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You are in love with your significant other. However, you note that the fire in your belly has been extinguished. The desire to be intimate with your loved one is null and void. If this scenario sounds like you, then you will want to read this article on low sexual desire and what can be done to treat it.

Low sexual desire (LSD) is a common sexual difficulty that affects many couples. Although it can be experienced by both men and women, it seems to be much more prevalent among women. Having low sex desire means that the individual lacks interest in sex. It is usually accompanied by a decrease in sexual frequency.

What causes LSD?

Low sexual desire has many possible causes that include:

Age: As an individual ages many changes occur in the body that affects sexual desire.

Menopause: In women, the changes of aging start when she is beginning menopause. Her changes include decreased lubrication, lower estrogen levels (the female sex hormone), lower testosterone levels (the hormone believed to be responsible for female sexual arousal), and other changes in the sexual response cycle.

Hormone deficiency: Decreased amounts of testosterone in the body are liked with declines in sexual desire for both men and women. Bad experience with sex: Low sexual desire can result from having painful intercourse or aversive events in childhood.

Depression: People who suffer from depression usually have a general decrease in mood, which tends to decrease their sexual motivations and activity.

Anxiety & stress: If the individual suffers from either of these conditions, it may cause temporary to more long-term decrease in sex drive, depending on the amount of stress or anxiety being experienced. Medicinal or psychoactive drug dependence: Certain medications, especially those used to treat depression, may affect sexual desire. Relationship problems: Very commonly LSD stems from relationship problems between the partners. The condition also occurs in people who've had a very strict upbringing concerning sex, negative attitudes toward sex, or traumatic sexual experiences (such as rape, incest, or sexual abuse).

Commonly overlooked factors include insomnia or lack of sleep, which lead to fatigue. LSD can also be associated with other sexual problems, and sometimes can be caused by them. For example, the woman who is unable to have an orgasm or has pain with intercourse, or the man who has erection problems or retarded ejaculation can lose interest in sex because they associate it with failure or it does not feel good.

Exams and Tests

Most of the time, a medical exam and lab tests will not show a physical cause. Physical signs may include: vaginal dryness, weakened erections, decreased genital sensation, difficulty achieving orgasm, genital pain with or without sexual contact, or lack of sexual interest.

However, testosterone is the hormone that creates sexual desire in both men and women. Testosterone levels may be checked, especially in men who have ISD. Blood for such tests should be drawn before 10:00 a.m., when male hormone levels are at their highest.

Interviews with a sex therapy specialist are more likely to reveal possible causes.

Treatment

Depending on the causes of low sexual drive, different therapies will apply. Both partners are encouraged to explore more exciting forms of sexual play and genital stimulation. Treatment is also aimed at relieving the tension between partners, removing stressful factors, or changing medications. The couple should make sure that they work through any relationship problems. Making sure there is effective communication in the relationship may solve part of the problem. Some couples will need relationship or marital therapy before focusing on enhancing sexual activity. Some couples will need to be taught how to resolve conflicts and work through differences in nonsexual areas.

Communication training helps couples learn how to talk to one another, show empathy, resolve differences with sensitivity and respect for each other's feelings, learn how to express anger in a positive way, reserve time for activities together, and show affection, in order to encourage sexual desire.

Many couples will also need to focus on their sexual relationship. Through education and couple's assignments, they learn to increase the time they devote to sexual activity. Some couples will also need to focus on how they can sexually approach their partner in more interesting and desirable ways, and how to more gently and tactfully decline a sexual invitation.

Problems with sexual arousal or performance that affect sexual drive will need to be directly addressed. Some doctors recommend treating women with either cream or oral testosterone, often combined with estrogen.

Prevention

One good way to prevent LSD is to set aside time for nonsexual intimacy. Couples who reserve time each week for talking and for a date alone without the kids will keep a closer relationship and are more likely to feel sexual interest.

Couples should also separate sex and affection, so that they won't be afraid that affection will always be seen as an invitation to have sex.

Bottom Line: LSD is a common condition that affects many couples. You are not alone. You do not need to suffer in silence. Check with your physician and heshe can often help you and your partner resolve this devastating problem.