According to a 2008 study in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 38.7% of women report decreased libido as their primary sexual health concern.
What has sex got to do with addiction and recovery you might think?
Well, the biochemical imbalances following an addiction often leads to a complete wipe out in sex drive. This is an issue that needs addressed, because physical intimacy is a needed healing component of being human. After following a period of numbing out, escapism and abandoning one-self - there is a profound need tied to gaining connection with self and others at a healthy physical level.
But if we just don't feel like it - we might continue suppress this aspect of ourselves, because we feel ... well, nothing.
Or as many men ex-addicts struggle with, they simply cannot perform properly any more due to neurotransmitter imbalances following the addiction as well as poor blood circulation. All of which is reversible though.
Low libido may stem from multiple factors - neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances being among them.
These biochemical shifts happen after giving birth, in female menopause and male(!) andropause.
Testosterone, DHEA, estrogen and progesterone play essential roles in maintaining libido.
Not to forget cortisol imbalances as result of stress lead to sleep disturbances and fatigue, all contributing to decreased libido.
Stressed out people may feel many things, but they very rarely feel sexy - it becomes another task to check off. So not sexy. And any type of addiction is a major stressor.
Beyond hormone balance, neurotransmitter balance contributes to maintaining a strong libido. Neurotransmitters are either excitatory or inhibitory in nature; and desire requires a balance between them. The excitatory neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine and glutamate stimulate sexual desire, while the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA plays a role in stimulating sexual reward, sedation and satiety. Serotonin may be considered excitatory, contributing to desire; however in excess, it may actually be inhibitory and contribute to difficulty with orgasm.
You can check your neurotransmitter and hormones here - labs are available to order online where ever you are via drop and ship of test kits and return specimen to our labs. You cannot fix, what you don't test for - it's simple.
Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. JAMA. 2011; 305: 2173-74. Selvin E, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in the US. Am J Med. 2007; 120: 151-57. 151-7