Female, keto killing my libido


Any idea what I can do to get my libido back? This is embarrassing and I don’t want to get too graphic but, things have changed both in terms of wanting quality time with my spouse and the ease of things when I do want that quality time. It’s like I don’t have any testosterone anymore or something. I don’t think I’m restricting calories, sometimes I go over. Everything is just really comfortable rather than intense.

This forum seems to have a lot of expertise, links to research etc, so I’m hoping someone has ideas for how to address this particular side effect. If I have to give this up with the mood swings of my carb based WOE I guess I will but if I have a choice, this isn’t what I want.

(Allie) #2

How long have you been keto? It does rebalance hormones so this could just be a temporary phase of adaptation.


Since the first week of November with a few days sprinkled in there where I fell out of ketosis.

(Chris) #4

What do you eat?


I’d say I’d experience quite the opposite being on keto for 3 weeks. Is there a chance it could be caused by anything else ? It could be temporary. Fingers crossed for you :blush:


Bulletproof coffee is pretty much always breakfast, lunch is leftovers/salad with Cesar or ranch/smoked salmon and cream cheese. Dinners have varied. I made white pizza with mozerella/egg/almond flour, keto Zuppa Toscana, dark meat chicken and Cesar before all the romaine was recalled here. Also meatballs with olive oil, low carb marinara or pesto and cheese.

There’s been a couple times I ate too many carbs.

Lately I’m trying to eat roast veggies to get more fiber. This past week it was cauliflower, brussel sprouts and radishes. I try to limit the brussel sprouts. Snacks are cheese, a handful of nuts or sunflower seeds, a quest bar, jerky, avocado.

I’ve been drinking electrolytes (generic Mia) and just started taking an electrolyte supplement because I don’t think I’m getting enough sodium. I bought some bone broth but it’s gross. I try to cook with bullion when I can.


Thanks for the extra data point. I read somewhere that you dump estrogen during some parts of fat adaptation. I’m wondering if that would explain it, because I’ve also noticed a huge reduction in anxiety and I think high estrogen can do that also.

Glad you’ve got the opposite going on. Hope mine shifts too.

(mags) #8

It’s very early days for you. Most people find the opposite happens. But as with everything it doesn’t happen over night. Stick with it and keep strictly under 20 grams of carbs with plenty of healthy fats. Once you are fat adapted I’m sure you’ll be swinging from the light fittings again. I am :flushed:

(Frank) #9

You’re very early in the process and a lot of physiological changes are taking place. Not to mention the undoubted mental focus being placed on your diet. Don’t sweat it. KCKO and “everything” will get better.

(Michelle) #11

I am having the same experience. Not sure if it is my age or keto or what.

(Bunny) #12

I think the female libido centers around how long you have been doing keto and I would say it may take longer than 27 weeks to feel your mojo (oxytocin) creeping back up again, it has to do with the circadian rhythm of the metabolism and full ketogenic adaption, I think some people mistakenly believe that they are fully fat adapted before a certain time frame and they feel all these negative symptoms (e.g. low sex drive) and quit doing keto before they know what it’s truly like to be fully adapted! Everything (metabolism) just goes back to normal eventually as if you never were on a ketogenic diet, this is subject that is rarely discussed!

Here are some peeps that touch on the subject but the research and information about the female libido is scarce when it comes to keto; most is centered around the male libido because it is not as complex as the female libido:

  1. Here’s how the keto diet really affects your sex drive
  1. The Science Between the Sheets: Can a Low-Carb Diet Increase your Sex Drive?
  1. How a Ketogenic Diet Really Affects Your Sex Drive
  1. Treating Libido Issues in Women
  1. Keto Impact on Sexuality
  1. Keto & Sex
  1. A dose of the “love hormone” oxytocin may make people’s orgasms more intense, a new study from Germany suggests.
  1. Remember the “O” in oxytocin also is the “O” in orgasm! Making love is a great way to counter cortisol’s negative effects - Dr. Anna Cabeca

(Omar) #13


does that mean sex reduces the stress hormon level?


