I'm just not in the mood. How can I improve my libido?

I'm just not in the mood. How can I improve my libido?

Diane Robinson is a gynecologist with Mercy Women's Health Care at Nazareth Hospital, Northeast Philadelphia.

A: Millions of people suffer from a low libido - or an inhibited sex drive - at some point.

Libido can be influenced by genetics, environment, age, mental and emotional states, the quality of a relationship, drugs, and other factors.

Psychological issues are much harder to pinpoint. Take a few days to examine your lifestyle and try to find causes, such as poor self-image, anxiety about the act, frustrations with another part of the relationship, or depression.

Medical issues that may cause low libido include heart disease, diabetes, and untreated thyroid problems.

A complete physical and review of drugs can help. Individual and couples therapy can be useful. Stress reducers like exercise, massage, and help with childcare may increase a woman's desire to be intimate. Re-creating the dating experience has also been shown to be helpful. Low testosterone or estrogen is also commonly linked to sex-drive problems, so postmenopausal women may be prescribed topical or oral estrogen.

Your doctor can help identify problems and appropriate care.