I'm 23, female, and I've had a very low sex drive for the past five years. It used to be quite high. I think things started going downhill when I developed binge eating disorder and depression at age 17.
I'm insulin resistant and I wonder if there's a connection to this and my measly libido.
Managing insulin sensitivity with a solid diet has improved my mood, acne, weight, and general well-being. It seems that insulin resistance is the core of many of my problems - when I control it, my life is awesome. I've been on a very strict paleo diet (never cheat or deviate) for over a year and I'm in excellent shape, never been happier and healthier. Only problem is the low sex drive.
By the way, resistance training does increase my libido slightly (it also increases acne). What does this mean?
Please offer your opinion on what might be going on with me. I'd appreciate being directed to any relevant literature.
Edit: I forgot to mention that I suffer from weak, premature orgasms. They are totally unsatisfying so no jokes that it's not a problem for women.
Edit: Even though I had a high sex drive as a youngster, from the age of 15 - 22 I thought I was asexual because I had no interest in having sex with other humans. These asexual feelings went away with time after eating paleo.
asked byHannah_15 (45)
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on June 17, 2013
at 08:09 PM
I think it may depend on your weight. Get your BMI down to about 22 or something like that and you might feel sexy again. Also get enough sleep. Read porn or erotica - lots of women do.
However does it matter if it's low? You're 23 so quite young so may be if it's low you can concentrate on building a career which can be wise at your age and leave the sex drive for a bit later.
on June 17, 2013
at 07:10 PM
If you have improved your life dramatically via eating well, and the only thing left on your "list" is your libido, you might want to look backwards and investigate what could have caused your binge eating. The reasons for eating disorders can be part of a list of things having to do with body image and sex - it isn't unheard of for people becoming overweight or underweight to avoid sexual contact, all without being conscious of the reasons for it. Maybe there is an ambivalence about sex somewhere that you might want to unpack and consider?
I also think checking your hormone levels is a very good idea, but libido is complicated, and I'd be surprised if it was ONLY diet related, especially when you have a history of disordered eating. I have been in the exact same boat, and it took me YEARS to figure out that my deepest notions about intimacy had something to do with the way I was eating. Hormones play a part in it, but it can often be a chicken and egg thing - did my disordered eating cause my hormonal problems? Probably. Did my issues about sex cause my eating disorder? It was probably one of the biggest causes. Was I aware of any of this? Not at all. Only know, years and years later, are the puzzle pieces falling into place.
It could be that seeing a counselor of some sort could help in a way that might not be immediately apparent.
I hope this helps, even though it might seem off the mark. Sex is super important to a healthy balanced life! Good luck!
on June 19, 2013
at 09:09 PM
It could be that your "low" sex drive is actually normal. A lot of women don't have high sex drives. In the initial stages of a relationship (first 18months), women get a big increase in sex drive from the hormones - it might happen to you in your next relationship and your "low sex drive" will go away for a while
Are you ovulating? You should notice an increased libido for about 4-5 days during that time. Keep an eye on your cycle for a couple of months.
Re: weight, I wouldn't lose any more - more likely to make things worse than better
Can you afford a hormone test to make sure everthing's OK there? Estradiol, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol T4, T3 and active T3?
on June 17, 2013
at 07:19 AM
Okay--this is going to seem really wild, but... My sex drive was also low for quite a while. Much of that had to do with severe depression and the meds I took for it. My sex drive increased after getting off of the meds, but REALLY (I mean, really!) took off (along with a major reduction in my depression and anxiety) after after I started supplementing my magnesium, p0tassium, and sodium levels--along with regular hydration throughout the day. This may just be Angela as n=1, but that's my experience. Oh, and boosting my daily fat intake (I'm around 120 g/day) helped, too.
on June 03, 2013
at 03:28 AM
Binge eating can cause your body to do wacky things, including building a resistance to insulin. Too much sugar in your system can definitely cause a low libido, and fatigue. Also though, decreased libido sounds mostly like you have a hormone imbalance. I would definitely recommend going to see a GYN or an endocrinologist and let them check out your sex hormones as well as your insulin levels now that you're healthy (if you haven't already). Are you on birth control, as well? That will sure kill the libido. Too much estrogen causes things like that to happen, and taken from experience, it's no fun at all! Definitely keep up the healthy eating and exercising, it will eventually help more than it seems to be now.
on January 28, 2016
at 06:01 PM
I am the same age as you with a slightly similar story. Libido is my main "problem" even though I'm healthy and look great.
I have one question: Have you ever been on ANY form of synthetic hormone (ie. birth control) or antidepressants? Both of these things DO wreak havoc on your system and may never correct unless address. I, like you, had a strong libido up until 16 when I went on the pill. It DESTROYED my sex drive and I've been suffering for 6 years without it (at all!) and have logged about 5,000 hours researching every possible health topic trying to get to the bottom of it.
Well I finally have a good sense of direction and would like to help others who have suffered with this issue.
1) Progesterone - supplemeting is CRUCIAL after (and while) taking synthetic hormones or SSRIs. It has helped me TREMEMDOUSLY.
2) Low carb = low libido - While I first started progesterone, everything was getting better all the time, but I developed a fear of carbs based on some bad internet information and completely took them out of my diet. I went into ketosis for a couple of months and my mood, libido, well-being all took a turn for the worse. I was suffering from "Progesterone steal" and glucose deficiency (See Perfect Health Diet). Thanks to PaleoHacks though, I discovered that I needed the carbs back in my life. Now, two weeks later, I'm feeling my body healing and have had the strongest (still faint, but growing) sexual desire I've had since I was 16. Things are leveling out again. It feels great.
on September 22, 2014
at 10:04 AM
I think it may depend on weight. Get your BMI down to regarding 22 or something like that and you might attractive again. Also get enough rest. Read porn or erotica, lots of women do.
However will it matter if it's low? You are 23 so quite youthful so may be if it's reduced you can concentrate on building a profession which can be wise at your grow older and leave the sex drive for any bit later.
on June 02, 2013
at 08:48 PM
For the record I too am insulin resistant. Type II diabetic, not taking any meds.
Very difficult to answer. My answer is not going to be foody. But who knows, if it resonates, wear it.
Just this, I remember reading some time last week, paraphrasing: 70% of sex drive is in the mind; it's the greatest aphrodisiac.
Of course this might not be your case. But 5 years? wow. You describe a "depression". Depression will definitely kill a sex drive. Life changes?