Hello again! Dr. Jenkins here to discuss a very important issue in women’s health- Libido! I hear frequently from women, often at their annual exam, they are concerned regarding a decreased or lack of desire for sex (aka Libido). Unfortunately, it is a concern which is often under addressed or not addressed at all. This is likely due to a combination of factors including patient discomfort with discussing the topic and, probably most importantly, it tends to be mentioned at the end of a preventative health visit (i.e., annual exam) which gives the doctor little time to adequately explore this important concern. Due to complexity of female sexual desire and the many possible contributing factors, I encourage all women with this concern to schedule an appointment dedicated to addressing this. This allows your doctor ample time to fully explore your concerns and come up with an evaluation and treatment plan. It is important to note there is no “normal” amount for frequency of sexual interaction. Concerns around libido typically arise when a person feels there is a mismatch in their libido compared to their partner’s. Often, but not always, it is the female partner with the “lower libido”. The first point I like to make with my patients is female sexual arousal is much more responsive than spontaneous. This is contrast to male sexual arousal which is more spontaneous. This means in general; women are not thinking about having sex all day every day. It often takes our partner initiating sexual activity to put us “in the mood”. Having a partner who can understand this and be willing to take the lead is helpful. Additionally, as women we tend to carry a large portion of the household and organizational burden for our families, often in addition to working outside the home. This can leave us with little time or energy to devote to sex. I encourage all women whose partners express concerns with their lack of sexual desire to discuss this. It is important for your partner to do their fair share of the mental and physical household tasks if they want more sex! Lastly, if you are having any pain with sex this must be addressed. Who wants to do something that hurts? There are many reasons sex can become painful including changes in the vagina with breastfeeding or menopause. Infections and conditions like endometriosis can also cause pain with sex. Treatment for low libido is complex. There is currently only 1 medication which is FDA approved for female hypoactive sexual desire- Addyi. Unfortunately, this medication can have significant side effects (especially if used when consuming alcohol) and it is not very effective. Most treatment centers around lifestyle/relationship changes and addressing any underlying pain. If you have concerns regarding your libido, make an appointment with one of our providers to specifically address it! Sex is an important part of life and you deserve to have any sexual concerns properly addressed with a dedicated appointment!
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