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Forum Name: Female Sexual Disorders

Question: I can't be alone on this...


 sweetsugrbriches - Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:24 pm

WOO HOO!! First post! Finally, a category for female sexual disorders! I was a little offended when I first joined and saw that there was a category for men's sexual disorders but not women's when female sexual disorders are supposed to affect over 1/2 the population of women!

That being said, I know I can't be alone here. I am 29 yrs. old and I don't EVER feel like having sex! I mean EVER! It is driving my husband crazy and I am so afraid of losing him over our miserable sex life.

I thought women were supposed to be at their peak around 30? So why has my libido become nonexistent over the past five years?

At first I thought it was all in my head. I went to a therapist but that was a waste of money! I am a very anxious person and I always worry too much about things so there are all kinds of reasons that pop into my head for why my sex drive has decreased but really, it all boils down to "I just don't understand!"

I quit taking anti-depressants. I now only take 1 mg of Xanax every night do that I can sleep through the night. I have been on birth control since I was 16, but does birth control really make your sex drive disappear all of sudden? I was a little "hornball" in college and I was on birth control then, so it can't be the birth control. The only other medication I am on is Phentermine but my libido disappeared way before that. The only over-the-counter meds I take is Naproxen for pain and headaches, and I don't take any vitamins or supplements.

I wasn't abused as a child. I had a bad experience with a boyfriend in high school and one after college but I was never actually raped.

I was always skinny in high school and college and never really had low self-esteem but I wasn't overly confident either. I'm not so skinny anymore, hence the Phentermine, but my husband doesn't seem to mind that I am a little overweight. My weight bothers me but I don't really think it's the reason I don't want to have sex. I am only about 20 pounds overweight so it's not like I am morbidly obese or anything. I am actually pretty happy about the fact that I've lost 35 pounds in the past six months!!

My husband is a wonderful man and always tells me I am beautiful, etc. He always tries to make me feel desired and when we do have sex, it's not like it's bad or anything. I have to work at it to reach orgasm but our sex is pretty good. I guess what I don't understand the most is why I physically never have the urge to have sex. For lack of a better word...I never get "horny". I would rather get a good night's sleep than have sex. Everytime my husand even tries to "get me in the mood", I just feel annoyed. Most women like it when their husband's kiss them all over and start to get "gropey". But I just feel irritated and want him to stop. It's like when you little brother or sister keeps poking you or something and you just want to yell at them to "stop touching me!!!" :evil:

It takes an act of Congress just to talk myself into just giving in and having sex so that I can just get it over with. It feels good when we are doing it but in the back of my head, I am thinking "wonder how long this is going to take?"

And I am always dry! And if by some slim chance I'm not horribly dry to start with, I am in five minutes. And I hate it when his semen gets all over me! That slimey sticky mess all over the place is the worst. Why am I so bothered by all this? I don't understand why I don't ever want to have sex!!! :x

I apologize for the length of this message but I am hoping that someone will take the time to read it - - and feel the same way as I do!
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Sat Jun 18, 2005 9:57 am

User avatar You are right - female sexual dysfunction (FDS) is very overlooked and discounted as psychological. It is not normal for you to have a lack of desire so suddenly.

The first thing to look at obviously, is hormones. The major culprit in younger women is usually the pill. Yes, I have seen it affect many women even after they have taken it for years, so it could still be the problem, the worst offender being the depo shot.

How the pill works: it introduces synthetic hormones in your body to stop ovulation, mainly progesterone. Progesterone suppresses the free testosterone in your system. Testosterone is the sole hormone that causes desire, not estrogen. Estrogen helps lubrication, but on the pill, it doesn't work as well as natural hormones, so dryness is often a problem. You also aren't quite as aroused as you normally would be, and that affects lubrication also.

Talk to your doctor about going off the pill and you will probably see a big difference in drive, but give it a few weeks, it takes time for your body to fully produce it's own hormones again.

There are other options for birth control besides condoms; discuss with your doctor a diaphragm, the sponge or an IUD.