Yes I’m with you on the anxiety reduction, isn’t it great? I’ve read that LOW fat diets usually have the adverse effect on your libido, as opposed to high fat. Perhaps the gaps in ketosis could be “confusing” your body but once you’re fully adapted all will be well

(Alex ) #15


(Really spilling my personal guts here online!)

During my first few weeks I had DEFINITELY found a reduction in my need for frequent activity, but I put this down to the fact that I was generally a lot less stressed now with the new lifestyle, and exercising a lot more which was also keeping stress hormones low.

If I’m mega stressed, unhealthy, whatever, I seem to need sex far more to make myself feel better.

Conversely, when I do engage in something carnal now - it’s less frequent, but far more intense!

Honestly, I don’t believe there’s anything out there that will enhance libido other than just a really great diet with lots of nutrition - but I have noticed a modest difference when supplementing with MACA powder, and a good B6 vitamin supplement. They are quite cheap and a good starting point - you’d need to check carb levels with the maca though, it’s a root vegetable.

(not endorsing anything here folks, just my experiences, I’m not using MACA at the minute)

I have to say, after 2.5 months of strict keto, the libido levels now seem to be returning to normal.

I think it’s such an emotionally controlled subject, it’s hard to say one thing will work over another across different individuals - let alone men vs women.

(Joanna Parszyk ) #16

I’ll repeat what has been said smith at it is still early in your keto journey.
Keto is influencing hormones a lot and before it corrects it many ladies may experience some shifts.
Once fully adapted things may level and the energy levels might turn into strong drive again.

From a personal note l’ve been paleo for 8 years, keto for the last 4 months for the health benefits. I got back the energy etc. Lately my libido and other drives are crushed by a hear break.

(Bunny) #17

Yes, looking at some historical medical literature about the word “hysteria” it is clear the female orgasm has a lot to do with reducing the hormonal cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and e.g. was more prevalent during the Victorian era where total abstinence from orgasm (masturbation) was encouraged resulting on a incline of hysteria more than any other time in history which was considered a nervous disorder in ancient times.

Cholesterol is converted directly (HPA- hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis) into pregnenolone which is the precursor of all adrenal and gonadal steroids[1]; so when the ovaries shut down (HPA-axis takes over) from the withdrawal of high octane carbohydrate reduction; it is a natural primordial survival mode like reaction; females will have primary amenorrhea because sex hormones are reduced or decline (in the ovaries and male gonads; survival-mode; not a good time to make babies) in both male and females until it re-establishes to ancestral[2] (ketogenic) normal levels[2] as opposed to being in a recent or historically significant (past 3,000 years or so) super-charged fed state of processed foods (more specifically carbohydrates).


[1] What enzyme converts cholesterol to pregnenolone? Pregnenolone is a precursor to the body’s other naturally occurring hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol.1 Pregnenolone is synthesized directly from cholesterol and is responsible for countless functions in our bodies. …More


[2] My personal op-ed example to this: “… "Menstruation is not a normal health state. Menstruation is hemorrhaging. Hemorrhaging is a flow of fresh blood. Hemorrhaging whether it occurs in the brain, eyes, lungs or uterus, is not normal. Subsequently, menstruation is an abnormal condition. There are many views on the causes of menstruation. However, they are ill-rounded and totally wrong. Black African females on a wholistic diet of natural foods do not menstruate. …” - Dr. Imhotep Llaila O. Afrika

(I came for the weight loss and stayed for my sanity... ) #18

This keto icecream recipe has it in the name, and I can attest it is delicious:


I’m not even 40, so I don’t think my age is a factor. Thanks for sharing that you’re dealing with this also.


You said everything eventually goes back to normal. Does that mean the mood evenness that I experience on keto will eventually give way to whatever I experienced before?


I’ve used maca before when I was dealing with postpartum libido issues so I’m familiar with it and agree it can be helpful.

How to say without being too forward or graphic, but it’s not just desire that’s gone. It’s also the journey itself, once in that space, is really flat and difficult. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience and everything I read about women over 35 says the opposite should be happening.

I appreciate all the great data coming to the thread. Thanks all.