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Whether or not there is any intention to act on it, we all have a certain level of drive." That sexual drive declines naturally with age based on physiological factors.
But sexual desire also encompasses interpersonal and psychological factors that create a willingness to be sexual.
"Above and beyond horniness, it is the sense of intimacy in the relationship," says Kingsberg.
"If you are mad at your spouse, you could be horny but you're not going want to be sexual with that particular person." Therefore, all of these aspects of sexual desire must be examined in order to determine the root of the problem.
Contrary to popular belief, experts say frequency of sexual intercourse has nothing to do with sexual desire or satisfaction.
"One of first things I do in speaking to women who come in with sexual concerns is let them know that there is no normal frequency or set of behaviors and things change with time," says Jan Shifren, MD, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
One of those causes is cervical inflammation, or cervicitis.
It can be ongoing and totally harmless, or it can happen because of a sexually transmitted infection that you need to get treated, like chlamydia or gonorrhea.
Unlike men's main sexual complaint, erectile dysfunction, women's biggest sexual problem is caused by a combination of both mental and physical factors, which aren't likely to be cured by merely popping a pill.
"It's really important for women to realize that any of the over-the-counter products they may use have not been tested for efficacy and safety," says Shifren.
Phyllis Greenberger, MSW, president of the Society for Women's Health Research says more women report sexual problems than men, but research and treatment for women's sexual problems still lags behind.
For example, Shrifen is involved in research using a testosterone skin patch to treat low sexual desire in women.
Initial studies have shown that the patch significantly improved both sexual desire and satisfaction compared with placebo among postmenopausal women who had their ovaries removed.