Low Libido? 5 Surprising Reasons Why

Evening rolls around, and once again, you have about as much interest in having sex as you do in ironing a week's worth of work outfits. It's not that you're angry at your partner. You simply aren't interested.

Low libido can have many causes, including certain medications, a heavy load of unresolved conflict in a relationship, depression, and headaches are the classic reasons for saying, "Not tonight dear."

But some reasons for your lack of interest in sex may surprise you.

1. Sleep deprivation

"Not getting enough sleep plays havoc with your hormones," says Bat Sheva Marcus, LMSW, PhD, MPH, clinical director of the Center for Female Sexuality. "When you're tired, your cortisol levels shoot up, your testosterone is suppressed, and you just don't want to have sex."

The Fix: Get help with the kids, if possible, so you don't end the day feeling drained. If you have the chance to nap during the day, grab it.

2. Not eating well

If you're not taking the time to eat properly, this can really be a deterrent to having sex, Marcus says. Adds Tina B. Tessina, PhD, LMFT, author of Money, Sex & Kids: "You will feel your best and have the most to give when you are in optimum shape."

The Fix: You don't need to eat supposedly aphrodisiacal foods like oysters, but you should bump up your intake of healthy foods. You'll feel better about yourself, and have more energy for the bedroom.

3. Knowing your partner really well

Believe it or not, this can be a desire squelcher, Marcus says. "When you live with someone for many years, you become close to him and he is like your best friend," Marcus says. "And you may not want to have sex with your best friend. So there is something about feeling a little too close."

The Fix: Next time the two of you are in bed, try something new—even if it feels strange and anxiety-provoking. "Sometimes a little anxiety and nervousness can be good," Marcus says. "This is what you have early in a relationship, too." So share fantasies and try out new things in bed with your partner, she suggests.

4. Headaches

Yes, sexual headaches are real. Known as a sexual benign headache, it can happen during sex, especially with orgasm. A vascular headache that comes on just before orgasm, it can be intense and very uncomfortable. While it usually goes on for just a couple of minutes, it may also linger for hours. If you are prone to this type of headache, it can make you not want to have sex.

The Fix: See your doctor to rule out anything serious, and ask what you can do about this type of headache.

5. Feelings of not being in control

"We feel best when we are in control and feel like we can do something about our life," Tessina says. "But when something happens that is out of our control, and we are grieving, we feel sapped of energy."

The Fix: Just acknowledging your feelings helps, she says. "Any time you do this, it makes the feelings less intense." Vent to a sympathetic friend or have a good cry, and you may be surprised how much better you feel.




National Headache Foundation. "Sexual Benign Headaches." Web. 2012.