Women's Sexual Health Clinic

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Mismatched Sex Drive

Mismatched sexual drives between partners can create difficulties within a relationship — both in and out of the bedroom. When one partner wants sex more than the other, the result may be hurt feelings, lost confidence and diminished trust in the relationship.

If you feel that you and your partner have different physical and emotional expectations about sex, there are steps you can take to uncover the root of the problem and make positive changes.

What is a Mismatched Sex Drive?

Differences in libido are relatively common among couples. Research has found that more than a third of surveyed women reported lower interest in sex for at least three months over a one-year period, while 15 percent of men reported reduced interest.

Reduced sex drive is complex, and a variety of factors can affect it. In addition, sexual desire is fluid, and it can change frequently for an individual. Emotional factors, including body image and confidence, can affect libido. The overall state of your relationship (for example, the level of trust and openness, along with any conflicts) can affect sexual dynamics for either or both members of a couple.

Sex drive also can be influenced by physical and medical factors, including:

  • Sleep deprivation or sleep disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Side effects from medications
  • Physical injuries

Libido is unique for every individual, and only you and your partner can gauge whether your sex drives are mismatched, and if the difference in your desire is having a negative impact on your relationship and your well-being.

When to Speak to a Doctor

You may believe that mismatched sex drives between you and your partner are a private matter and that a doctor cannot help you. However, consider that multiple factors including the physical, emotional and medical can influence your libido. By working with a doctor you trust, you can gain a better understanding of your sexual health and positive steps you can take.

An experienced female physician can meet confidentially with you, or with you and your partner. During your appointment, your doctor will review your medical history and conduct a physical examination, if appropriate, to identify any possible medical issues that might contribute to mismatched sexual drives.

In addition, your doctor may conduct laboratory testing to gain more information about any possible physical conditions that can affect libido. For example, low estrogen can impact functioning of the hormone’s oxytocin and testosterone, which can affect a woman’s sex drive and desire for affection and physical contact. If your doctor determines that your estrogen levels are low, she may recommend hormone replacement therapy or other treatments.

Mismatched sex drives between you and your partner can have a significant impact on your overall happiness, quality of life, and fulfillment in your relationship.

For a confidential appointment at the Henry Ford Health System Women’s Sexual Health Clinic located near Detroit, we offer two convenient ways to contact us:


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