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 desire for a partner sexually
- 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.
There may not be much sex desire when you are under a lot of stress.
In addition to the worry and anxiety that stress can cause, it can also have an impact on the libido by affecting the way sex hormones are produced.
The nervous system has a significant impact on the male reproductive system.
Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in response to stress and that helps regulate a number of vital bodily processes, but too much of it can have harmful effects on the male reproductive system.
Cortisol levels remain high when you are under a lot of stress for a long time, which can lower testosterone production and sex drive.
There are many stress management techniques you can use to manage your hormone levels, reduce your stress level, and perhaps even increase your libido. Stress is almost impossible to avoid.
Talk therapy, meditation, and breathing exercises can all help you reduce stress.
- 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 sleep apnea (OSA)
- Central sleep apnoea (CSA)
- Syndrome of complex sleep apnea
In addition to making you drowsy during the day, severe sleep disorders like sleep apnea can reduce the quality of your sleep.
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:
It’s also possible that you’ve grown less attracted to your partner sexually.
This can be an issue for women taking hormonal contraception, but for men can occur with hormones used to treat prostate cancer.
While emotions and attraction change over the course of a committed relationship, don’t be afraid to confront some challenging issues in order to identify the root of your recent sexual dysfunction.
Side Effects of Medicine
Your libido may be affected if you take certain medications that cause your body’s testosterone levels to drop.
Corticosteroids, opioids, and some antidepressants are known to lower testosterone levels, and blood pressure medications like beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors have been linked to sexual dysfunction.
The following is a list of some of the drugs that can reduce libido:
- Drugs for blood pressure (like beta-blockers)
- radiation therapy and chemotherapy
- some antidepressants (like SSRIs and SNRIs)
- opioid analgesics (like morphine and oxycodone)
- Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids
- specific antifungal drugs
- The effects of hormone therapy may also increase libido.
- 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.
Discuss your worries and the potential that your treatment is impairing your sex life with your healthcare provider.
Additional Potential Reasons for Low Libido
Reduced testosterone production and lowered libido can also result from heavy drug and alcohol use.
The production of testosterone can be lowered by heavy drinking (defined as more than three to four units per day for men).
Narcotics and marijuana both have similar effects and may affect the sperm’s quality.
A decrease in libido may also be caused by concurrent sexual issues that have made sex difficult or unsatisfying.
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.
What Could You Do to Change It?
The best thing you can do if you’re worried about your low libido is to speak with a healthcare provider.
Your doctor at GladiatorMD will be able to identify the root cause of your decreased libido and go over your treatment options with you.
Make a current list of any medications you may be taking and make a note of any new symptoms before your appointment.