Where has my libido gone?

While it’s not often talked about, having a lower sex drive is actually pretty common. However, it’s important to remember just because a symptom is common does not mean it’s normal. A healthy libido is a sign of healthy hormone balance, and when it feels off it’s our body’s way of telling us something bigger is off as well.

I thought I put together this quick guide to answer some common questions about low sex drive.

What Are The Symptoms to Look Out For?

Apart from not feeling in the mood, some other symptoms of low libido include:
• Difficulty in getting and staying aroused (i.e., lack of vaginal lubrication and swelling before and during sex)
• Lack of desire to have sex or masturbate
• Lack of sexual fantasies and thoughts
• Not wanting to initiate sex
• Lack of pleasure during sex
• Distress due to lack of sexual thoughts or desire
• Relationship strain with a partner due to lack of sexual thoughts or desire

How Hormones Impact Your Libido?

Your hormones are intricately tied to your libido, and a low libido can be a symptom of a more complex hormone imbalance at play.


I regularly see low testosterone when it comes to low libido. While testosterone is considered a male dominant sex hormone, it is an important hormone for women as well, and is produced primarily in their ovaries and adrenal glands. If testosterone is too high it can be an underlying factor in PCOS and if it is too low it can also have a negative impact and low libido is one symptom.

Testosterone can cause weight gain and fatigue, which also tends to interfere with sex drive, causing a domino effect of challenges. In terms of fertility, if your testosterone levels are chronically low than you are more likely to have a reduced number of mature eggs, fewer good quality embryos and lower fertilisation rates, so suffice to say, it’s something that needs to be addressed.

Oestrogen and progesterone

Oestrogen and progesterone don’t directly impact sexual desire in the same way testosterone does, too much oestrogen (oestrogen dominance) and low progesterone can impact the production of testosterone. So a healthy level of both is key. Many notice that their libido decreases as they age, especially when approaching menopause. This is due to changes in your body’s oestrogen levels, which fall as you age.


Known as the love hormone, oxytocin controls keys elements of the reproductive system, from sex drive and orgasms to childbirth and lactation, as well as other aspects of human interaction. So it’s especially important find a way to carve out regular time for pleasure and intimacy, this can be hugging, touching, cuddling, sex and orgasm. Oxytocin has been shown to help decrease cortisol levels and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing.

What Are The Root Causes Of Low Libido?

Certain medications

These medications are known to decrease libido as well as the ability to achieve orgasm:
• Oral contraceptives
• Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Valium
• Antihistamines
• Beta Blockers
• Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s), such as Prozac and Zoloft
• Amitriptyline and notriptyline
• Certain anti-seizure drugs
• Opioids, including Codeine and OxyContin

Other medical conditions and hormone imbalance

There are also a range of conditions that can lead to low libido including vulvodynia, dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), endometriosis, PCOS, vaginal dryness, vaginal yeast infections, urinary infections, PMS, etc.

Trauma and stress

Chronic stress can lead to your body overproducing cortisol which impacts the production of sex hormones. There a few different ways this can happen, but the primary cause is known as the ‘pregnenolone steal.’ Pregnenolone is a precursor to both progesterone and cortisol, so when the body is demanding excessive cortisol output, it steals the pregnenolone progesterone uses as the body prioritises survival (your body’s stress response) over your menstrual cycle and fertility. This leads to low progesterone production, which can cause oestrogen dominance and low testosterone, which both impact your libido.

Self-conscious thoughts and excess weight

Body image issues and excess weight can also affect a person’s libido. High body fat can cause an increase of oestrogen, which impacts testosterone production. This is because DHEA is converted to oestrogen in your body’s fat cells. Both oestrogen dominance and low testosterone cause low sex drive, which can exacerbate any body image issues that may already be present.

Chronic Inflammation and gut issues

Your gut’s microbiome plays a major role in your interest in, or ability to have intimate relations. Millions of neurons line your GI tract and send signals to your brain to control emotional responses. Research has shown that nearly 90 percent of serotonin, the hormone that controls libido, is produced by gut microbes 2. So, if your gut isn’t healthy, your body and brain may not be able to respond to sexual stimuli or intimate situations as they normally would.

Additionally when there is chronic inflammation normal sex hormones are inhibited as the body prioritises restoring health over reproduction. In an effort to conserve energy a person’s sex drive naturally lowers. Excessive amounts of cortisol may be released which decreases the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. This may result in depression and anxiety, which can directly affect your sex drive along with the medication prescribed to treat them.

Nutrient deficiencies

Inadequate intake of certain nutrients can contribute to decreased libido. For example, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega-3 and iron deficiencies have been associated with lower sex drive.

Over-exercising and under-nourishment

When the body fears starvation, which can happen with significant fat loss, a diet too low in fat, or over-exercising, it doesn’t feel like having sex. Instead the body conserves energy to keep itself alive.

Sex hormone production, especially testosterone, decreases when body fat levels are below 15% in women. Cholesterol is broken down from fat and forms the backbone of sex hormones, so if body fat is low then there’s not enough cholesterol to produce these hormones, which can stop a woman from menstruating altogether.

While exercise helps to produce feel-good endorphins and lower cortisol levels. Sometimes, exercise exacerbates pre-existing cortisol imbalances, Over-exercising, such as marathon training or intense body-building, can drive body fat levels so low that it negatively impacts the sex hormone production. It’s important to ensure you are fuelling your body right and taking adequate rest breaks.

Relationship Problems with your Partner

Any problems with communication, trust or intimacy are common causes of low libido. Fertility struggles can place added pressure on relationships. Stress related to sexual performance may interfere with sexual arousal. I can give you every single libido-boosting solution out there, but if the root cause of your low sex drive is an issue with your partner, nothing else is going to increase your libido. Try finding a way to communicate your needs and desires, while also making sure to speak out theirs too.

What Can You Do to Recharge Your Libido?

The good news is you don’t need to suffer in silence as there are ways you can naturally balance your hormones to recharge your libido. The first step is to understand what is causing it. If this is something affecting your life, be sure to seek support for a qualified practitioner specialised in this field. Sometimes more in-depth testing is needed for a more comprehensive view, often the root cause cause is easily identified through an in-depth consultation and review. Here are 3 effective ways I regularly recommend to help recharge your libido:


Find a form of movement you really enjoy and that you can add in consistently. I find aerobic exercise and specific yoga practices are best at getting circulation moving in the pelvic area and promoting those feel good hormones.

Eat right for your sex life

Make sure you’re eating a nutrient-dense diet largely plant-based with lots of leafy greens, lean protein, and a small amount of whole grains too. Including an adaptogen like Maca which has been shown to increase sexual desire and libido or Ashwagandha which works to increase orgasms, arousal, lubrication and sexual satisfaction can also help. Avoiding processed foods, sugar and excess alcohol and drinking plenty of water.

Trying supplements

Taking B complex to offset the effects of stress on the body and help you feel calm, zinc to calm the central nervous system and magnesium to relax muscles can all help. I highly encourage you to consult with your practitioner before taking these supplements, especially if you are currently on other medications. They will be able to help you find quality brands and proper doses for your needs.

Ways to Work With Me:

  • Book a complimentary clarity call and find out how I can support your fertility/reproductive health
  • Book an appointment to work with me 121 in clinic or online
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With love,


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