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Sexual Response and Libido Problems

The "sexual response cycle" is the series of physical responses to sexual stimulation. Someone with a normal cycle is able to be excited and achieve orgasm.

Women generally reach their sexual peak in their 30s and 40s.

Physical and emotional issues can get in the way, such as:

  • Physical illness or medication. Conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, or other chronic illnesses can affect sexual response, as can some drugs like alcohol or antidepressants.
  • Performance anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. Most problems with orgasm may be psychological in nature; traumatic past sexual experiences can play a role as well.
  • Lack of communication or closeness in the relationship, or boredom with sexual activity

Effective treatments for decreased libido

  • Psychotherapy or couples counseling
  • Hormone therapy

Refer to the following articles on our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Healthwise® Health Encyclopedia website to learn more about sexual response and libido problems:

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