Are you experiencing a lowered sex drive? Here are some reasons why.

Almost everyone experiences changes in libido over the years. Lowered sex drive can decrease your quality of life, and if you have a partner, suddenly conflicting sex drives can create conflict in your relationship. Here are some common causes of low libido in women, as well as some solutions.

Physical causes

Hormones are the first thing that come to mind when considering a change in libido. The three main hormones that control libido are testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause and after a hysterectomy often can decrease sex drive. Lowered libido is also a common side effect of hormonal birth control.

Some health conditions affect it as well, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression or mood disorders. Your doctor may be able to help.

Past experience

Both physical and emotional trauma can send your sex drive into a nosedive. It doesn’t have to be a recent event; memories of past abuse can be triggered years after they’ve occurred. Speaking to a psychologist or sex therapist can help. If your partner is having trouble understanding or wants to know how they can help, consider having them accompany you to a session.

You don’t need to have had a traumatic experience in order to view sex negatively; maybe you’ve just never had a good experience. Some studies estimate that up to 75% of women do not achieve orgasm by intercourse alone, but it’s still viewed by many as the “right” way to have sex. Feeling pressured to perform can lead to feelings of failure, which then erodes self-confidence and desire. If this sounds like you, take some time for yourself and do some self-exploration. Order a toy from someplace like That Drawer and see what works for you and what doesn’t.

Life happens

Sometimes life just gets in the way. Whether it’s raising a growing family, having a stressful project at work, or taking care of an aging or ill relative, the odds are that you’ll encounter at least one of these situations as you grow older. If you’re in a relationship, be sure to communicate with your partner; maybe they can help shoulder some responsibilities. Try to carve out some time to spend together, if you can. Most importantly, focus on the fact that with work and time, it’s possible to regain intimacy with your partner.