Image Credit: Emir Memedovski via iStock Image Credit: Emir Memedovski via iStock

A new study has suggested that sexual libido is linked to a wide variety of factors, which could help couples better understand their bedroom habits.

Published in the journal BMJ Open, it looked at a number of different factors associated with losing interest in sexual activities among nearly 10,000 men and women.

It found that bad health, living with your partner, age and being in longer relationships all had a key impact on how interested by sex a participant was.

Interestingly, the study revealed that those who were more open when it came to talking about sex were more likely to want it.

This suggests that encouraging a culture that is open about sex and sexual health could have a knock-on impact on couples' sex lives.

Using data from the third UK National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3), the researchers interviewed participants about their sex lives.

Those who reported having multiple sexual partners in the last year were asked about what they'd experienced in the last three months, including a lack of interest in sex.

Given the nature of the study, it's difficult to say that one particular factor causes a lack of interest in sex but it could help identify how attitudes affect intimacy. There are also many personal reasons why people may not be interested in sex, which are not covered by the research.

Having open discussions, especially with young people, as they become sexually active could help them to lead a healthy sex life and enjoy this level of intimacy more.

The research was carried out by the University of Southampton, University College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Glasgow.