“I am just not interested in sex anymore.” This is a more common complaint in the OBGYN office than you would ever imagine! And I am not just talking about my age 60 and up patients. I am talking late 20’s on up. Patients often want a drug or hormone to get back the libido of their 19-year-old self. Well before we delve into pharmaceuticals, because sure there are things you could take, let’s talk about what’s going on upstairs. And by upstairs I mean in your head.
The MD I am training with currently broke it down nicely to a patient.
Patient: “I need something to help me want to have sex again. I just have no desire.”
Dr.P: “Okay, well tell me what a typical day is for you”
Patient: “I get up around 6, get my son up and ready for school. My husband leaves at 6:30 for the gym. Then I get the baby up and dressed for daycare. I get my son to the bus stop and wait for the bus with him, then take the baby to daycare. I go into the office around 9:00 and get off around 4:00. I take my son to practice and then pick up the baby from my moms… come home around 6 or 7 and make dinner….”
Dr. P: “Okay, where in your day did you do anything nice for yourself?”
Patient: “Huh? Well… it’s not that.”
Dr. P: “Sure it is! How can you want to have sex after a day like that?”
Patient: “Well, I don’t know. I just need something to help me want it again.”
Dr. P: “What you need is to take some time and care for yourself.”
“Having sex is like going to the gym. You know it’s good for you, you know you’ll be happy you went after your workout, but you just lack the motivation to go. Even if it’s just 10 minutes on the treadmill, you just are not motivated because you’re so tired or overwhelmed with other responsibilities.”
Ah-ha! Some of you are going to ask your husbands if they went to the gym today! Flip it on him girl!
But seriously, we have to take care of ourselves too. If we are mentally exhausted or unhappy we can not expect our bodies to perform. Our bodies respond to what is going on with us mentally, ask any athlete. Don’t tell yourself that there is something wrong with you physically because most likely it is mental. Try to get at least 1 hour to yourself a day. Go on a walk, get a massage, read a book, have some wine, do anything that relaxes you! Share this with your partner and hopefully he will be able to help you take some time for yourself or take on some of the workload at home.
This doesn’t just apply to the working mommies in the world. It applies to the women with the demanding high stress careers, the stay at home moms, the graduate and law school students, the women who are supporting their entire families. We all need to have some sort of balance which allows us self care.
There are some instances where it is in fact an imbalance of hormones due to birth control, breast feeding, or some other underlying issue. And these should be discussed with your Gyno to find the most effective treatment. For now, try to take care of yourself and see the difference it can make!
From your friendly neighborhood nurse.