Low Hormones – Libido is the natural sexual desire in men and women. Men are generally considered to be very sexual and have a high sex drive so it will come across as a big surprise to many people that some males can have a low sex drive. According to the researcher, Irwin Goldstein, about one in five men have a very low sex drive.

Most men fall on the normal range of sexual drive, on the other side are the men who have an extreme sexual drive and on the opposite side are men with a very low sexual drive.

Women also often suffer from low libido. The sexual desire in women varies with age and during different types of the year for example pregnancy and menopause.

Causes of Low Libido

Men and Women with a very low sexual drive suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). This can be caused by a number of reasons including:

Low Testosterone

Low testosterone is also known as hypogonadism. This usually happens with age but it can also affect young men. Testosterone is an essential male hormone which is responsible for the development of the sexual organs and body, strength and sex drive. Testosterone levels can be a problem if they drop below 350-300 nanograms per decilitre. This makes the male libido suffer and plunge.

Depression

Depression is a complicated mental disorder that can alter every aspect of a person’s life. Depression causes a person to find no pleasure in things that he once found pleasure in. this includes sex as well. The low sex drive is often the cause of depression which effects the libido in a man. Certain antidepressants used to treat depression can also cause low libido.

Medication

A number of medications result in a low libido for men. These medications can affect the sex drive of men to different degrees. Some of the common medication that causes this side effect include beta blockers, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, statins, antidepressants and benzodiazepines. Certain over the counter drugs, if taken for a long period can affect the sex drive. This includes Tagamet.

Replacing the drugs can sometimes help. You can also change the dosage by consulting with your doctor.

Chronic Illness

Chronic illness is one of the biggest reason for a reduced sex drive. Chronic illness can be a lot to deal with and can cause a loss of interest in a lot of things including sex. This is more apparent in diseases that cause fatigue and chronic pain. This includes cancer, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

The connection between chronic disease and reduced libido is not always direct. Sometimes the illness causes depression which in turn reduces the libido but other times a disease can affect the neurological, vascular and hormonal functions of the body which are related to the sex drive. Sometimes the medication used to treat the chronic illness can also reduce sex drive for example chemotherapy.

Sleep Disorders & Stress

From simply distracting you from sexual desire, stress has a whole mechanism that affects the sex drive. Stress increases the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol can constrict the blood vessels and can also cause a major drop in testosterone.

Stress can also cause sleeping disorders which increase the fatigue and can reduce the sex drive.

Age

Testosterone levels generally start decreasing with age. The levels are highest during the teens and go down noticeably around the age of 60-65. In women, the oestrogen levels decrease with age.

Menopause

Menopause in women can decrease libido. It can also cause vaginal dryness which causes pain during sex.

Lifestyle

There are some lifestyle factors that can reduce the sex drive. These include:

Smoking

Smoking can increase the risk of ED (Erectile Dysfunction) and can also directly affect sexual pleasure.

Alcohol

An excessive amount of alcohol or the use of alcohol over the years can reduce sexual drive. Alcohol can redirect the enzymes used to create testosterone, from the testes to liver which reduces the level of testosterone and affects the sex drive.

Obesity

Obesity affects the hormone function and metabolism. It can also affect the self-image of a person.

Symptoms of Low Libido

  • Rarely ever having sexual thoughts or fantasies
  • Being concerned about your lack of interest in sexual desires
  • No interest in different sexual activities including masturbation

Diagnosis of Low Libido

  • A test of your pelvic area to examine the sexual organ and see if there are any changes or pain triggering spots.
  • A blood test to check the hormone levels.
  • A recommendation to a sex therapist to evaluate your emotional and relationship factors.

If the cause of low libido is relationship problems then you can get a therapist to help you deal with the relationship problems.

Certain medication can be prescribed to boost the libido in both men and women. You can also talk to your doctor about any medication you are taking that might be affecting your sex drive. Men can take testosterone increasing medication or some prefer to get testosterone shots weekly. Skin patches are also available that are applied to the shoulders, chest or abdomen. For women, oestrogen is available in the form of pills, patches and gel.

If depression is the problem then antidepressants can help you deal with the depression. Certain antidepressants can have an adverse effect on the libido so make sure you talk to the doctor about that.