Libido meaning – Libido is the sexual drive or the desire to have sex. Libido is a unisex term that can refer to the desire to have sex in men or women. Low libido refers to the lowered interest in having sex or lack of interest in having sex. Low libido is very common and there are several factors contributing to low libido in men or women including age, stress related to work or personal life, circumstances a person is living etc.
If you are a healthy male and not too old, occasional drop in libido is fine but if you have totally lost interest in sex life, you might want to consider seeing a sex therapist near you. If not mental, it may sometimes indicate a physical health condition.
Are low libido and impotence the same thing?
No. Impotence refers to the inability to have a sustained erection to have sex. Impotence may start with Erectile Dysfunction. Low libido can lead to ED and severe ED can lead to impotence in men.
Low testosterone levels
The most important male hormone is Testosterone (T). Testosterone is produced in the testicles and is responsible for development of male characteristics such as growth of hair on the body, bone and muscle development and that is the hormone that’s responsible for your sex drive. A reading below 300 nanograms per deciliter of blood is considered to be low and you will need a doctor’s help to get that back to normal levels.
In men, testosterone drops considerably by the time 40 years is reached but that should not be to an extent where there is complete lack of interest in sex. Unlike women in whom the reproductive hormones drop to lows in just a couple of years, men’s bodies take time to drop the production capacity of testosterone.
Medications prescribed for other medical conditions
Say, you are suffering from high blood pressure, medication prescribed to bring it under control may have side effects that include delayed or no ejaculation or even no erections. If this is the case, you will need to speak with your physician and get a different prescription. Other medical conditions that damper your libido include cancer (and treatment of cancer), diabetes, high cholesterol, lung diseases, heart or kidney failures etc. Medicines prescribed to treat these diseases can also interfere with your libido.
Stress, anxiety and depression – three big evils in anyone’s life. Stress can be due to any reason, may it be work related or health or even the relationship with your partner. Stress can a toll on every aspect of your life and you may never think of sex while under stress. Similarly anxiety to perform something or while doing something can also reduce your libido.
Depression, a very common problem these days in teens, adults and older people pushes your life into an abyss. If you are constantly worried about anything in life, have no interest in doing any work or going out or even wearing a good dress, that can indicate depressed behaviour and you need to see a therapist immediately.
Along with mental therapy, a good therapist may put you on to SSRIs, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors that can help you get out of depression.
Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS, Restless Leg Syndrome – a constant urge to move your legs or an uncontrolled movement of legs. Men with restless leg syndrome are found to be at risk of developing erectile dysfunction. Frequent the episodes of RLS, higher the chances of developing ED that can even lead to impotence.
Wish you remained in your 20s? Who doesn’t wish for that. With age comes several health issues and drop in testosterone levels is just one of them. Healthy men have good or higher levels of testosterone till 30 years and they can see that their T gradually drops by the time they reach 40. How many ever times you say “40s is the new 30s”, you know deep inside that you will never be the same as you were in your 30s, right? As the testosterone levels drop, low libido automatically kicks in unless you start working on it with a healthy diet, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Everybody gets tired and sleep is necessary. Not just any sleep, a good night sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours is necessary for your body and mind to rest and restart your day every day. Sleep deprivation for any reason (physical or mental) can lead to drop in production of hormones or improper functioning of certain body parts. Imbalance of hormone levels can lead to numerous problems including low libido. All because you are not sleeping well enough! Work hard, sleep well and stay healthy.
Lack of physical activity (being overweight and obese)
Too little exercise makes your body lazy and as the metabolic rate of the body goes down, it starts accumulating fat under the skin. Working out regularly (not too much either) can keep the body in good condition wrt biological activities going on inside the body. Regular exercise helps control blood pressure, blood sugar levels, production of hormones etc.
Being overweight or obese puts you at risk of developing at least few dozens of diseases, let alone losing interest in having sex. Leave your sedentary or sit at desk all the time, lifestyle and start working out with a healthy diet for an overall healthy and happy life.
Occasional consumption of alcohol is okay as per some experts but when that occasional becomes a daily habit, production of testosterone takes a hit. Long term alcohol consumption reduces the sexual drive. “If you are consuming alcohol regularly, consider reducing the frequency and I advise you to quit drinking eventually” says Dr. Karthik Gunasekaran, Chennai’s leading sexologist.
Lack of emotional connect in your relationship
Is your partner complaining that you are not getting together more often in bed or are you not feeling to get intimate with your partner? Turn back a few days and weeks in your personal life with your partner; you may find some unpleasant things that you need to overcome. Sit down and talk patiently with your partner, iron out any difference of opinions to make things smoother in your personal life. Remember that ups and downs in a family are very common and each of you should be accommodating, adjusting and respecting each other to keep the love alive. Differences in family life may also hamper your libido.
Easier said than done, if you are using or addicted to tobacco products, marijuana or any other opioids, you need to speak to a doctor and join a rehab. Let alone your sex life, drugs ruin your entire life, personal, professional and everything around them. Seek help from professionals and your family. A strong will from the inside with a little bit of support from parents and family can help you get your life back on track.
Signs of low libido in males (low sex drive – hypogonadism)
Obvious signs of low libido in men include:
- No interest in sex life
- Erectile dysfunction
- Infertility due to low sperm count
- Muscle loss