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Female Libido

Published by cheree
Published on 29 April 2008

Desire is what drives sexuality, without which sex can soon turn into a domestic obligation or ritual, devoid of feeling or emotion. Where does our sexual desire come from? How does it manifest itself?

Desire is what drives sexuality, without which sex can soon turn into a domestic obligation or ritual, devoid of feeling or emotion. Where does our sexual desire come from? How does it manifest itself?

Different physical and psychological factors trigger sexual desire, such as our lifestyle, upbringing, hormones, fantasies and feelings. When desire is at its max, it leads to physical excitement, the vagina becomes lubricated and the nipples become erect.

Influence of hormones
Oestrogen and testosterone are the hormones of desire, produced by the ovaries. Hormonal fluctuations, notably during the menstrual cycle, particularly influence the intensity of feminine desire. During the days prior to ovulation, our bodies record a peak in oestrogen and our libido is at its highest (unless you're on the Pill, of course). However, after the birth of a baby we secrete prolactin, an anti-desire hormone, which explains why a lot of couples experience problems with sex after pregnancy.

Psychological factors
Education, upbringing, culture, social and religious beliefs inherited from past centuries still exert great moral pressure on women. We usually express our desire less than men. Also, women have difficulties disassociating sex and love. Generally they need to be in love to want to make love. Women are also very sensitive to environment and atmosphere: we need to feel relaxed, chilled out and free to get turned on. Romantic settings are often appreciated.

Age and sexual desire
Our libido increases with time and especially with experience. Sexual maturity is usually reached at around 35. When the menopause hits, the level of oestrogen drops and the ovaries produce less testosterone. But as psychological factors are also important, this does not necessarily mean that desire decreases. At this time a woman has more time to think about herself and give more importance to her sex life.

Problems of desire
Sometimes health problems, medicine, stress, fatigue or relationship problems block desire. Low sex drive is often temporary, however if the problem continues speak to your partner and consult a specialist who can help you get to the bottom of the problem. Unfortunately, Viagra does not exist for women, but women who have had a hysterectomy can boost their libido with a testosterone patch (available on prescription from a doctor). Note that this is not recommended for women who are at risk from breast cancer.

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