Causes and Treatments of Low Libido

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or low libido, is a term used for a lack of interest in sex. Although sexual desires might vary from time to time, with age, during certain periods of hormonal fluctuation (i.e., pregnancy or menopause), and from person to person, low libido might be a matter of concern if it is experienced for an extended period of time. Some of the causes of low libido are:

1. Low levels of testosterone
An important male hormone, testosterone is an important factor for sexual desire. Testosterone levels tend to naturally reduce with age and also cause mood swings, reduction in muscle and bone mass, and erectile dysfunction. The treatment options for improved libido varies from person to person. Treatments available for improving low levels of testosterone include intake of oral supplements and application of gels, patches, or testosterone replacement therapy.

2. Medications
Medications used for high blood pressure, prostate cancer, antidepressants, and hormonal contraceptives can interfere with one’s desire for sex and are one of the causes of low libido. Regular use of these medications can lower testosterone levels, leading to low libido. Avoiding or changing medications that can cause low libido might help in improving sex drive.

3. Stress and anxiety
Too much stress and anxiety not only disrupts the hormonal functioning of the body but also affects one’s sex life. Too much stress creates negative emotions, whereas sex is a positive and enjoyable emotion. When the mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts, the desire for sex declines. Also, stress can cause insomnia and make one feel tired and lead to a lack of interest in sex. Hence, stress and anxiety could be the causes of low libido.

4. Self-esteem
Low self-esteem can cause relationship problems and a negative impact on sexual satisfaction, which could make one feel sad and depressed. Sexual self-esteem is important, otherwise, a person might have difficulty in fulfilling sexual desires and will not be able to enjoy sex. A poor body image of oneself can also lower self-esteem and affect the desire for sex. Talk about your problems with your partner or consult a specialist who would support and help you deal with low self-esteem.

5. Depression
A feeling of unhappiness and extreme sadness often results in low sex drive and also affects overall health. Antidepressants often lower testosterone levels and are causes of low libido. Consulting a specialist and reducing or changing the medications prescribed for depression can help in improving the loss of libido.

6. Alcohol
Consuming alcohol regularly can lead to lowering of testosterone levels and affect the desire for sex. Regular intake of alcohol also causes other health issues and complications. Therefore, limiting the intake of alcoholic beverages will help in maintaining overall health.

7. Chronic illness
Chronic illnesses such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes cause emotional and physical pain and affect the desire for sex. Medications to combat these chronic illnesses can cause low libido.