I wish you the best!
 sweetsugrbriches - Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:33 pm

Thank you so much for your reply!!!!! Yours is the first reply I've gotten to any of my posts on this website!

I thought about going off the pill to see if that would help but I REALLY don't want to. Reason 1 - I DON'T want to get pregnant now or in the near future. I hate condoms as they always seem to break and are just more trouble than they are worth. All the other birth control methods are out of the question for me.
Reason 2 - before the pill, my periods were very irregular and heavy. Not too long after I began menstrating, my doc found a cyst inside my right ovary. He put me on the pill to try to shrink the cyst and to help make me a little more regular. (Didn't shrink the cyst and I ended up having my right ovary taken out at 17 but I do however thoroughly enjoy being regular!). I'm afraid if I go off the pill I'll be back to my usual irregular cycle. No thank you! I know going off the pill could possibly stop a lot of side effects that could be associated with the pill but I've thought about it long and hard and I really don't want to stop the pill. There has got to be something else I can try.

My GYN suggested Avlimil but stressed that he didn't really know much about it but he's heard good thing about it. He said I could certainly try it if I wanted to but to keep an out for side effects. I ordered it but I am too scared to take it. What if it counteracts the birth control? When I first ordered it and researched it, I couldn't find anything saying it would but I couldn't really find anything that said it woudn't either. Now I am on other medications (Xanax and Phentermine and Naproxen) and I don't want it to mess with those either. I guess I am just scared to take something that my doctor can't tell me is 100% safe for me.

I have recently thought about having my hormones checked. A good friend of mine who is in her mid-40's and just went through a radical mastectomy and recontruction suggested it. We talked about early menopause that can occur for various reasons and she was telling me about her problems because of the radiation she underwent. I go back to see my GYN August 30 and I am thinking about asking him to check my hormone levels. This decreased sex drive has been going on for several years and not getting any better. It's just a blood test right? I think I can handle giving up a little blood (since it appears that I can't handle giving up "a piece of a%^"!!!)

I am also in the middle of trying to find out if I have some sort of autoimmune disorder. I have been having joint pain all over my body but most severe in my ankles with lots of pain, swelling and discoloration in my ankles. I have a follow up with my ortho on June 30 and I think he's just going to refer me to a rheumatologist since the antiinflammatorys he prescribed aren't really helping now that I've completed the steroid pack. Don't some autoimmune diseases cause decreased sex drive?

This is so frustrating. I feel like I am falling apart and I'm not even 30 yet!!!!!
 Shannon Morgan, CMA - Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:24 pm

User avatar Since you seem to have other things going on, I recommend you have a full physical, including a thyroid test.

A hormone level will not be accurate because of the hormones in the pill. Since your body is not producing your own, there is no point.

It is highly unlikely you are experiencing early menopause; but it would be a good idea to have a thorough physical and gynecological exam.
 sweetsugrbriches - Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:04 pm

I had a TSH test as part of the rest of the labs done by my primary care doc before he referred me to the ortho doc. Normal. My labs with reference ranges are as follows:

Blood Chemistry
No Hemolysis detected
No Lipemia detected
No Icterus detected
Sodium - 140 (range 136-146)
Potassium - 4.3 (3.6-5.2)
Chloride - 100 (98-109)
Glucose - 89 (60-99)
Calcium - 9.4 (8.5-10.5)
BUN - 12 (<23)
Creatinine - 0.7 (<1.5)
Total Bilirubin - 0.4 (0.2-1.3)
Direct Bilirubin - 0.1 (0.0-0.2)
AST - 20 (<45)
ALT - 12 (<45)
Alkaline Phosphatase - 71 (40-125)
Total Protein - 7.1 (6.2-8.3)
Albumin - 3.9 (3.7-5.2)
Triglycerides - 94 (<150)
Cholesterol - 170 (<200)
HDL Cholesterol - 52 (>39)
CHOL/HDL Ratio - 3.3 (<5.0)
LDL Cholesterol, Calc - 99 (<130)
VLDL, Calculated - 19 (<30)
LDL/HDL Ratio - 1.91 (<3.25)
Bicarbonate - 25 (21-30)
Uric acid - 2.8 (2.5-8.0)
Thyroid Studies
TSH - 1.835 (0.35-5.50)
Hematology
HGB - 13.0 (11.0-15.0)
HCT - 42.3 (35.0-46.0)
RBC - 4.50 (3.7-5.10)
MCV - 94 (81-103)
MCH - 28.8 (26.0-35.0)
MCHC - 30.7 (30.0-37.0)
RDW - 13.9 (11.5-14.5)
WBC - 5.2 (4.0-11.0)
Neutrophils - 40 (42-77) LOW
Lymphocytes - 46 (16-43) ELEVATED
Monocytes - 10 (4-12)
Eosinophils - 3 (0-8)
Basophils - 1 (0-3)
Platelet Count - 380 (130-400)
Sed rate - 29 (0-20) ELEVATED

