Most people regard their sex lives as personal, and rightly so. There are an endless variety of preferences covering all aspects of sex for both reproduction and enjoyment. The motivation traces back to your libido, the energy of desire created by your body.
It’s normal for the level of libido to wax and wane. Low sex drive doesn’t become a problem until it creates negative effects in your life, such as thoughts that something is missing, changes to your normal life patterns, or problems with a relationship.
The team at The Riegel Center can help. Low libido has many potential causes, any of which may occur on their own or in combination. Dr. Christopher J. Riegel has years of experience as an OB/GYN and chemist, combining these fields to create optimal care for his patients. Regardless of the reasons for your low sex drive, we have an answer.
Sexual response cycle
A four-phase process that outlines physical intimacy, understanding the sexual response cycle helps to explain how low libido affects you.
The four phases of the cycle include:
- Desire: your interest in having sex
- Arousal: physical response to sexual excitement
- Orgasm: the build-up and release of genital tension
- Resolution: your body returning to a relaxed state
When a phase of the cycle becomes dysfunctional, the cycle can break down. This could cause a loss of libido, even though the reasons for dysfunction could be widely varied.
Reasons you could have a low sex drive
Sometimes, when you have low libido, you may be so completely absent of desire for sex that you aren’t aware there’s an issue. You can, however, recognize symptoms that represent changes from other points in your life. Symptoms include things like:
- Little interest in any form of sexual activity
- No fantasies or sexual thoughts
- Nothing starts the arousal response
- Little or no pleasure gained from having sex
- Pain during or after intercourse
It is, however, normal for conditions to change over the course of your life. Though you may have less desire now than you did when you were younger, your current response may be caused by normal body changes. Your libido is low only if you want to have greater sexual desire.
When this is the case, Dr. Riegel looks at the reasons why your sexual drive is less than it once was. You may have physical issues that interfere with desire, such as unrelated health conditions, side effects from medications, or lifestyle conditions that simply get in the way of the sexual response cycle.
One of the most common reasons for low libido is changing estrogen levels in your body. This is common at menopause. As your body stops producing the hormone, you lose the chemical signals that create desire mentally as well as physical changes that can make sexual activity uncomfortable or painful.
Dr. Riegel specializes in hormone replacement therapy and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, using his own custom formulations matched to your needs. Supplemental estrogen has long been recognized as the best way to counter many of the effects of menopause, including low libido.
Sex drive remains a unique personal trait, so the best way to find a solution when you recognize a problem is in personal consultation with Dr. Riegel, who can examine, test, and formulate a personalized treatment plan for you. Contact The Riegel Center by phone, text, or online to arrange your appointment today.