Have You Lost Your Love For Valentine’s Day?

By: Judith K. Volkar, M.D. • Posted on February 11, 2012

Have You Lost Your Love For Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, but you feel about as romantic as a prickly porcupine. In fact, seeing all the hearts and flowers everywhere just reinforces the fact that you must not be normal. Surely everyone else is feeling amorous all the time! Why just look at television or the gossip pages of the magazines? It appears that everyone, but you is interested in sexual activity! I am here to tell you that you are not alone and that you are not that unusual.

Sometimes loss of libido is due to changes in hormones that happen with menopause or with surgery. Lack of estrogen can cause intercourse to become painful and it is difficult to be motivated to have sex, if it hurts! Sometimes low libido is due to a side effect of the medications that we take or can be a consequence of a medical condition we have. For some people, there is just too much stress happening in their lives to even begin to contemplate sexual activity.

Whatever the reason for low libido, it is important to understand that women are a lot more complicated than men when it comes to sexual drive. Whereas men are turned on by visual cues, women are more driven to sexual intimacy by a need for emotional intimacy. For us, romance is very important, not just a means to an end. A recent survey of married women, conducted by ivillage, found that for survey respondents, communication translates to action in the bedroom: 44% say they get in the mood for sex when their spouse "says nice things." That was second after "feelings of love," 67%.

In other words, sometimes sexual desire is gone because our partner has stopped courting us. We are more like excellent roommates instead of intimate partners.

As long as you and your partner are happy, there is no "correct" amount of sexual activity. But if lack of libido is causing you stress, then it is a problem and you should speak to your doctor about it. And if you think it would be too embarrassing to talk to your healthcare provider about sex, then I would suggest you find another provider! Sexual health is part of our overall health. Your physician might need to refer you to someone else for help, but you should at least be able to bring up the subject.

- Judith K. Volkar, M.D.

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