Libido is defined by the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, as a primal instinct that is responsible for sexual drive. He further noted that the sexual drive is characterized by a gradual build up to a peak of intensity, followed by a sudden decrease of excitement.
A health amount of libido plays an important role in building a satisfying relationship between you and your partner. However, a recent survey shows that the most common sexual problem in women is decreased libido, or what experts call Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).
HSDD is a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Common symptoms of HSDD or low female libido are as follows:
- Vaginal dryness – As a woman gets aroused, the vaginal walls secrete natural lubricating substances that aids in penetration. Decreased libido or sexual appetite results in lesser response to sexual stimuli. Simply put, a woman doesn’t get aroused much, thereby resulting in vaginal dryness.
- Anorgasmia – Not being able to achieve orgasm during intercourse even with adequate stimulation is another symptom of low female libido. This often causes significant sexual frustration to both parties.
- Anxiety – In female libido, the mind plays a key role in achieving sexual satisfaction. Studies show that women get more aroused by psychological than by physical stimulation. Worrying over your sexual performance or your physical attractiveness needs to be addressed by discussing it with your partner.
- Depression – Psychological and emotional problems like depression may arise if you are not able to sexually satisfy yourself and your partner. This often leads to a build up of stress in your relationship. One anti-depressant drug called bupropion hydrochloride, is showing great promise in recent studies to cure depression and increase the sexual drive in women diagnosed with HSDD.
- Difficulty in arousal – Closely related to vaginal dryness, low libido is often characterized by a lack of physiological response even with ample stimulation. The term Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD) has been coined by experts to refer to this condition of decreased, insufficient, or absent vaginal lubrication in a woman during sexual arousal or activity.
- Pain – Pain during sexual intercourse is most often caused by lack of sufficient vaginal lubrication, or when you feel tense, or are not fully relaxed when penetration occurs. This is referred to as vaginal tightness. Difficulty penetrating a tight vagina can happen even when vaginal lubrication is not a problem.
- Tiredness – Psychological factors greatly affect a woman’s sexual response. Frequently feeling tired or having headaches, especially at the times you know your partner wants intercourse, may be a sign of low female libido.