What causes low libido?
How often do you find yourself avoiding sex, without any particular reason? Do you feel depressed and fatigued? Maybe you experience erectile dysfunction, and you feel ashamed to be intimate with your partner?
If you are reading this, then chances are that you are experiencing what is known as low libido. If you are interested in finding out more about it, stay with us in the next couple of minutes.
What is low libido?
Libido refers to an individual’s overall sexual desire. As such, our libido is greatly influenced by biological, social, but also by psychological factors. Our libido is not constant. Sometimes we feel a greater sexual desire, and other days we do not even think about sex. This is, however, natural for both men and women.
You may also find that your sexual desire does not match your partner’s, which is natural. But our libido is essential. It is what helps satisfy our sexual needs and helps us have a quality sex life.
Due to various causes that we will discuss later, both men and women may experience a lowered libido. Low libido refers to a reduced sexual desire.
While your libido variating from day to day seems to be normal, a long-term low libido may indicate an underlying health issue. For many people, a low libido leads to relationship and intimacy problems. Having a low libido may also influence your self-esteem and every aspect of your life.
There is even a condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder explains the absence of sexual desire and thoughts. It can be quite confusing to distinguish a difference between the two conditions. However, what characterizes the hypoactive sexual desire disorder is the personal distress that the condition is causing the individual to feel.
On the other hand, a low libido does not always cause the individual’s personal distress. Some may not even pay attention to their reduced sex drive, and that may be normal for them. It is worth mentioning that this sexual desire disorder is one of the most common female sexual issues. That, however, does not mean that men, too, do not struggle with this issue.
What are the symptoms of low libido?
Other than low sexual desire, a low libido does cause additional signs and symptoms as well.
- Due to sexual dysfunction, you may find yourself feeling depressed and anxious even.
- Avoiding intimacy of any kind, loss of sexual interest and a decline in sexual performance are all possible signs as well.
- You may even feel fatigued, both mentally and physically, although without any evident reason.
What are the most common causes of low libido?
As we mentioned before, decreased libido is a common sexual problem in both men and women. Today, we are here to discuss the six most common causes of low libido in men. You may know some of the most popular causes, such as stress. Others, we believe, will surprise you. So, let’s dive into the most common causes of a decline in the male libido.
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of low sex drive is the natural aging process. The aging process brings huge changes for both men and women.
In women, the aging process points to menopause. And so, women are no longer getting their periods and instead struggle with issues such as weight gain, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness, among others. It all has to do with the changes in their hormone levels.
Women struggle with changes in their estrogen and progesterone levels. On the other hand, men struggle with a hormone imbalance that refers to their main sex hormone, testosterone. The natural decline in serum testosterone begins after the age of 30. The symptoms, however, are not noticeable until the age of 50.
Other than decreased sex drive, testosterone deficiency also causes additional symptoms. Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common signs. This condition refers to the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction is also the most common sexual dysfunction among men. Luckily, with the proper treatment, the majority of erectile dysfunction cases are successfully treated. Other symptoms of low testosterone levels include muscle loss, weight gain, depression, etc.
Stressors surround us. Whether it is school, work, family, or relationship issues, we often feel stressed. The problem is that many of us forget to deal with that stress properly. As a result, chronic stress has been linked to a long line of health issues. One of these issues happens to be sexual dysfunction. Whether it is low libido, erectile dysfunction, or premature ejaculation, chronic stress can greatly affect one’s sex life and sexual function.
Use of certain medications
Many medications can lead to a decline in testosterone levels. With that, their use can cause low libido. Some blood pressure medications such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors have been linked to premature ejaculation and loss of sexual arousal. Chemotherapy, corticosteroids, antidepressant medication, and anabolic steroids are other possible causes as well. If you notice changes in your sexual desire, consult your doctor about the possibility of changing your prescription.
Chronic illnesses are next on the list of the possible causes. Some of these illnesses cause a lowering in the testosterone levels, thus causing low libido. Others, such as chronic pain, are so difficult to handle, making sex the least of your worries at the moment. HIV/AIDS, inflammatory diseases, obesity, an underactive thyroid, and prostate cancer can affect your testosterone production.
On the other hand, diabetes type 2, obesity, hypertension, and kidney failure can all directly impact your libido. It is important to consult your doctor if you are worried about being affected by any of these issues. With proper treatment, it is possible to improve your testosterone production and your sexual drive.
Poor lifestyle choices
Having a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight/obese, engaging in drug use, and heavy alcohol drinking can all influence your testosterone production and/or libido. We often see poor lifestyle choices leading to low testosterone levels in men.
Having more than 14 alcoholic beverages in a week, tobacco use, and drug use, even marijuana, can lead to such issues. If you find yourself struggling with any of these issues, work on improving your quality of life.
And last but not least important is sleep. We often seem to forget about the importance of sleep. Getting enough sleep is crucial for our health, including our sex life. Sleep apnea and insomnia have been directly linked to low testosterone levels. Sleep deprivation can also cause fatigue. When we are feeling exhausted, both mentally and physically, we do not tend to think about sex. So, if it is a sleep issue that disturbs your sexual activity, make sure to get those 9 hours of quality sleep.
How can you improve low libido?
- Treat the underlying issue – If low libido is not the only symptom, consult a doctor. They can help you identify and then properly treat the issue at hand. This is especially important if you experience symptoms such as weak urine flow, presence of blood in the urine, and frequent need to urinate. These symptoms can indicate the presence of prostate cancer, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
- Exercise daily – Research suggests that getting enough exercise can help boost testosterone production. Exercise can also help maintain a healthy weight, improve your mood, sleep, and self-confidence, all of which can be affected by your low testosterone levels.
- Use natural remedies – If you are not interested in using pharmaceuticals, then maybe you would like to explore alternative medicine. There is a variety of natural remedies that you can try. Garlic, Gingko Biloba, Ginger, Vitamin D, Tongkat Ali, and ashwagandha are some of the most popular ones.
- Lower stress levels – As we mentioned before, stress is a part of everyone’s life. Depending on how effective our stress-management techniques are, we are able to either eliminate stress or suffer the consequences. Yoga, meditation, and even taking a short walk can help. Daily exercise is also a common stress-relieving method that many rely on as well. Find out what your favorite stress-relief technique is and return to it whenever you feel the effects of chronic stress.
- Give testosterone replacement therapy a try – Extreme cases of hormonal imbalance in men are often treated with a testosterone replacement therapy. This form of hormone therapy aims to reverse the effects of hypogonadism. Improved libido, vitality, energy levels, muscle growth, and better mood are some of the benefits that testosterone therapy promises to deliver. This is, however, something to be discussed with your doctor. Your doctor is the only one that can approve the use of testosterone replacement therapy.
- Rely on cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and/or counseling – If you feel unable to manage the condition yourself, it is always recommended to ask for professional help. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and counseling are some of the most popular options out there. Talking to a professional, you can identify the causes and work towards eliminating them.
It is normal not to want to be intimate when you feel stressed, fatigued, or moody. While sex is a big part of our lives, sometimes there are more important things on our minds. But if you find yourself constantly looking for an excuse to avoid sex, maybe it is time to get some professional help.
Perhaps it is your libido that has decline, thus causing you to keep away from any form of intimacy with your partner. If low libido does happen to be the issue that you are facing, do not worry. There is much that can be done about it.