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I don’t enjoy sex…am I normal?

Ask an expert series is a space for you to get answers to all your questions.  Have a question you’ve been wondering about? Ask here.

I don't enjoy sex...am I normal?

Absolutely. It is very common to not enjoy sex and there are many reasons from physiologic to psychological, or a combination of both. One study showed that approximately 40% of women have sexual concerns and 12% report distressing sexual problems. This means that about 1/2 of these women reported some form of sexual concern.[1] The shame and frustration associated with having something that interferes with the enjoyment of sex can impact many aspects of one’s life. 

Here are some common things that interfere with sexual enjoyment:

Recurrent Vaginal Infections / UTIs

When things always seem “off down there”, whether that’s recurrent vaginal infections or UTIs, it can make anyone not be in the mood. However, when you get to the root cause of WHY they keep coming back, you can regain your interest in being intimate.

Low Libido

Low libido, or interest in sex, can be for many reasons. Hormonal changes such as during menopause, postpartum, or periods of high stress are often the main reasons I see for loss of libido. Many medications can also contribute to this. Here is an article that I wrote for LOLA discussing which medication can impact libido.

Difficulty feeling aroused and/or achieving orgasm

This can occur for many reasons from hormonal, to a sense of safety and connection. 10-20% of women have never experienced an orgasm. Here is a great overview article all about orgasms.

Painful Sex

This is such a big one for so many. The most common reasons that I see for this include vaginal dryness, a structural growth of the cervix or uterus, infection, or scarring from surgery and/or endometriosis. LOLA put together a great article with Dr. Navya Mysore here.

I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust for support: girlfriends, mothers, sisters, healthcare providers. You are not alone!

  1. Shifren, Jan L., et al. “Sexual problems and distress in United States women: prevalence and correlates.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 112.5 (2008): 970-978.
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