Loss of Libido and Low Sex Drive: Causes and Treatment
What is Libido?
Libido is defined as the overall sexual drive of a person. In men, sexual drive or sexual interest can become low. The causes of low libido or low sex drive are complex.
What Causes Sexual Interest in Men?
Men are driven by many factors. Testosterone levels are important for the maintenance of high sex drive, so are the levels of thyroid hormone. High levels of prolactin hormone can depress both testosterone levels and sex drive.
Visual stimuli such as erotic images and sexual thoughts can increase sexual drive (libido) in men. Sexual touch can also lead to sexual arousal in men.
Most Common Causes for Low Sex Drive
There are many causes of low sex drive. Some of the causes are environmental and are some are caused by underlying medical problems.
Lack of sexual attraction can lead to low sex drive with a particular partner. High levels of stress, lack of adequate rest and sleep and fatigue can lead to many health problems including loss of sexual interest, low sex drive and difficulty with getting erections.
Signs and Symptoms of Libido Loss (low libido)
The most common symptom associated with low libido is the loss of interest in sex or intimacy. The interval between intercourse prolongs, and when the intercourse occurs, the person is unable to perform the act leaving the partner unsatisfied. Related symptoms include depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
A related group of signs is normally used to diagnose low libido. These include
- Does touching take place only in the bedroom?
- You don’t feel like opening up and sharing during sex
- You are not the initiator and you feel a lot of pressure.
- You try to avoid sex.
- Sex has lost its charm and has become routine.
- You almost never have sexual thoughts or fantasies about your sexual partner or other partners.
- You have sex infrequently
The response to these questions is “True/False”. If 4/7 questions are answered true, it suggests that the patient may suffer from low libido.
Medical Problems that Can Lead to Low Sex Drive (Low Libido):
Environmental Factors That Can Affect Sexual Drive:
- Lack of privacy
- Dislike of partner
Social Factors That May Affect Sexual Interest:
- The difference of social class
- Low self-esteem
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels)
- Decreased levels of testosterone in males or abnormal estrogen levels
- Decreased levels of testosterone and estrogen in females
- Pituitary abnormality
- Drug abuse
- Anabolic SteroidsHypogondism (low testosterone levels)
- Prescription Drugs
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
- Oral Contraceptive Pills
- Tricyclic and other classes of antidepressants
- Anti Psychotics
- Beta Blockers
Treatment of Libido Loss
The treatment of low libido focuses on identifying the underlying condition. Most cases of low libido are psychological and can be easily treated. The physiological causes are treatable as well. You can expect the following evaluation for low libido.
Low testosterone levels and abnormal thyroid function are easily treatable causes of low sex drive in men and women.
Social and environmental causes of low sex drive can often be addressed by the patient when recognized or with a therapist.
- Complete History
- Marital history
- Change in Frequency of intercourse in the last couple of years
- Addiction history
- Drug history
- Any illness (past/present)
- Complete Physical examination
- Psychological Evaluation
- Laboratory Testing
- Evaluation of Erectile Dysfunction in men
Once the underlying cause is found, it can be addressed. As mentioned earlier, most cases of low libido are psychological and counseling has proven to be very helpful.
When you feel that you are losing interest in sex and your partner complains about this too, it’s time to get evaluated before it’s too late.
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We see patients from all parts of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey as well as other parts in the USA, Canada, South America and the Caribbean and other international patients. We also offer emergency care for men with urological problems.