6 Things That May Cause Low Sex Drive

Obvious things that kill your sex drive: stress, being tired, fighting with your partner. But there could also be a hidden reason why you're not in the mood these days. Read on for some possible culprits.

1. Your sense of smell

Some people with anosmia -- the inability to perceive smell -- report a loss of libido. "Smell is a form of communication between partners -- people respond to the smell of their partner," Carl Philpott, honorary consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon at James Paget University Hospital in Norfolk, U.K., tells The Daily Mail. "A lot of my patients who lose their sense of smell say they feel a lack of bond with their partners."

2. Scented candles

You may use them to set a romantic mood, but they could potentially dampen your mood. A 2008 South Carolina State University air-quality test found that petroleum-derived, artificially scented candles emit scents that can act as fake sex hormones, lowering testosterone levels. Beeswax candles are the wiser option.

3. His soy latte

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A Harvard study published in the journal Human Reproduction found a strong link between men's consumption of soy foods and decreased sperm counts. Other studies have found connections between eating soy and erectile dysfunction. A lot of processed foods contain genetically engineered soy, so try to go for natural foods as often as possible.

4. Your vibrator

Some vinyl-containing products — including sex toys — can mess with both male and female libidos. Studies show that the chemicals in vinyl products can disrupt hormones and lower testosterone. For a safer option, try glass or medical-grade silicone vibrators.

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5. The pill

This may not come as a huge shocker to you, but your birth control could lower your sex drive. "Testosterone has been linked with increased libido, and women with normal, natural menstrual cycles experience a small surge of testosterone right around ovulation when they're most fertile," Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine, tells Redbook. Both combination estrogen-progestin and progestin-only birth control pills affect ovarian function — and your sex drive.

6. Allergy Meds

"Antihistamines such as Benadryl can dry out your vagina as well as your sinuses," says Dr. Minkin. "If you're not moist, sex can be uncomfortable. And why would anyone want to have sex if it's uncomfortable?" For some of us, it's a small price to pay for comfort from eternal sniffling, nose-itching, and sinus pain, thankyouverymuch. But if it becomes a serious problem, switch meds or use more lubricant.

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