Low Libido: Signs, Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments
In the most basic terms, low libido is an expression used to describe a reduction in sexual desire. This can often cause problems between couples due to unmatched sexual energy.
There is no universal measure of what a human’s sex drive should be like. Everybody is built differently and this means varying amounts of sex hormones in each individual’s body. Moreover, various factors affect such health paraments.
Since libido is such a subjective matter and has no standard measure that can be applied to all, it can be difficult to recognize abnormalities.
Low libido can often indicate multiple underlying issues ranging from medical to psychological ones. Thus, it is important to recognize the symptoms, understand the causes, and get effectively treated.
Signs And Symptoms Of Low Libido
As mentioned above, due to a lack of any standard options to determine whether one has a low libido or not, the best that can be done is to make a guess.
However, certain existing parameters can roughly help with this daunting task. They are:
- Uninterested or unmotivated towards any kind of sexual activity, including masturbation
- Decreased or absence of sexual fantasies or thoughts
- Lack of sexual arousal
- Lack of pleasure during sexual activities
- Apprehensions about the frequency of sexual activities or fantasies
Also Read: High Sex Drive In Men
Causes Of Low Libido
Low libido can be the result of several causes. It is also not uncommon to have more than one of these factors working against your sex drive.
Some causes are common between both genders while some remain gender-specific.
Causes Of Low Libido In Men
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction or ED is a condition where men find it difficult to attain or sustain erections. This can not only affect his sexual performance but also how he feels about sex overall.
ED can be attributed to a lot of causes in men, especially certain lifestyle choices. These include too much drinking, smoking, or drug abuse. Obesity can also be a cause. All these factors directly or indirectly affect the testosterone levels in the body, thus increasing the risk of ED.
Testosterone is a hormone usually dominant in males. It is useful for their built and bone mass, and also helps with sperm production. It is normal for testosterone levels to drop with old age, but a radical fall can cause a decrease in sex drive. The lower the testosterone levels, the lower is the sexual desire.
If the levels fall below 300 nanograms per decilitre, the individual can be said to have low testosterone or “low T”. This condition is also called hypogonadism.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to increase your testosterone naturally.
Causes Of Low Libido In Women
As people age, it is already a common thing to have a reduced sex drive. However, in women, as they near menopause, the body reduces the production of the sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone.
This reduction can thus cause low libido. It may also lead to vaginal dryness which can result in painful and uncomfortable intercourse.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnancy and breastfeeding, can both bring drastic hormonal changes in the body. These changes can affect the sex drive of an individual. Not only can pregnancy affect the female’s body image but the pressures that come with becoming a parent of a new-born can contribute to the cause.
Some other common causes that can affect anyone’s libido, regardless of gender include:
- Chronic Illness
- Relationship Issues
- Problems with Sleep
- Issues with Body Image
- History of Sexual Abuse or Bad Sexual Experiences
All the causes mentioned above have their own set of treatment methods.
Erectile dysfunction can be treated by using certain medications that increase blood flow to the penis like Viagra, Tadalafil, Vardenafil, etc. This happens as the result of blood vessel expansion, thus giving an erection. If you want, you can even buy generic 100mg Viagra online for cheap from our e-medicine store.
Remember that these medicines do not immediately give an erection without any kind of sexual stimulation. They also have their own set of side-effects, so make sure to consult a doctor before consuming any over the counter medicines.
Other methods of treating ED include:
- Alprostadil self-injection
- Alprostadil urethral suppository
- Testosterone replacement (effective for low T)
- Penis pumps
- Penile implants
For premenopausal women, there are two FDA-approved medications available in the market that can boost libido. One is Flibanserin which comes in a pill form and the other is bremelanotide which is a self-administered injection.
Just like other medicines, these too come with side-effects that should not be ignored. Also, they have not been FDA-approved for postmenopausal women, just as yet.
Another way to boost libido in women includes adding hormones externally to their bodies. Some ideal hormone therapies include:
- Testosterone (not yet FDA-approved for women due to side-effects)
The last two therapies – Prasterone and Ospemifene – are generally used to relieve pain during sex. This is a characteristic feature of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM).
Making certain lifestyle changes can also help relieve the symptoms of low libido and thus help your sex life. These changes can be highly effective in not only improving your sex drive but also helping in other areas of life.
- Regular exercise: Staying fit can not only improve stamina and strength but also improve any body image issues. It also helps in enriching your mood and libido.
- Reduce stress: Healthy coping mechanisms can help reduce stress drastically. Regular exercise is a great coping mechanism as it helps reduce stress, and less stress boosts sex drive.
- Communication: Practising healthy communication with your partner about sexual likes, dislikes, and preferences can lead to an open conversation in the relationship. This will improve your relationship as well as sex life.
- Scheduled sexual interactions: This might seem like a tedious task, but scheduling sex into daily life can help bring your sex life back on track. Once it becomes a habit, the body will automatically shift to a better libido.
- Experiment in the bedroom: More often than ever, low libido can be the result of boring sex life. Try and make things interesting with toys and unfamiliar positions.
- Avoid substance abuse: Stay away from smoking, drinking, and drug use. These largely contribute to the inhibition of sex drive. Once your body recognizes this change, ideally it should start restoring the lost libido.
- Therapy: In case you suspect the cause to be body image issues or other psychological issues like depression or anxiety, consulting a therapist would be ideal. Anti-depressants are known to further reduce sex drive. Try sorting these issues with a therapist and without any medicinal interference. Couples therapy can help with relationship problems. If it seems like a hard task to directly talk to your partner, consider couples therapy to work through these issues. The therapy should help with better and open communication.
Also Read: Foods That Help In Increasing Libido
Low libido: Conclusion
The best possible way to check low libido is when it is to compare it with what it was. If you feel there has been a significant drop or change in the frequency of engagement in sexual activities, consult a physician or a therapist.
December 3, 2020 Sam Bell