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Low Libido - Causes, Symptoms, and Simple Ways to Improve It

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Lowered libido describes decreased desire for sex. This article explains it in detail, along with remedies to manage it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ramchandra Lamba

Published At September 22, 2022
Reviewed AtJanuary 29, 2024

Introduction:

Libido describes the level of sexual desire and motivation of an individual. A person with decreased interest in sex is known to have lower libido. Low libido belongs to the medical category of sexual dysfunction. It also includes physical loss of sexual function but is not as exact as libido.

What Are The Causes Of Low Libido?

The most common cause of this condition is hormonal imbalance. Changes in the below-mentioned hormone levels can lead to decreased libido:

Testosterone Deficiency:

Testosterone is an important hormone that plays a significant role in the sex drive of both men and women.

Levels of Estradiol:

Estradiol is the main type of estrogen in women. It helps in maintaining the health and function of sexual organs in females. The level of this hormone decreases in women during menopause postmenopausal period. Thus, it can cause a loss of libido.

Chronic Stress:

Cortisol, the body's stress hormone, can get elevated during chronic stress. This can lead to an increase in inflammatory reactions, thus decreasing the libido. Increased cortisol levels can also cause disturbed sleep, which harms libido.

Certain Health Conditions:

Certain health conditions that can lead to decreased libido in men are erectile dysfunction, risk factors such as aging, high blood pressure, obesity, elevated cholesterol, cigarette smoking, thyroid conditions, diabetes, restless leg syndrome, prostate cancer, and obstructive sleep apnea, and heart disease. Female sexual dysfunction can also lead to decreased libido. It can be associated with conditions like uterine fibroids, obesity, endometriosis, high blood pressure, or menopause. Also, the intake of certain medications like hormonal birth control pills and women consuming medicines for mood disorders may experience low libido.

What Are The Symptoms?

Although there are no definite criteria to describe the symptoms, as every couple has their way of physical connection, the following symptoms may indicate low libido:

  • No or decreased interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation.

  • Never or decreased sexual fantasies.

  • Concerned about the lack of sexual activity or fantasies.

How Can It Be Diagnosed?

The physician will ask specific questions about your signs and symptoms. Your physician will suspect lowered libido if you have decreased sexual desire or thoughts. Along with these questions, certain laboratory tests and physical examinations will help diagnose the condition and confirm the cause.

The following will be done:

  • A pelvic examination.

  • Certain laboratory testing. Your physician may ask you to get some blood tests to analyze hormone levels and check for thyroid disorders, diabetes, high cholesterol, and liver disorders.

  • Referral to a specialist. Your physician will refer you to a specialized counselor or sex therapist. These specialists will be able to evaluate your emotional and relationship factors causing low sex drive.

How Can It Be Treated?

Most people benefit from a treatment approach that aims to manage the condition's causes. They are sex education, counseling, medication if required, and hormone therapy.

Sex Education and Counseling:

You should consult a sex therapist or counselor trained in addressing sexual concerns t get help with low sex drive. Therapy includes educating the patient about sexual response and techniques. Your therapist or counselor will also recommend reading materials and performing exercises. Also, couples counseling may help. This counseling addresses the related issues and, thus, helps in increasing the feelings of intimacy and desire.

Medications:

Initially, your doctor will ask you about the medicines you are taking, and if required, those medicines will be stopped or altered. Also, with counseling, your physician may prescribe some medication to boost your libido, like Flibanserin and Bremelanotide. Consult your physician before taking this.

Hormone Therapy:

Following are the hormone therapies that may be suggested to you:

  • Estrogen is available in various forms, like pills, patches, sprays, and gels. Smaller doses of estrogen are also available in vaginal creams and a suppository or ring, which is slow-releasing.

  • Testosterone is a male hormone that plays an essential role in sexual function.

Are There Any Home Remedies?

Healthy lifestyle changes can help in improving your desire for sex. They are as follows:

  • Exercise: Perform aerobic exercise regularly along with strength training. This can increase your stamina, improve your body image, lift your mood, and thus, will boost your libido.

  • Decrease Stress: You should find a better way to face or decrease stress.

  • Communication With the Partner: Couples who learn to communicate openly and honestly usually succeed in maintaining a stronger emotional connection. This can help them experience better sex. Sex communication is also important. You should talk to your partner about your likes and dislikes for better sexual intimacy.

  • Make Time for Intimacy: This will help in improving sex.

