What is low libido?
Having low libido explains that the individual has a lack of sexual desire or decreased or almost no interest in sex. Having no interest in sex and loss of libido levels are common from time to time. It’s even normal for your emotions and interest to not match with your partner at times. However, having decreased libido levels for a longer period of time might cause concern for some people as it might sometimes be an indicator of an underlying health complication.
The following are some potential reasons of having decreased libido levels in men.
There are certain medicines, which have a major side effect, that can lower the testosterone levels, which would ultimately result in loss of libido. For instance, medicines for blood pressure like ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers might prevent erections and even ejaculation.
Other medicines that may result in decreased libido levels are:
- chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer.
- the hormones used to cure prostate cancer.
- opioid pain killers like morphine (MS Contin, MorphaBond) and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet).
- ketoconazole, an antifungal medication.
- cimetidine (Tagamet), that is used for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
- anabolic steroids that might be used by athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass.
If you are experiencing many or one side effect of certain medications that you feel would result in decreased libido levels, contact your doctor immediately and they might advise you to switch medications.
Depression alters nearly all parts of an individual’s life. People suffering from depression experience reduced sex drive.
Decreased libido levels are even a side effect of some antidepressants, including:
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), like duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft)
However, the norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NRDI) bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL) have not been proved to affect your libido levels. Get in touch with your doctor if you’re taking antidepressant medications and experience lack of sex drive. Your doctor may address the side effect by altering your dose or having you switch to another medication for increased libido levels.
Also Read: The Science Of Male Orgasm
If you are distracted by periods or situations of high pressure, your sex drive might decrease. This is because stress can have a significant impact on your hormone levels. Your arteries are narrowed in times of stress. This narrowing of the arteries results in restriction of blood flow that potentially causes ED. A study published in Scientific Research and Essays was in favour of the point that stress has a side effect on sexual problems in both women and men. One more study of veterans with PTSD found out that stress disorder raised their risk of sexual dysfunction more than threefold. Stress is surely difficult to avoid.
Busy work schedule, relationship problems, facing the death of a loved one, divorce, financial worries or having a new baby are just some examples of life events which can greatly affect the desire for sex. Stress management methods like meditation, breathing exercises and talking to a therapist, might help. In one study, men who were diagnosed with ED showed considerable improvement in erectile function scores after taking part in an 8‐week stress management program.
Self-esteem is considered as the general opinion a person has about their own self. Low confidence, low self-esteem and poor body image might take a toll on your well-being and emotional health. If you believe that you are undesirable or unattractive, it would likely put a damper on sexual encounters. Not loving what you see in the mirror could even make you want to avoid being naked in front of your partner and avoid having sex altogether. Having low self-esteem might even cause anxiety about sexual performance, that can lead to issues such as reduced sex drive and ED. Self-esteem issues may even result in larger mental health complications, such as anxiety, depression and drug or alcohol abuse, all of which have been linked to have decreased libido levels.
Drinking alcohol regularly, or consuming more than 14 mixed drinks in a week, has even been linked to having decreased libido levels. In the long term, excessive amounts of alcohol can have a side effect on your sex drive. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that men who consume more than three or more alcoholic beverages on a daily basis must consider drinking less. The CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests that an average adult male can have two or fewer alcoholic beverages daily, and anything more than this, leads to long-term health deterioration.
Drugs and sex drive:
Use of marijuana, tobacco, and illicit drugs like opiates has even been connected to the loss of libido. This can result in having a low sex drive. Smoking has even been found to have a negative effect on sperm movement and sperm production.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found out that non-obese men with obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA experience lower libido levels and this ultimately leads to decreased sexual activity. In the same study, researchers found out that approximately one-third of the men who had severe sleep apnoea also had reduced levels of libido. In another study, where young, healthy men were monitored, the testosterone levels decreased by almost 10 to 15 percent after one full week of sleep restriction to five hours a night. The researchers found out that the side effect of sleep restrictions on testosterone levels was especially evident between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm the next day.
Being obese can result in the loss of libido in more ways than one. Excess body fat not only has an impact on the production of both testosterone and oestrogen, which helps you get in the mood but also reduces the number of other chemicals your body requires to utilize those hormones. That means, your body doesn’t have the required hormones and it cannot absorb the hormones it already has, often causing lower sex drive. If you are stressed that your body weight is having a negative impact on your libido, get in touch with your doctor and talk about the best way to get back to a healthier weight, have a balanced diet, have increased libido levels, and committed fitness routine which can do wonders to improve your sex life!
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