Lowered Sex Drive

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Sexual desire, also called sex drive or libido, is your appetite for sex. Just as some treatments for metastatic breast cancer may cause you to lose your appetite for food, some treatments can lower your desire for sex. Women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer are not the only ones who experience a loss of sexual desire -- women of all ages do, for various reasons. Some causes of lowered sexual desire can include:

Decreased sexual desire is also a normal part of aging.

If you find your desire for sex is low, there are things you can try:

  • Communicate. It’s important to understand how and what you are feeling and to share your feelings. Your partner may feel that it’s his or her fault that you’re not feeling as much sexual desire. Sharing your thoughts and concerns can help take the pressure off. Consider joining a support group, either in your local community, or an online community. You may also want to consider consulting with a sexual health professional, such as those you can find on the referral directory at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.
  • Discover what you like sexually. During alone time, explore places where you like to be touched . Think about what you're most comfortable doing.
  • Experiment. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Experiment with sex toys or watch an erotic movie with your partner.
  • Explore what makes you feel sexy. Sexy starts from the inside out. Feeling good about yourself is a major step in improving your sex drive. What activities make you feel attractive, sexy, and desirable? Sometimes something as simple as a manicure, a new lipstick color, or a new outfit can make you feel more attractive. Or sometimes, a belly laugh with a good friend can help you feel more at home and confident in your body.
  • Exercise. Physical activity produces endorphins. These “feel good” hormones can add to your overall sense of well-being and may enhance your sex life.
  • Assess your medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any medicines you're taking could contribute to a lower sex drive. Certain antidepressants and some anti-nausea medications can lower your libido. You may be able to switch to another medicine that doesn’t have the same impact on your sex drive.

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