When a woman is pregnant, her entire body is affected. Changes in hormone levels can affect her physically and emotionally. As a result, her desire for sex may temporarily change.
Often times a woman will have a stronger sex drive during pregnancy due to the hormone levels shifting to provide additional blood flow to the vagina. This can make sexual contact even more pleasurable. Some women may find that they lose their sex drive, particularly because they are physically uncomfortable due to related pregnancy symptoms or psychologically because they are concerned about the baby.
Within weeks after the child is born, most doctors agree that a woman can return to a normal sex life if she feels comfortable. As her body returns to its pre-pregnancy shape, sexual feelings should return as well.
Sexual interest may vary throughout the stages of pregnancy.
If intercourse is uncomfortable or painful, a woman may tense up in anticipation of pain from sex, or she may avoid sex altogether. Painful intercourse may result from the following:
Sickness frequently decreases desire, whether it's a mild illness such as a head cold or a more chronic or serious illness. When you don't feel well physically, it's often difficult to even think about having intercourse.
Several diseases have been found to directly reduce sex drive:
In many cases, it is not the disease itself, but rather the medications used to treat the disease, that reduces a woman's sex drive. This is particularly true of high blood pressure medications and some diuretics.
It's important to report any illness-related changes in sex drive to a physician or therapist.
Other conditions that may affect sexual function include:
Obesity Or Anorexia
Women come in all shapes and sizes, and in most cases, weight is irrelevant to sex drive. However, those who are medically obese may:
On the opposite end of the weight scale, women who suffer from anorexia nervosa or who are severely underweight may also experience a lack of sexual interest, in addition to other serious health problems. An overly thin woman may feel sexually undesirable, and this can affect her sex drive. Read more about sex for those with weight issues.
Drugs And Alcohol
Many prescription medications may interfere with arousal and the ability to achieve orgasm. These include:
Many people think that alcohol reduces inhibition and therefore is an effective treatment for low sex drive. This is not true. A small amount of alcohol may lower sexual inhibitions when anxiety or tension is the primary cause for low sex drive, but research has proven that alcohol consumption does not improve either sex drive or performance.Many women report that drinking before sex has a "numbing" effect on them and actually results in diminished desire.
Stress, fear, and anxiety are all factors that can dampen sexual desire. The demands of juggling work, family and many other daily responsibilities can be overwhelming for many people. Bills may pile up and cause financial worries, and this distress can lead to low sex drive.
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Emotional-medical issues, such as depression, have also been linked to dampened desire. In addition, many medications that are prescribed to combat depression or anxiety may have a negative impact on sex drive. Read more about sex and society.
The quality of a relationship often strongly influences the couple's sexual satisfaction. In many cases, a lack of communication is at the heart of the problem. The problem may lie both inside and outside the bedroom. For example, the woman may feel that her partner is not responsive or listening to her concerns, likes, and dislikes in her daily life. The communication problem may transfer to the bedroom or it may start there.
Many women are too shy or embarrassed to discuss their sexual desires and needs frankly with their partner. Yet it is crucial to communicate openly. Bottling up emotions, or failing to tell your partner what pleases you, may lead to sexual frustration and unhappiness, and could even bring your sex life to a grinding halt.
Remember, few men have an innate knowledge of what pleases a woman. But in a healthy relationship, most are willing and eager to learn how to please their partners. Many men may need to be taught where to touch and how to stimulate their partner to the point of arousal. Read more about relationship advice.
Sexual abuse is a deeply traumatic experience and may lead to fear and avoidance of sexual experiences later in life. Some women who have been victims of past abuse are afraid to trust a man; others respond to these negative experiences by losing sexual desire altogether. Counseling can be extremely valuable in helping women come to terms with the trauma and restore sexual desire. Read more about healing sexual abuse.
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