Libido Challenge: ILLNESS
Women who suffer from diseases like diabetes are at a higher risk of low libido than those without. Cancer—particularly if being treated with chemotherapy—can also decrease sex drive, as can illnesses related to blood pressure and heart health. This comes as no surprise, since many chronic diseases cause stress and leave the body feeling fatigued. If you're suffering from low libido, talk to your doctor and see if he/she recommends a full physical with blood work to rule out potential problems. Also, inform him/her of any medications you may be taking.
Libido Challenge: SELF-ESTEEM ISSUES
It's hard to crave sex when you don't feel…well…sexy. Weight gain, not getting enough exercise, and eating a diet high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats can also have a negative effect on body image—which lowers self-esteem and makes sex more anxiety-producing than enjoyable. According to a 2005 study out of the Netherlands, relaxation is also a key component to female sexual pleasure (particularly when it comes to orgasm)—which is hard to achieve for women worrying about how they look and/or what their partners think of them. A balanced diet and regular exercise can help boost confidence and increase libido, but if the issue is more emotional than physical, therapy may be recommended as well to get back to a healthy life.