You have little to no interest in having sex? Sexual thoughts or fantasies only occur very rarely and when actually having sex you are struggling to get pleasure from it?

If you answer these questions with a “Yes”, you are probably wondering what is wrong with you. A low sex drive in young women, also known as low libido, is a common phenomenon. In terms of diagnosis “Hypoactive sexual desire disorder”, short HSDD, is often used by professionals to describe the state you might currently find yourself in.

You are not alone. Many young women in the prime of their lives and the height of their fertility experience a loss of sexual desire according to studies and medical experts. This can result in feeling guilty and distressed. But how can this be explained?

The reasons for young women to feel a low sex drive can be various and completely different from one woman to another. Here are some of the main reasons for low sex drive in young women described in relevant literature:

  • Mental health issues

When suffering from a lot of stress at work for example, chronic tiredness, anxiety and/or depression, young women might find themselves not desiring sex in any form.

  • Medication

Not only antidepressants to support the treatment of above-mentioned conditions but also pain killers and birth control pills can cause a low libido in young women. Many women experience a much higher sex drive once they stop birth control pills. In any case, change of medication always needs to be addressed and discussed with a professional and should not be experimented with on one’s own initiative.

  • Physical issues

Some physical conditions like chronical vaginal pain for example can lead to a low libido. The fear of feeling pain when having sex might be just too present to even give it a try. In case you have just given birth to a baby, your sex drive might be low as well due to the changes your body has gone through.

  • Lack of communication with sex partner

Whether in a relationship or not, many times there is a lack of open communication with the sex partner. When needs are not openly communicated, the desire for sex might be reduced due to expectations that it would be a disappointing experience anyway.

  • Pressure to perform

Low desire to have sex can also be caused by pressure coming from watching porn yourself or being aware that your sex partner does so. Porn creates certain expectations one might feel unable to meet. In regards to this, open communication is also key.

Apart from the ones mentioned, there might be other individual reasons for low sex drive in young women, such as formative messages a woman had received during her upbringing from her family, cultural expectations, unfulfilling or even traumatizing sexual experiences in the past, just to mention some more examples.

In order to increase and strengthen the sexual desire and to be able to enjoy sexuality more, each and every young woman is suggested to find out what causes her low libido. Counselling can be one way to explore the issue on a deeper level and bring precious insights.  

Franziska Richter is a transcultural counsellor with Willingness Team, offering counselling sessions to individuals and couples. She is particularly interested in trauma, addictions, migration, sexuality, and eating disorders.