The 8 Reasons You Might Not Want Sex – And How To Reignite The Spark


WE all experience a lull in our sex drive every now and then.

You’re too tired, you’re not in the mood, you’d rather watch telly…but for some people a low libido can be a lasting problem.

Getty – Contributor Sex not only makes us feel good, but it boosts your health so it’s important to get your libido back

There are many reasons a woman’s libido may suffer at times, from stress to hormonal imbalances and even bad sex.

The Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviours found that 26 to 43 per cent of women around the world experienced low sexual desire.

Satisfying sex has so many benefits – it can be a positive force for health, producing important chemicals in our bodies and important bonds in our relationships – so it’s important to get your groove back.

Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams, author of BodyWise, explains to Healthista why you might not want sex.

1. Stress

Getty – Contributor If you are feeling stressed you may be less interested in sex

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the key focus is stress, something that can ruin your sex life.

“My observation is that many women are, literally, too busy for sex,” Rachel said.

“Which is very sad, as sex, if you pay attention to your body and cultivate your sex drive, gives back in spades what you put into it.

“Sexual activity (including self-pleasuring) has been found to reduce mortality and rates of illness, improve your hormonal profile, and substantially reduce the risk of depression.

“The keys to inviting your sex drive back into your life include using your body, physically, on a regular basis.

“Make time for pleasure. This is a big one. If you don’t fit sex, with yourself or with another, into your schedule, it will not spontaneously appear.

“One of the ways to invite sex back into your life is to use fantasy in ways that are fun.”

2. Bad sex

Getty – Contributor If you’ve had a bad experience in the past you’re less likely to want to jump into bed with someone

If you’ve had bad sex in the past, or suffered trauma at the hands of a sexual assault, the your libido is going to struggle.

“Our genitals are our most private and vulnerable area of our bodies,” Rachel said.

“Of course, trauma can affect any part of our bodies, but when most women experience sexual trauma, they shut down sensations in their genitals and their sexual feelings, in general.

“This is true for sexual violence, but it can also be true for a woman who has just had bad sex, or has been shamed for being sexual.

“Begin healing and developing trust in your sexual instincts, by only having sex when you truly want to.

“Your desire will emerge when your body anticipates that sex only happens when your body is ready.”

3. It’s painful

Getty – Contributor Some changes in a woman’s body can make sex a painful experience

Needless to say, if something is causing you pain you’re not going to want to do it regularly.

“The most common reason for pain with intercourse or penetration are the hormonal changes of menopause,” Rachel added.

SEX-PLAINED The 5 reasons women don’t enjoy sex – and how to make it fun again

“Lower circulating oestrogen levels result in the vaginal and vulvar tissues becoming thinner, drier, and more vulnerable to injury.

“In this environment, penetrative sex, especially without enough lubrication, can cause many microtears of the vulva and vagina.

“I call this vaginal road rash, and it burns and hurts, sometimes severely.

“The excellent news is that in almost all cases, this can be helped with topical oestrogens.

“This is not hormone replacement; it is local oestrogen for the tissues and is safe in all women, with the exception of those who have had breast, uterine, or ovarian cancer.”

4. Hormones

Getty – Contributor A hormone imbalance can cause you to lose interest in sex

If your hormones are out of balance your sex drive will suffer.

Rachel explained: “Perhaps the most important physiological influence on libido is the availability of oestrogen and testosterone.

“Oestrogen contributes to sexual receptivity— that Marilyn Monroe, hair flip kind of sex drive.

“But studies have found that testosterone is the major driver of libido in women, increasing desire for sexual behaviour and increasing genital arousal, sensation, and lubrication.

“Europe has approved a ‘woman-sized’ testosterone patch for the treatment of low libido in women, and it can work wonders if your testosterone measures are low (a blood test you can ask your GP for).”

5. Underlying condition

Getty – Contributor A thyroid condition can also be responsible for a low libido

There may be a medical reason why you have lost interest in getting down and dirty.

“A variety of health issues can interfere with libido, including any chronic disease, thyroid malfunction, chronic pain, cancer and cancer treatment, and a large variety of medications— including oral contraceptives, anti-depressants and blood pressure medications,” Rachel said.

She recommends having your doctor do these tests to make sure:

Optimal thyroid function Testosterone levels Consider other hormone testing If you have pain with sex, a good gynecologic exam should be able to identify any skin conditions or infections contributing to the pain

6. Body confidence

Getty – Contributor If you are unhappy with how you look you may find you lose desire in sex

If you aren’t happy with how you look, chances are you’re not going to want someone to see you naked.

“It is infuriating that the image of what is considered sexy in the media is so impossibly out-of-step with what women actually look like,” Rachel said.

“We can be brutal with ourselves about our bodies, but our lovers typically just want to love us.

“And in case you were concerned that being overweight might affect your ability to be sexual, real studies of this show that women who are overweight or obese have just as much sexual libido and orgasmic ability as other women.”

Rachel suggests standing in front of a mirror and saying out loud everything you appreciate about your body.

7. Trust issues

Getty – Contributor Trust is one of the most important factors in a healthy sex life

If you find it hard to trust you are probably going to find it hard to jump into bed with someone.

“If you do not want to have sex because you are mad at your partner, it has nothing to do with your health or being rested or having enough testosterone,” Rachel explained.

“It has to do with your relationship and, contrary to what you may have seen in novels or movies, fighting and lack of trust do not lead to a better sex life.

“Trust is the number-one ingredient necessary for a happy, healthy sex life.

“If you do not trust your partner, either emotionally or physically, it will be very difficult to have a hot sexual life.”

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