Remember when you were young and crazy in love, and the world revolved around your mate? Now think about your marriage or partnership today--notice any difference in your sex life? For many women, sex takes more of a back seat as time goes on. This can be due to family pressures, work stress, and physiological changes. Below are some of the most common reasons for a lagging libido:

  • Fatigue. It’s no shock that being exhausted can kill a sex drive. Getting up three times in the night to feed a baby or tend to a sick child, working long hours at the office, cleaning the house, looking after aging parents--all of these things sap your energy. Many women are so busy juggling their lives that the last thing they want to do is get busy with their significant other.

  • Medications and illnesses. You may already know that antidepressants and blood pressure medications can interfere with your sex drive, but did you know that antihistamines can, too? And according to the Mayo Clinic, many illnesses that are nonsexual can cause a lower sex drive, among them arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding. Having a baby causes an enormous shift in your hormones. While some women claim to feel sexier when expecting, others would sooner cuddle up with a big pillow and a large box of chocolates than their spouse. The hormones released by nursing also lower desire, with many breastfeeding mothers reporting vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex. Our mothering hormones also mean we’re extremely focused on the baby, and anyone or anything that takes us away from that (i.e., our partners) is left in the dark.

  • Menopause. At midlife, estrogen levels take a nosedive, which can cause a lack of interest in intimacy. This shift also means vaginal tissues become dryer and thinner, which can cause sex to be painful.

  • Low self-esteem. Studies show that almost all women feel bad about their bodies in some way. But while our partners may not mind a few extra pounds or stretch marks, many women cannot get past their discomfort over how they look, and consequently avoid sex.

  • Relationship troubles. Experts say a lot of how our bodies react sexually has to do with what’s going on in our heads. If you’re feeling disconnected from your mate or are angry over unresolved issues, you’ll probably have a tough time working up any lust or responsiveness.