13 Things That Can Decrease Libido

by Isadora Baum, CHC

If you're experiencing a dry spell, don't fear: there might be a reason for it that's simple to repair. If you're not feeling as enticed or sexual for a while, it could be due to surprising factors that are decreasing your libido and causing you to spend less time between the sheets with your S.O.. Not only can this interfere with a current or potential, future relationship down the road, but it can also take away some quality aspects of life that should be enjoyable.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on feeling great about themselves and exuding confidence. Often when self-esteem is dwindling, sexual desire plummets. Likewise, not finding time for sex or self-pleasure can also create a disconnect with your body and make you feel less frisky in general. There are incredible benefits to sex or "me time," such as lowering stress levels, promoting self-love, and boosting oxytocin, the love hormone, with whomever you're doing the deed with. Getting to the bottom of a low sex drive can really improve your quality of life. Here are 13 reasons why your libido is down and a few key tips on how to properly get it back up in no time.

1. Low Testosterone Levels

According to Neil Grimmer, founder of Habit over email with Bustle, as well as experts at WebMD, low testosterone levels in both men and women can contribute to a low sex drive. You can check your levels by meeting with a physician, and you can also try a high intensity exercise class and strength training to increase naturally.

2. Lack Of Vitamin D

Grimmer explains that vitamin D can help raise testosterone levels and supply the body with the needed resources for an upbeat libido. Dr. Mercola backed up this claim on his website, advising that people get enough vitamin D each day. Great sources include fish, eggs (the yolk, included), fortified milks, and lean meat for protein. If you don't like these foods, you can take a supplement.

3. Anti-Depressants

According to Brett Worly, M.D., an ob-gyn and female sexual dysfunction expert at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center over interview with Glamour, anti-depressants can affect your sex drive in compromising ways. If you notice these side effects, express your concern to your doctor and see if a different medication might be better for you.

4. Deficiency In Selenium

Grimmer also says that having a low nutritional level of selenium can also play a part in reducing your libido. According to kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner, Sheryl Walter, over interview with Natural News, selenium can increase sperm count and mobility. As it can be challenging to get your fill, look for richer sources and eat in small amounts. For instance, Brazil nuts are high in selenium, but you should only eat about 3 or so a day.

5. Deficiency in Vitamin A

According to nutritional experts at The American Nutrition Association, low levels of vitamin A can lead to a decrease in sex drive. Low vitamin A consumption will lead to less testosterone production in the body, which will negatively impact sex hormones and libido. Eat rainbow colored fruits and vegetables to get your fill.

5. Resentment Towards Your S.O.

Over email with Bustle, Mia Freedman, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Spring.St launching out of beta on February 15th shares, "No woman wants to have sex with a man who makes her feel angry or bitter. It might be resentment about housework or childcare or communication or money but it can have the unintended effect of neutralizing her attraction towards her partner."

6. Drinking Too Much

If you're drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis, it might be messing with your sexual desire and taking time away from the bedroom, advises Grimmer. Grimmer recommends putting down that second glass of wine and opting for water instead.

7. Feeling Inadequate To Your Partner

"One of the major contributors to decreased sex drive is feelings of inadequacy," says licensed marriage and family therapist, Erika Fay, LMFT, over email with Bustle. If you don't feel as though you measure up, work on that confidence and realize that you totally do (or else your partner wouldn't be with you).

8. Your Age

According to experts at Mayo Clinic, the middle age and menopause can cause a shift in hormones related to sex drive. It's normal to experience a decreased libido during menopause, as your body is going through many changes. Try and spice up your relationship, hit the gym, or try something new to amp things up again.

9. Birth Control

Being on birth control can lower libido, as testosterone levels are lower than normal. If you're on the pill and you're experiencing a reduction in sex drive and arousal, consider checking with your gynecologist for alternatives in pill brands or dosages that won't cause the same effect.

10. Sleep Apnea

Apparently, snoring at night doesn't just bother your S.O. (or neighbors, even), but it also can contribute to a lower sex drive. If you know you have sleep apnea, or your roommate or partner says that you tend to snore during the night, it might be wise to ask a physician for advice on the sleep disorder.

11. Dehydration

If you're not drinking enough water in the day and your body is dehydrated, it could negatively influence your sex drive. To improve your levels, remind yourself (perhaps by setting an alarm on your phone) to drink a glass of water every hour or so. Sure, you'll pee more, but it'll be worth it later.

12. Stress & High Cortisol

If you're stressed AF at work and you're constantly on your cell phone, it might interfere with your ability to relax and get in the mood. Having higher cortisol levels also throw your body off balance and keep sex drive low. Find ways to ban stress, such as through exercise or yoga.

13. Low Cortisol

Yes, there's surely a happy medium to cortisol levels and libido. While having excess cortisol and stress can make you less sexual, so can having too low of cortisol levels and being too fatigued to even move within the sheets. Try an exercise class, put on some dance music, or stimulate your mind to boost energy. Also, make sure to get enough sleep each night to keep the body balanced and cortisol levels stable.

If you notice any of these symptoms or contributors prevalent in your lifestyle, consider speaking with a physician for alternative methods and treatment. Also, keep things interesting. Jazz up the bedroom and beat boredom.

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