Low libido can loosely be defined as a lack of sexual desire. Low sex drive for an individual is a very personal issue and depends on many variables including age. It is the second most common sexual dysfunction in men after premature ejaculation. A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported this. The loss of sexual appetite is also very difficult for men to discuss. However, there is help available from health professionals such as Mens Clinic International.
The difference between weak erections or impotence and low libido
It is important to note that impotence and loss of libido are two separate issues. Impotence refers to the inability of a man to achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Low libido is a lack of desire. In other words a man suffering from low libido is able to achieve and maintain an erection but does not have the desire to do so. However, men who experience impotence, initially retain the desire for sexual intercourse but start to avoid intercourse to save them from the embarrassment of not being able to perform satisfactorily.
Causes of low libido:
There are two broad categories of causes. The categories are physical and psychological.
Any medical problem or chronic physical condition can cause a reduction in one's sex drive. Sex may be the furthest thing from his mind when a man is diagnosed with cancer. Even minor illnesses can diminish a man's sexual interest. Conversely, when men improve their health -- through exercise, a low-fat diet or, if necessary, medical treatment -- their libido is likely to increase.
Conditions such as thyroid disease can cause low libido. Tumors of the pituitary gland (which controls most hormone production, including sex hormones) and depression are also causes.
Similarly, insufficient amounts of the male sex hormone testosterone may cause low libido, though such a condition is unlikely to affect erectile function.
Certain prescription medications and other drugs can also decrease your sex drive. Many, though not all, antidepressants can diminish sex drive. Other medications with this side effect include tranquilizers and antihypertensive medications. Illicit drugs, such as heroin, cocaine and marijuana, when used heavily and chronically, may lower libido.
Any kind of stress -- whether related to work, relationships or any other area of life -- that preoccupies someone is going to diminish that person's sex drive. For a healthy sex drive a man has to be engaged in the moment. For example if you're having shouting matches with your partner, your libido is nearly certain to take a nosedive. Sex drive will return to baseline levels once you resolve your differences.
Some problems, however, such as depression or anxiety, intense job stress, family worries, serious marital conflicts, experiences of past abuse or conflicts about sexual orientation may require professional assistance. It is essential to seek such help if negative feelings interfere with the rest of life, if they are overwhelming, or if you are no longer able to experience pleasure.
Treatment options for low libido
Depending on the cause there are various treatment options are available to assist patients suffering from this problem.
- Physical causes:
Generally speaking the treatment of the underlying physical condition will alleviate low sex drive for patients suffering from physically induced low libido. For example if the patients loss of libido is attributable to a decrease in the level of testosterone in the body going on to a course of hormone replacement therapy will assist with this problem. Certain prescription medication causes the loss of libido The patient should consult with his doctor about the possibility of swapping the medication with a similar one that does not have the side effect of loss of libido.
- Psychological causes:
Psychologically based low libido is generally treated with a combination of counselling and lifestyle modification. The duration of the treatment is dependent on the severity of the problem.
Finally, it is important that men suffering from low libido consult a physician bearing in mind it is sometimes the only recognisable symptom of a serious medical problem.
Mens Clinic International deals with any sexual problems that are related to Weak Erections, Early Ejaculation, Low Libido, STIs or Circumcision. Do get in touch with us to book a consultation with our professional doctors who specialise in Men’s Sexual Health.
To read more about low libido, click here.