Common Causes of Low Libido and Anorgasmia in Women and How to Treat Them

Every girl should use what Mother Nature gave her before Father Time takes it away.

Laurence J. Peter

Few things are as frustrating as a habitually low sex drive; whether your low libido/arousal is putting a strain on your relationship or simply depriving you of the mental and physical benefits of regular orgasms, anorgasmia and lack of interest in sex are real problems for many women.

Unfortunately, these problems often go unaddressed due to a combination of embarrassment and misinformation. It is not, however, unreasonable to want to find sex satisfying, so ask yourself if one or more of the following sets of circumstances may be standing between you and a fulfilling sex life.


Decreased interest in sex is one of the classic symptoms of depression among both men and women. Other common signs of depression include a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, fatigue, changes in sleeping pattern and difficulty concentrating.

If you believe your low libido may be the result of depression, you may be especially reluctant to seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, but it is important that you do; depression is a debilitating and potentially dangerous condition, but there are many treatment options available. With any luck, you’ll soon be feeling better all around—a healthy interest in sex will merely be the icing on the cake.


Unfortunately, some medications—including many of those used to treat depression and anxiety—can cause low libido or anorgasmia. Other notorious culprits include anticonvulsants and even birth-control pills. This can be a particularly difficult problem to address because discontinuing the medication altogether is often not an option.

a woman is posing with a penisDon’t give up, though; different people can have different reactions to the same medication, so simply switching medications may help.

Other options include lowering the dosage or adding a drug known to boost libido. You will, of course, need to get your doctor’s approval before making any of these changes, but be persistent; there is almost certainly a solution out there.

Hormonal Fluctuations

This is one area in which women really get the short end of the stick. Although men often experience a decline in libido as they age, this is nothing compared to the havoc wreaked by the hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause.

The problem is usually temporary for pregnant women, but menopause can pose quite a challenge. Hormone therapy proves beneficial in many cases, but you may find that there are simpler and cheaper ways to achieve a similar effect.

If your problem is one of arousal rather interest, the solution may be as simple as using extra lubricant; women produce less natural lubrication as they age, and you are obviously not going to be at your most orgasmic during dry, painful sex.

Creams designed to stimulate blood flow can also work wonders in heightening arousal, although it can be tricky finding one that works for you personally; incidentally, these products can also help women with nerve damage from conditions like diabetes or MS. Finally, you may simply require more stimulation than your partner’s hand (or yours) can provide, so if you haven’t already tried using a vibrator, it may be time to purchase one.

Unhealthy Body Image 

Concerns about body weight, shape and overall appearance are often at their most severe during sex with a partner, but for some women these worries are so pervasive that they intrude even during masturbation. We are so surrounded by sexualized images of women that even those of us who look like supermodels can be prone to body image problems.

However, women who lack confidence in their appearance and sexuality are far more likely to suffer from sex-related anxieties. Furthermore, these worries can have physical effects; if you are overly focused on how you look or sound during sex, you may find it difficult to attain arousal and/or orgasm. Talking to a therapist may be necessary if your self-esteem issues are severe, and it is always a good idea to share your concerns with your partner, but chances are that this is one problem you will need to solve mostly on your own.

This may seem like a tall order, but in the long run you will be much happier once you have made peace with your physical appearance. Avoid comparing yourself to other women and focus on what you like about yourself; over time, you will find that you are plagued less and less by negative thoughts.

Alcohol and Other Drugs

If you are abusing drugs, there are obviously many reasons to seek help besides a low sex drive. You may, however, be surprised to learn that even moderate alcohol consumption can affect your ability to have an orgasm. When you think about it, though, it makes sense; men often find it difficult maintaining an erection after too many drinks, so why wouldn’t women experience a similar problem?

Lack of Self-Knowledge

This is a problem common among, but by no means confined to, younger women. Strange though it may seem, women often know more about male sexuality and anatomy than they do about their own. As a result, they may mistakenly believe that what works for their boyfriends ought to work for them as well, and that if it doesn’t, the problem must lie with them.

However, the fact of the matter is that penetrative sex alone is unlikely to bring most women to orgasm, though it may still be pleasurable. What works best for the majority of women is direct clitoral stimulation, which is hardly surprising, given that the clitoris is homologous to the penis.

The best way to find out what kind of stimulation works for you is through masturbation.

You may be squeamish about this or feel that an orgasm only “counts” if it is given to you by your partner, but think about it this way; most men have years of experience masturbating before they ever have sex with a partner.

They enter into relationships knowing what they do and don’t like.

It will be much easier for your partner to bring you to orgasm if you are able to tell him what you like. Be patient when you masturbate, though: It takes the average woman roughly 20 minutes to climax. If you find that your hand gets tired too quickly, consider using a vibrator instead; there are many styles to choose from and most are fairly inexpensive, so feel free to explore.


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