Absolutely no sex drive what to do?
April 15, 2015 8:33 AM   Subscribe

I have trouble wanting to have sex. Considering that we just got married 1 year ago this is really a problem for my relationship. Did this happen to you and how did you fix it? I am overweight with like 30 pounds extra so obviously loosing the 30 pounds would help I think I also take birth control- sprintec now- but was put on loestrin maybe that will help better. I don't know what else to do. What helped you? Thanks
posted by barexamfreak to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

There are a lot of possible contributing factors, even more than what you listed.

How's your relationship with your spouse overall?

How are you sleeping? Have you been stressed lately?
posted by RainyJay at 9:01 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can't visit the site at work, but the blog The Dirty Normal talks at a very laymen level about the current research into sex drive. The author is a scientist with a lot of sensitivity and respect for people with low desires for sex, and has a lot of advice along that vein.

My sex drive plummeted in my early-mid 20s. It definitely put a strain on my relationship, but I was very open and honest with my husband and he respected me and thankfully treated me with the patience and grace that I deserved. We both worked hard on maintaining intimacy in other ways, on reducing my stress levels and getting some medical help that I needed (low thyroid, SAD), and on recognizing that my sexual desire just worked differently than it used to. I think in the long run, going through this experience prepared both of us for other changes in sexual desire that are simply inevitable over time, in both men and women.

I'm curious as to why you think losing weight will improve your sex drive. I notice from your recent questions that you have a lot of stressors right now - you started a BSN program in February and had a gynecological health scare not very long ago. I would not be surprised if these were intimately involved with your current low desire for sex.
posted by muddgirl at 9:02 AM on April 15, 2015 [7 favorites]

Have you seen your doctor about this? It's completely possible that your birth control is lowering your libido. Also, is the 30 pounds a recent gain or just an amount you'd like to lose as a goal? If it's a recent gain (within the last year or so) that can definitely affect your general fatigue, and who wants to have sex when you're exhausted?

I went through a period of not being into sex while I had a job change that was stressing me out. I was worried about failing at this great new job (which I got during the recession) and being fired and having to look for a job again. I didn't realize how much my stress impacted my libido at the time until my husband brought it up with me. We were also planning our wedding at the time, which was another stressor for reasons I won't go into. What helped me was exercise and making some time to relax. We also were in our pre-marital counseling so we got to talk it through, too.

You don't mention how long you two were together before you were married, but it's also totally natural to go through some periods of not being so into sex for awhile. It will come back if all else is healthy.
posted by Pearl928 at 9:04 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

This happened to me a few years ago. What solved the problem was a combination of getting off SSRIs (Celexa), switching from oral contraceptives (Tri-Cyclen Lo) to a Mirena IUD, and getting my hypothyroidism treated. I did end up losing weight as a result of those things, but I doubt losing weight without addressing them would have helped me much.
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:08 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

I can completely sympathize. In my experience, it was the particulars of the birth control options that did it. Sprintec did the same exact thing to me. Going off of it was like night and day. I found loestrin much better in that arena. (Although it did wreak havoc on my skin instead... Personally, I find hormones to be a bit of a Russian roulette of side effects). Good luck!
posted by hessie at 9:10 AM on April 15, 2015

Just one person's experience but I had to stop taking the pill because it made me lose my sex drive completely. Never tried another hormonal birth control method after that, though I hear good things about the patch.
posted by neeta at 9:12 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Apart from switching to other forms of contraception, I found that my desire for sex increased slightly when my partner and I both agreed that not all physical intimacy had to lead to sex. We spend more time massaging and cuddling. Sometimes this leads to sex.
posted by Milau at 9:30 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

get off birth control. it killed my sex drive and it took me a long time to get it back. if you want something with high reliability consider getting an IUD (copper, without hormones).
posted by zdravo at 9:38 AM on April 15, 2015

Someone on Mefi recommended the book Come As You Are the other day and as a person who shares your problem, I'm finding it to be very helpful.
posted by theraflu at 9:44 AM on April 15, 2015 [5 favorites]

There are many many different formulations of "the pill", in addition to other bc methods like the copper IUD, the Mirena IUD, the patch, Depo-Provera, Nuvaring, Seasonale, etc. Get educated about which options are statistically better for sex drive. Your GYN should have this info and be happy to share it with you. if they brush you off, get yourself a better GYN who respects your wish to have a sex drive. You may have to be a bit pushy but if you express that it is affecting your quality of life they should listen. Of course you may not fit the statistics, so you may have to try a few things before you find one that works for you. Keep looking until you do.

In the meantime, I am also a big fan of exercise; if you lose weight that's fine and all, but the real point is that being in better cardio shape helps make funtimes easy, and the act of exercising itself releases all sorts of happy hormones that can help too.
posted by nat at 9:50 AM on April 15, 2015 [4 favorites]

Seconding nat's point about different hormonal BC formulations, and the various suggestions to consider an IUD.

Yet another option to consider would be asking your partner to use a condom. There's this pretty widespread idea that married couples shouldn't "have" to do that, but in fact it's a completely reasonable thing to ask for if that's what will work best for you. (And "If you start wearing a condom, I will probably want to sleep with you more often" sounds like a decent compromise to me…)

There are definitely other things that could be doing this besides the hormonal birth control. But that one is such a common cause for this sort of thing that it's worth looking into.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:13 AM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

You just started a stressful degree program, and you're having health worries related to your reproductive system. If you didn't have a waning sex drive I would think you were working out your anxieties with sex. As it is, I think that the more you can ease up the stress, with perhaps getting settled in your BSN program and feeling confident there, and getting your health worries behind you, the more likely it is that your sex drive will return on its own. If you have talk therapy available to you, I think you should take advantage of it. I'm willing to bet that talking through some of your anxieties will help a lot. Take good care.
posted by janey47 at 11:14 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Earlier posters have you covered with health and hormonal aspects. They're right.

Are you familiar with the Holmes and Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale? It's about factors that can contribute to susceptibility to illness, but these can also impact your quality of life in non-pathological ways. From looking at your ask history, it seems like you've had a lot going on the past few years. The scale doesn't address, for example, the stress inherent in living as an integrated expat.

Also: How good has sex with this partner been, at its best?

And how secure and comfortable do you feel in the relationship? Marriage is widely believed to provide emotional security. In my experience, in my 20s, it did not work that way. That realization, combined with disappointment in the quality and frequency of married sex, did not bolster my libido.
posted by wonton endangerment at 11:20 AM on April 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm in the middle of reading "Come as you Are" - an easy=to-read book on women's sexuality that has solid science behind her recommendations. Sex is complicated and she helps you look at all the different dimensions that influence your libido and different kinds of suggestions for improving the situation.
posted by metahawk at 2:44 PM on April 15, 2015

I know this has been said, but to add my voice - Sprintec took me to absolute zero when I was on it, so that's definitely a possible culprit. Nuvaring was better but still similar, and I've been off hormones since (considering trying skyla now). It was an amazing feeling to get off the HBC and realize how much of what was in my head was actually chemical.
posted by R a c h e l at 3:28 PM on April 15, 2015 [2 favorites]

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