex lives. It was not clear from the study if the two are related.

The survey was conducted between 1999 and 2001 and is published in the latest issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Infection.

In addition to low libido, those surveyed were asked about other common sexual issues including performance anxiety, inability to climax, early climax, pain during intercourse, erection problems, and lubrication problems.

Both men and women reported more long-term sexual problems as they got older. People who reported being in good health also reported fewer sexual problems than those in poor health.

And both men and women who reported having problems communicating with their partner about sex were twice as likely to report sexual problems as those who did not cite communication as a problem.

"Communication plays a big part in sexual satisfaction," Mercer says.

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
Life Cycle of a Penis
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future