Restore your libido: your sexual needs

What do you do when you love your partner but can’t summon up the enthusiasm for passion? We look at ways of getting back that lovin’ feeling

If you’ve lost the desire to make love you’re not alone: an American Medical Association study found 40 per cent of women between 18 and 59 experienced some sort of sexual dysfunction. If this is the case with you, the first thing to do is rule out any physical causes. ‘Losing libido while pregnant, for a good year or two after having a baby, or at the menopause is very common,’ says Denise Knowles from Relate. ‘Diabetes and hormone imbalances can also cause problems.’

Antidepressants, drugs for high blood pressure and other prescription pills may also affect sex drive: 50 per cent of women on Prozac fail to reach orgasm. Ask your doctor about side effects – you may be able to reduce the dose or swap drugs.

Gynaecological operations can also be the cause of lost sensation and libido, but there are things that you can do, says Knowles, like learning how to change position to compensate. ‘If your doctor is floundering or unhelpful, refer yourself to a psychosexual clinic that will check you out physically, and help you get a referral to a gynaecologist or neurologist.’

‘I also see an ever increasing number of women who have lost their libido because of stress and work,’ Knowles adds. ‘Women are balancing family and work-life and often sexual relationships get pushed down the list of priorities.’ A Management Today survey of 2,000 people found 28 per cent of women said their sex life suffered because of their job; and a quarter of the AMA subjects admitted they had periods of ‘drought’ where they didn’t have any sexual feelings for their partner.

Whatever the reason for your lost libido, there are things you can do to restore that loving feeling.

Take time out
If your life is so busy you’re ruled by your diary, the answer is to schedule your relationship in – love and sexuality need to be nurtured. ‘When partners run out of time for general touching, women often lose their libido,’ says Knowles.