Having a healthy sex drive is a good indication of your well being. We all know that sexual satisfaction is a major driving force in our relationships and is also an important aspect of intimacy. The concept of virility is often associated with manhood. When men have a healthy sex drive, and if they are able to enjoy sexual release, the quality of health and life improves for the man.
But sometimes, a low libido or sex drive can arise which is characterized by a decreasing interest in sexual activity. This can cause feelings of frustration and unhappiness for you. This can also affect your relationship with your partner.
Low Libido among Men
There are some basic facts that you should know about your sex drive. It is common for men to lose interest in sex during a stressful period in your life, illness or fatigue. Also, your libidinal levels may vary throughout life. However, this is temporary.
The concern only comes when you experience persistent feelings of low libido for long periods of time.
Causes of Low Libido among Men
- Hormonal causes – Testosterone is your main sex hormone and is responsible for regulating your sex drive and also producing sperm. When your testosterone levels dip, you experience decrease in sexual desire. Even if you are a younger man with androgen imbalance, the libido is affected.
Some other hormones can also affect the sex drive. Low levels of thyroxine can cause decreased interest in sexual activity. When prolactin levels increase in men, it can cause low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction. However, this is very rare.
- Aging – As you age, your testosterone levels naturally decrease. This naturally starts from age of 45 onwards. Post the age of 60 or 65, you may take longer to ejaculate, have orgasms or become aroused. This causes a lower sexual drive naturally.
- Physical health challenges – Sometimes, if the man is suffering from certain chronic illnesses such as cancer, cirrhosis or kidney disease or health conditions like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, they experience a lower sex drive.
- Medication taken for the above – If you are taking any prescription drugs, be aware that they may interfere with nerve stimulation and activity. They cause variations in your sex drive and also cause erectile dysfunction. If you take antidepressants and other psychopharmacological agents, this may reduce sex drive as they contain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors which affect your body’s nerve activities required for arousal.
- Psychological causes – In case you are experiencing episodes of anxiety and depression, your sex drive will be adversely affected. A feature of depression is loss of interest in pleasurable activities such as sexual intimacy. Low self esteem or fears of rejection that you may have can also reduce the sex drive.
- Chronic stress – If you are going through acute and chronic stress, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline and releases them into the blood stream. Their presence restricts blood flow to your genitals and this affects sexual arousal. This is why when you are too stressed at work or at home, you are unable to concentrate on sexual activity as you are too distracted by your stressors.
- Alcohol and drug abuse – If there is excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs, the body gets fatigued easily. Cocaine and other stimulants increase the speed of neural processing temporarily and frequent uses of it can impair the nervous system. Marijuana suppresses the pituitary gland which affects testosterone production.
- Low dopamine levels – The brain is the main organ that is responsible for triggers of sexual excitement. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that causes feelings of excitement and desire. If your dopamine levels are affected, your sex drive will decrease.
- Sleep problems – In case you have sleep issues like obstructive sleep apnea and sleep insufficiency, you should know that it lowers testosterone production. If you suffer from lack of sleep this can exhaust you and can also elevate cortisol levels, triggering emergency stress responses in the body. This ultimately lowers your libido.
- Relationship troubles – Sometimes we experience trust or communication issues with our partner. What we don’t realize is that these issues not only affect your relationship, but also your sex drive.
But don’t worry as these problems may sound a bit scary but they all have ways to go about it. Read on below:
Treatment for Low Libido among Men
- Sex therapy – If you are undergoing any psychological problems like anxiety and depression, this can be resolved by undergoing professional counseling with a qualified and experienced sex therapist. If you have no other biological issue, these sessions can really help you deal with your emotional issues and once they are resolved, you will regain your regular libido.
- Testosterone supplements – If your testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement therapy can be done. Testosterone can be administered by attaching skin patches or rubbing hormone gels on thechest, shoulders or abdomen.
- Dopamine increasing drugs – Certain drugs increase the amount and secretion of dopamine production. These increase your sex drive. However, you should check if the drugs have been approved by the FDA and what the associated risks are.
- If you are on any current medications for health conditions which are affecting sex drive, consult the doctor and get them changed if possible.
- A healthier lifestyle goes a long way in maintaining a healthy sex drive. Having healthy and adequate sleep, managing stress, exercising, cutting down alcohol and having a healthy diet are important lifestyle modifications that you need to make.
Experiencing a low libido can be quite frustrating for you to bear. The causes can be hormonal or psychological in nature. But the good news is that, with treatments like hormone therapy or counseling, your libido can go back to normal and you can regain your healthy sex life.