Whether you're single, newly coupled or have been coupled-up for years, you've had them -- those moments when, despite the stars being aligned for a good ol' romp in the swamp, you cannot bring yourself to do it. The prospect of having sex just seems totally ... meh.
Of course, no two sexual beings are alike, and there are hundreds of possible explanations for that sexual malaise, running the gamut from the mundane (ugh, are you going to have to make the bed again?) to the profoundly serious (sexual trauma).
But we wanted to know what a few of the more common culprits for women's sexual blahs were, so we went to a team of sex experts to get the scoop on 10 of the possible reasons why you're just not feeling it:
1. You Have Insomnia
Simply put, "you're not going to feel horny if you don't get enough sleep," Laurie Mintz, a professor of counseling psychology at the University of Florida and author of "A Tired Woman's Guide to Passionate Sex" told HuffPost. More serious, persistent sleep problems like insomnia -- which can be short- or longterm and is characterized by trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both -- can take a particularly heavy toll. And <a href="http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/insomnia.cfm" target="_blank">women are more likely</a> than men to have insomnia, in part because of the hormonal changes that occur during menstruation, menopause and pregnancy and that can disrupt sleep. The irony, Mintz explained, is that in many cases, sex can actually help alleviate insomnia, as women find it relieves stress and makes them sleepy afterward.
2. You've Grappled With Infertility
More often than not, infertility is a wrenching experience for both partners, and one that can influence sexual desire for months, or even years. When couples struggle to have a baby, it's typical for sex to become highly scheduled and goal-oriented, Mintz said, and goal-oriented sex tends to be less pleasurable. After long stretches of trying to conceive, the feeling of "I want something really badly and my body is failing me" becomes wrapped up in sex and sexual pleasure, Mintz explained. Many women continue to associate sex with the sadness, shame and disappointment that often accompany infertility for years -- even after conceiving.
3. Someone Cheated
"After an affair, it's really hard for many people to have sex and not think, 'You did this with someone else,'" Mintz explained. It's not atypical for women to have sex issues after being cheated on and finding out about it, or after they themselves cheat (whether or not their partner knows). "After a woman has an affair, there can be guilt and stress and even fear of, 'If I do this differently [during sex], they'll figure it out.'" she added. Although some people actually report better sex during or after an affair, Mintz said cheating generally introduces feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety or anger into the mix, all of which can seriously lower libido.
4. You're A New Mom
There are plenty of reasons why, as a new mom, you might have zilch going on in the sexual desire arena. First, there's sheer exhaustion, Mintz said, but there are also hormonal changes that come with pregnancy and birth, and then there's the task of getting used to your body in its new form. Plus, some women can experience vaginal dryness while breastfeeding. (A recent study confirmed what may have seemed obvious to most: it's not just moms who are affected after a new baby's born -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/sex-after-baby_n_3689563.html" target="_blank">dads also experience sexual ups and downs</a>.) While all of these changes are perfectly normal, Mintz cautioned that it can be a slippery slope: Many of the couples she sees who are in "no-sex" marriages trace their longterm dry spell back to their baby's birth.
5. Your Thyroid's Off
Whenever she sees a female client who recently experienced a sudden onset of low sexual desire, Mintz sends her to get her thyroid checked. The thyroid gland, which is located in the front of the neck, secretes several key hormones and can influence a person's sex life (male or female) if it's too active, or not active enough. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353" target="_blank">According to the Mayo Clinic</a>, women (particularly those over 60) are more likely to have "hypothyroidism," or an under-active thyroid, which can result in a slew of symptoms, including fatigue, feelings of depression and low libido.
6. You're Taking Meds
Oftentimes, women don't realize that certain medications are altering their sexual desire and performance, Mintz said. Hormonal birth control is a biggie -- a major study from 2010 that looked at sexual function in more than 1,000 women found that those who were on hormonal birth control had lower levels of desire and arousal than those who were not, <a href="http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1987870,00.html" target="_blank"><em>Time</em> reported</a>. Other medications, such as antidepressants, bladder control drugs and even antihistamines can also take a toll, Mintz said. The bottom line? Talk to your doctor about any medications or supplements you're taking, both prescription or over the counter, as they could affect your sex life.
7. You're Insecure About Your Body
"About 10 to 20 percent of my clients have body image issues that sabotage their sex lives," Amy Levine, a sex coach and founder of <a href="http://www.igniteyourpleasure.com/" target="_blank">Ignite Your Pleasure</a>, told HuffPost. Though men <em>certainly</em> have body insecurities, she tends to see more females than males who come to her struggling with body image. Many see not having sex as a way to hide body parts they feel insecure about. And that, in turn, can lead to overall diminished desire, Levine said.
8. You've Gone Through A Big Hormone Change
Hormonally-speaking, women generally experience some pretty big highs and lows throughout the their lives, and those swings can have all sorts of effects. For many women, menopause can lead to a drop in sexual desire, as the body produces less estrogen. (Although, as Mintz explained, some menopausal women report that their sex drive actually increases.) And the aforementioned new mom-hood can be a biggie, as estrogen levels typically drop after birth, particularly among women who are breastfeeding. "We often tell patients that their vagina is in menopause when they're breastfeeding," Dr, Allison Hill, an OBGYN and author of "The Mommy Doc's Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth" <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/30/your-pregnancy-hormones-explained/" target="_blank">once told Fox News</a>.
Stagnation can mean many things when it comes to sex. Physical stagnation, or lack of movement, can take a toll on libido, Levine said. "It's important to move your body and get energy flowing," she explained, adding that although few scientific studies have addressed the connection between general movement and sex, it's easy to see how oxygenating the body and getting blood flowing, through yoga or a movement class can allow "tingly sensations to activate your erogenous areas." Then there's also boredom, which is another form of stagnation that can be equally, if not more, damaging. "It's easy to get in a rut and experience lack of interest," Levine said. She recommended new positions or "pleasure props" to help increase arousal and satisfaction.
10. Your Partner's Technique
"If you're regularly having sex and aren't ending up satisfied, you're not going to be very motivated to keep doing it," Mintz said. Surveys suggest that up to 70 percent of women have faked orgasms at one point or another, which -- as countless women's magazines have counseled -- can be problematic, because it leads your partner to believe (falsely) that what he or she is doing gets you there. The most important piece of sex advice Mintz said she can give anyone is to know what you like and be able to tell your partner. "It sounds simple -- and it is simple -- but it's also so complicated and can be hard to implement," she said.