Or the last few times you had sex, it hurt. But how do you know which signs might signal a bigger problem with your health? Jennifer Lang, MD, a gynecologic oncologist in Los Angeles, says knowing that involves paying attention to your body on a regular basis. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, the medical term for a low sex drive , can have many different causes -- physical, emotional, cultural, or a combination of those, Whelihan says.
It could come from a hormone problem, such as estrogen or your thyroid hormone. It could happen because of other health conditions you have, like diabetes , anxiety , depression , or sleep disorders. It may be a side effect of a medication you take, like antidepressants or birth control pills.
Even smoking and alcohol can affect desire. Or it may have to do with the quality of your relationship with a sexual partner. You can also find screening tools online to help you decide if you need more help with low desire.
Figuring out what may be causing the problem can help you and your doctor come up with the best solution. Nearly three out of four women will have pain during intercourse at some point. It could be in the vagina and the area just outside of it, called the vulva. But some women feel pain inside their pelvis, too. But pain during sex can also be a sign of serious conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease , endometriosis , fibroids , ovarian cysts , or cancer.
To treat it, your doctor may prescribe a cream with estrogen that you apply directly to the skin in that area. If you feel a bulging sensation around your vagina and have trouble peeing, it could be a sign that your bladder or other organs in your pelvis have dropped from their normal place and are pushing against your vagina.
Treatments include Kegel exercises , physical therapy , and surgery. Call your doctor if you have these symptoms. Unusual Discharge Is there a change in the color, amount, or smell of your discharge that lasts more than a few days? Let your doctor know.
But some discharges may be a sign of sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or chlamydia. Watery or bloody discharges may be due to cancer. Continued Lumps and Bumps, Rashes and Sores If you notice any changes in your skin below your beltline, like a mole that looks different or is new, or a bump that itches or hurts, tell your doctor. These spots can have many different causes, from an ingrown hair to an STD like genital warts or herpes.
More serious is vulvar cancer , a rare condition that can show up as a lump, bump, or sore. It may cause itching or tenderness. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Sex and a Healthier You.
Secrets of Sexual Desire from Women 15 to Sexual Medicine Society of North America: