It’s perfectly normal for your sexual desire to fluctuate. Your libido may become out of whack as a result of work stress, family responsibilities, and significant life changes, but it typically returns.
Loss of libido in men is chronic for some. Even though a strong sex drive may not be medically necessary, many people’s overall happiness and quality of life are significantly influenced by their sexual health and satisfaction.
Changes in low libido male, especially a sharp or sustained decline, can be alarming, even upsetting. In some circumstances, it might even be a symptom of a more serious health issue.
What Is Low Libido?
Typically, the word “libido” refers to a person’s sex drive or urge to engage in sexual activity. Everybody has a unique libido that is influenced by a wide range of elements, including hormones and brain activity. Your sex drive will likely fluctuate, just like your mood, but if it drops or disappears entirely, that could be cause for concern and strain in your relationship.
The following are possible signs of low libido:
- loss of sexual desire
- Missing the point of masturbation
- There aren’t many or any sexual fantasies.
- Stress or worry over a lack of sex desire
Even though the two conditions can co-exist, low libido and erectile dysfunction (ED) are not the same.
Low libido, like erectile dysfunction, has multiple contributing factors as opposed to a single underlying cause. Treatment for this widespread issue depends on identifying those causes.
Reasons for Low Sexual Drive
While libido typically declines gradually with age, a sudden change in sex drive can be alarming. Your relationship may become strained and your quality of life may suffer if you lose interest in having sex.
It can be challenging to identify the cause of low sex drive because it isn’t always accompanied by a decline in sexual function.
The main cause of low sex drive is frequently psychological, but for some men, it may also be related to drugs, lifestyle choices, or underlying medical conditions.
A vital hormone for men, testosterone is primarily produced in the testes. It helps to increase bone and muscle mass and promotes sperm production. The range of normal testosterone levels.
Despite the fact that men do not experience menopause, testosterone production naturally declines with age.
It is considered low when a man’s testosterone levels fall below 300 ng/dL. You may want to have a testosterone test because low T can significantly affect your sex drive.
Low semen volume, hair loss, diminished bone and muscle mass, and increased body fat are additional symptoms of low T in men, in addition to low sex drive.
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the US, claims the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Low mood, difficulty sleeping, lack of focus, and loss of interest or pleasure in routine activities, including sex, are typical symptoms.
If you have depression and have noticed a drop in your sex drive, it might not be a sign of depression but rather an adverse reaction to your antidepressants.
Low libido is a side effect of some antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
If you take antidepressants, discuss the possibility of adjusting your dosage or switching to a different medication with your healthcare provider.
A sleep disorder called sleep apnea is characterized by frequent breathing pauses while you’re asleep.
Loud snoring, gasping for air while you sleep, waking up with a dry mouth, difficulty falling asleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness are all signs of sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea comes in three main varieties:
- Obstructive snoring (OSA)
- Central snoring (CSA)
Syndrome of complex sleep apnea
In addition to making you drowsy during the day, serious sleep disorders like sleep apnea can impair the quality of your sleep, which can negatively affect your health.
Reduced testosterone production from sleep deprivation can lower sex drive.
According to a 2018 study in the journal Sleep Medicine, men who have untreated obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to experience low libido problems.
The study also found that middle-aged men with sleep apnea were more likely to have low libido when they were older and depressed.
Another study was made to replicate the fragmented sleep brought on by obstructive sleep apnea in order to gauge the decline in testosterone production.
In this 2015 study, young men in good health underwent a week of sleep deprivation.
The participants’ average nightly sleep time decreased from eight hours and 55 minutes to four hours and 48 minutes, a loss of about two hours and 45 minutes.
Following the sleep restriction, the participants’ testosterone levels during waking hours were lower, at 16.5 nmol/L as opposed to 18.4 nmol/L.
There are many different ways that stress manifests, and sometimes you aren’t even aware of the toll it is having on your wellbeing. Your libido may be impacted by the particular type of stress that comes from relationship issues.
It’s crucial to consider the following issues in your relationship when you notice a noticeable decline in sex drive:
Are you and your partner still content? Do you have any worries or skepticisms that might be adding to the problem? Do you and your partner frequently argue or have any unresolved issues?
It’s also possible that you’ve grown less attracted to your partner sexually.
Emotions and attraction fluctuate over the course of a long-term relationship, but don’t be afraid to ask yourself some difficult questions to get at the underlying cause of your recent sexual dysfunction.
Medication Side Effects
Taking certain medications can lower your body’s testosterone levels which could impact your libido.
Blood pressure medications like beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors have been linked to sexual dysfunction and corticosteroids, opioids and certain antidepressants have been known to lower testosterone levels.
Here is an overview of some of the medications that can lower libido:
- Blood pressure drugs (like beta-blockers)
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- Certain antidepressants (like SSRIs and SNRIs)
- Opioid pain relievers (like morphine and oxycodone)
- Corticosteroids and anabolic steroids
- Certain antifungal medications
This can be a problem for women who use hormonal contraception, but it can also happen to men who take hormone therapy for prostate cancer.
Chronic Medical Conditions
Sexual activity is probably not something you’re particularly interested in when you’re not feeling well.
If you have a chronic illness, you might also deal with daily pain or other disabling symptoms that lessen your desire for sex.
Men’s health issues that can lower libido include things like:
diabetes type 2
elevated blood pressure
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) (underactive thyroid)
kidney and liver issues
persistent heart failure
Also keep in mind that a side effect of some medications used to treat chronic illnesses is low libido.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns and to discuss the possibility that your treatment is negatively affecting your sex life.
Other Possible Causes of Low Libido
Drug use and excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to decreased testosterone production and lowered libido. Heavy drinking (defined as more than three to four units per day, for men) can lower testosterone production.
Drugs like marijuana and narcotics can have a similar effect and may also impact the quality of sperm. It could also be the case that concurrent sexual problems have made sex difficult or unfulfilling, leading to a decrease in libido. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation, or other sexual issues so they can determine the root of the problem and treat it.
As a result
A decline in sex desire in a man can be unsettling. Low libido can have a variety of psychological and physiological side effects that may affect both your relationship and your own self-esteem.
Speak with your healthcare provider if you are worried about changes in your sex drive to learn more about the potential causes and available treatments.
Make some healthy lifestyle changes in the interim to improve your mood, energy level, and perhaps even sex drive.