When you’re struggling with a loss of libido, you might wonder why and what the cause is. Read on to learn more about decreased libido, what causes it and what you can do about it.
What Is Low Libido?
A low or decreased libido describes a reduced interest in sexual activity. It’s common to lose interest in sex occasionally and our libido levels can vary throughout our lives. It’s not unusual for you and your partner’s libido to not always match up perfectly.
However, experiencing low libido for long durations can be concerning for some people, and in some instances, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition.
What Is the Cause of Low Libido in Men?
There is a multitude of reasons that men may have a decreased libido, such as:
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men, responsible for building muscle mass and sperm production. In addition, testosterone also impacts your sex drive, so when your testosterone levels decrease, your sex drive can also decrease.
Side Effects of Medication
Certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, and antidepressants, can lower testosterone, which, as we said above, may result in a decreased libido. If you’re concerned that your medication may be causing reduced testosterone and decreased libido, speak to your doctor or healthcare provider.
Low Mood or Depression
Our moods can impact all areas of our lives. Those experiencing depression may find themselves with a reduced or complete lack of interest in activities, including sex.
Testosterone levels slowly decrease as men age, which can cause low libido.
If a person struggles with their self-esteem and body image, it can impact their emotional health and overall wellbeing. This alone can create anxiety around sexual activity; in addition, low self-esteem may also cause anxiety around sexual performance.
Over an extended period, heavy drinking can reduce your sex drive. The CDC recommends no more than two alcoholic drinks a day; drinking more than this can lead to long-term health deterioration.
Chronic illnesses can leave you in pain and not feeling well, which probably pushes sex down your list of priorities. If you’d like to be intimate with your partner but struggling with a decreased libido, speak to your partner about new ways to be close during this time.
You may find that your libido is lower during periods of high pressure. This is because stress can disrupt hormone levels and cause arteries to narrow, therefore restricting blood flow and potentially leading to erectile dysfunction. Research has found that stress directly impacts the loss of libido in men.
Too Little or Too Much Exercise
Over-exercising has been linked to decreased libido in a recent study. Still, moderate levels of exercise have been shown to lower cortisol levels, reduce stress, and can help to increase sex drive, as well as reduce your risk for several chronic health conditions.
Treatment for Low Libido in Men
In many instances, treating a loss of libido will depend on the underlying issue. If a chronic condition or medication causes low libido, you may need to speak to your doctor about a new medicine or dose. However, if psychological causes result in low libido, then visiting a therapist may help.
You can take steps towards a healthier lifestyle by making some lifestyle changes that can support you in boosting your low libido. For example:
- Get enough high-quality sleep – the CDC recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night
- Practice stress management
- Eat a balanced diet with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
When to See a Doctor About a Decreased Libido
Low libido in men can be very unsettling and lead to a vicious cycle of physical and emotional side effects. If you’re experiencing a decreased libido and it’s affecting other areas of your life, consider speaking with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Here at Opt Health, our team of specialized men’s health doctors can provide treatment and test results from the comfort of your own home. In addition to increasing men’s vitality and offering testosterone replacement therapy, we use preventative medicine to help you feel like you again.
With physicians available 24/7, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or would like to book an appointment.