First and foremost, examine your relationship and situation: What are the turnoffs? How can they be addressed?
Identify medications that may curb desire (such as certain antidepressants or blood pressure drugs) and talk with your provider about lowering the dose or switching to alternatives
Certain testosterone-containing products (not government-approved for treating low desire in women)
Bupropion (not government-approved for treating low desire)
Vaginal dryness / atrophy
Regular sexual activity or stimulation (promotes vaginal health and blood flow)
Vaginal lubricants (for temporary relief of dryness before and during sex)
Vaginal moisturizers (for longer-term relief from dryness)
Low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy in cream, ring, or vaginal tablet form (reverses underlying atrophy and dryness)
Higher-dose hormone therapy throughout the body via pills, patches, and other preparations (reverses underlying atrophy and dryness, but generally reserved for women with bothersome hot flashes)
Topical treatments for vaginal dryness/atrophy (see above)
Vibrator or other mechanical devices (eg, clitoral therapy device)
Bupropion (not government-approved for treating arousal difficulties)
Viagra-like drugs (PDE-5 inhibitors) to increase blood flow to the clitoris (not government-approved for treating female arousal difficulties)
Pain during sex
A variety of therapies are available depending on the source of the pain:
Vaginal moisturizers, lubricants. If pain doesn’t improve, see your provider.
Pelvic floor physical therapy
Symptom-specific medications (eg, steroid creams for vaginal inflammation, antibiotic creams or pills for vaginal infections)
Dr. Serena McKenzie
Dr. Serena McKenzie, ND, IF, NCMP has been working in healthcare since 1995. She is an evidence-based, holistic primary care physician and an expert in sexual medicine, menopause and pelvic floor dysfunction.