C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) - 15.40 (<=5.00) ELEVATED

ANA Screen - Negative

Rheumatoid Factor - 25 (<43)

As you can see, most of my labs were normal. I am hoping to get my ortho to refer me to a Rheumaotologist so more labwork can be done to determine if I have an autoimmune disorder. But in the meantime, I am so frustrated and I keep worrying that every little problem I have is connected in some way and I am trying not to blow them out of proportion but I also want to consider everything.

Thanks again for your responses!
 catherine - Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:17 pm

"I quit taking anti-depressants. I now only take 1 mg of Xanax every night do that I can sleep through the night. The only other medication I am on is Phentermine but my libido disappeared way before that. "

I am not a doctor, and I don't know a lot about this, but I was on Lexapro, an SSRI [anti depressant / anti anxietypill], and I have taken Phentermine to try and loose weight while I was taking lexapro and that stuff made me crazy anxious and kept me up all night!

Taking xanex and Phentermine in the same day seems a little counter-productive, because Phentermine has sever anxiety as a side effect, not to mention I have found out that Phentermine is a pretty dangerous drug.

I know this sounds tired, but my doc is always telling me that diet and exercise is key to feeling good and healthy. There are a lot of foods which can change your sex drive and hydration also has a great factor. There are a lot of women out there feeling like you do, and I think some change in lifestyle can be helpful in some cases, of course as I said, I am not doctor, but it's something to consider.
 dlugose - Mon Jan 16, 2006 7:54 pm

I don't disagree with any suggestions but thought I would like to add my opinions. First, I would get more advice on possible negative side effects of two of you medications, Xanax and Phentermine. An article I looked at said that 6% of Xanax patients had decreased libido, vs. only 2% of the people taking a placebo. Lots of SSRI's can interfere with interest in sex. Phenteramine also may affect interest one way or the other. I am suspicious that your Gyn would think of recommending Avlimil. There are no clinical studies, but companies making a lot of money from it because as an herbal it does not need to be licensed. As a mixture of herbals, it is very hard to compare to what herbals other people are using. I think he is stumped and doesnt have the time or training to do more time consuming counselling.

Your personality (you mention worrying a lot), and your having had more neutral or stressful sex occasions than rewarding ones, makes me think that the two of you should have gradual goals around helping each other feel good. If a couples therapist is not a good option for you, I think you could find some couples workbooks that might have some helpful ideas. I think you should not try very often to have pleasurable sex on short notice, I think in the short term you should be more creative and see if you can have some physical activities together that are sensuous (massages for example). Suggest to your husband you would like first to relax more around being physical and maybe work on the sex itself more in a later month. Or treat him to something he finds arousing other than the usual sex, if there is something that will not make you anxious.

If you have a body image problem, perhaps you could find ways to discuss it in a way that gets you compliments more than raising you anxiety. What does he most like about your body, that is easiest for you to listen to and believe as a compliment? Try to get him to compliment you more in a way you can believe, and help you feel desirable. Also, what clothes and environment make you feel most comfortable when you are having some romantic times? By romantic, I mean work most on what you enjoy doing together, and less on the mechanics of sex.

Any of this sound workable and appealing?

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