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Did You Know?

Female Sexual Health

Some think the brain is one of the most important sexual organs in a woman’s body.

It might sound unusual. After all, we usually think of other women’s body parts – breasts, vagina, clitoris – as playing a bigger role in the act. But in fact, there’s a lot going on in the brain.

The brain houses our emotions and thoughts, two areas associated with a woman’s desire for sex. If a woman is depressed, anxious, or stressed-out, that can affect her libido. Or, if she has been brought up culturally to believe that “nice girls” aren’t supposed to want sex, that can dampen sex drive, too. Memories of physical or sexual abuse are also problematic.

Conversely, if she is feeling confident about herself and her relationship, that can improve or boost her sex drive.

But there are also chemical things happening in the brain that prompt female sexual response. For example, the neurotransmitter dopamine is activated in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Dopamine is thought to influence desire. Other chemicals in the brain send arousal messages to other parts of the body, to get it physically ready for sex. And others are thought to inhibit a woman’s sexual feelings.