By Geordie Bull
For many mothers I speak to as a coach, friend and even in passing, sex is a chore that ranks somewhere between cooking dinner and hanging out the washing.
I used to feel like this myself. It’s a guilty secret many of us share only with close friends after a few wines.
This secret adds to the belief many mothers nurse that we are somehow flawed, broken and ‘not good enough’, driving us to desperately seek out traditional – often product-based solutions to fix ourselves.
We are endlessly sold the idea that a slimmer body, sexier clothes, superfoods, supplements or aphrodisiacs will magically boost our libidos yet, as we continue reaching for the next quick-fix, the deeper reasons for our low sex drive linger.
Growing curious about your low libido can unlock the door to more than a higher sex drive, inviting you to do the inner work of examining your priorities, beliefs and way of life.
If you want to regain your sex drive and supercharge the quality of your life, here are some hidden contributors to low libido you may want to look at.
You have experienced birth trauma
After the homebirth of my son, I haemorrhaged so much that I only narrowly escaped being whisked to hospital. While the birth itself was an incredible and empowering experience that resulted in a healthy little boy, the aftermath was a far cry from the blissful scene I’d imagined.
When I should have been holding my baby and resting, I was instead screaming in pain as my belly was pushed on repeatedly to expel the blood, then hooked up to a drip. It wasn’t until years later that I realised the level of trauma this experience had left me with.
For at least three years after the birth, I remained paranoid that there was something wrong with me ‘down there’. My periods became irregular, I endured unexplainable pelvic pain and underwent surgery for precancerous cells on my cervix.
I felt like I was broken, and nobody told me otherwise. Needless to say, it was hard to feel sexy.
Like me, many mothers are convinced that their birth was ‘not that bad’ because it resulted in a healthy baby. But the lack of acknowledgement of birth trauma can deeply affect your sex drive, the way you feel about your body and so much more.
What to do
Eventually, I interpreted my reproductive issues and the anxiety that accompanied them as a call to go within and face the pain I’d never dealt with.
I committed to doing the inner work, confiding in a therapist, journaling, and listening to stories from other women who had done healing work around their birth trauma.
I cannot overstate how much this approach helped me. For two years, my periods have been normal, my pap smears have come back negative and I no longer fear my reproductive organs failing me. I hardly need to explain how this has benefited my sex life.
If you suspect you’ve experienced birth trauma, I encourage you to talk to a trusted friend or therapist and write about it in your journal. Form a relationship with your reproductive organs, learn to love them and heal them and an increased sex drive will be just one of many benefits.
You’re at the end of your menstrual cycle
For a long time, scientists didn’t bother to research female sexual desire because it presumably wasn’t relevant.
The legacy of this mentality lives on but good information about women and sex is now readily available, and the findings are liberating.
Studies have shown that women are likely to experience a higher sex drive during ovulation, about 14 days before they get their next period, correlating with peak fertility. Towards the end of the cycle, a decrease in estrogen and a surge of progesterone can cause a slump in sex drive. This is perfectly natural.
Understanding how your menstrual cycle affects your libido frees you from the belief that you must feel like sex or the time. It also empowers you to work with your body rather than against it.