  • Addition of Spice to Sex Life: You can try a different sexual position, a different time of day, or a different location for sex. You can ask your partner to focus more time on foreplay. As foreplay also improves intimacy. If you are both open to experimentation, you can also take the help of sex toys and fantasy. This can help in enhancing your sexual desire.

  • Avoid Bad Habits: Habits such as smoking, illegal drugs, and consumption of excess alcohol can affect your sex drive. Avoiding these bad habits can help in boosting the sex drive and improve overall health.

  • Walking: Go for a long walk.

Conclusion:

Lowered libido can affect an individual both physically and emotionally. It is crucial to diagnose the cause and manage it to improve your sexual life and overall health. You can consult your physician or a specialist online through online medical platforms to learn more about how to improve your libido.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Are the Causes of Low Libido?

The causes of low libido (sexual desire) can be related to age, leading to falling levels of sex hormones, age-related health issues, or side effects of any medication. Old-age people with chronic conditions usually have low libido and low testosterone levels in men, which can also lead to fatigue, depression, and reduced sex drive.

2.

Which Food Is Good for High Libido?

Some of the food products that help in increasing libido are -
- Strawberries.
- Raw Oysters.
- Avocado.
- High-protein foods such as beef, chicken, and pork.
- Nuts and seeds.

3.

Which Vitamins Increase Libido?

Some specific vitamins and minerals help in boosting libido. A person should try to add them to their diet or can take them as a supplement to increase their libido. Vitamins A and E are good sources to boost the sex drive. Additionally, vitamin C also helps in increasing fertility.

4.

Can Low Libido Be Cured?

Low libido means low sex drive or a decrease in sexual desire. It is a common condition and can be short-term or long-term. The severity of this condition may vary from person to person and may be associated with underlying health conditions or psychological issues. This can be treated by taking medications, getting relationship counseling, and exercising. So, the patient should visit a therapist or healthcare provider if they experience low libido.

5.

How Can a Male Increase His Libido?

Male can increase their libido by making some lifestyle changes, such as doing regular exercise or changing their diet plans. Foods like figs, bananas, and avocados are considered libido-boosting foods. Along with that, they should focus on getting good-quality sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.

6.

What Is Normal Libido?

There is no such thing as normal libido. Either libido can be high or low. Some people may experience a strong urge to have sex or frequent strong sexual interest or desires. On the other hand, low libido is when there is minimal sexual drive or interest. This all depends upon the person’s preference and life circumstances.

7.

Does Overthinking Affect Libido?

Overthinking or anxiety can be one of the prime factors of low libido in some cases. In the anxious state, the person has higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone). This hormone can suppress the sex hormones that may lead to impact sexual desire, causing low libido. Therefore, a person with this condition should focus on thinking less and can try to divert their mind by doing medication or physical exercise.

8.

How to Increase Libido Instantly?

A person suffering from low libido cannot increase their libido immediately. The process of improving the libido is long, and the person has to work on themselves to maintain the normal hormonal levels in the body. This can be done by following a few things -
- Reducing stress levels.
- Let go of performance anxiety.
- Get enough sleep.
- Address any relationship dissatisfaction.
- Reduce negative anticipation.
- Eat foods that boost libido, such as avocado or citrus fruits.
- Limit alcohol intake and smoking.

9.

What Should Be Done to Have a Healthy Sexual Life?

An individual should focus on their partner’s as well as their satisfaction to have a healthy relationship. This helps in ensuring mutual satisfaction and can be a great advantage for a healthy and happy relationship. There should be good communication, focus on foreplay, and try to understand each other's needs.

10.

At What Time Is Male Libido Highest?

The male libido is usually associated with low or high testosterone levels. The testosterone levels tend to be higher in the morning and lower in the evening. According to some investigations, it has been found that male sexual desire is highest between 6 and 9 am, which means the highest level of testosterone levels over 24 hours.

11.

At What Time in a Month Is Women's Libido The Highest?

The level of libido can vary from individual to individual. However, many women experience higher sex drive during ovulation, which is the middle of their menstrual cycle, which is around 14 days before they get their next period. During this time, the levels of estrogen are at their peak, which is one of the common explanations for the increase in sex drive.

12.

At What Age Female Libido Goes Down?

In the case of women, their sexual drive usually goes down by the age of 40 to 50. At this time, they start experiencing menopause-related changes in the body along with changes in blood estrogen levels.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Ramchandra Lamba
Dr. Ramchandra Lamba

Psychiatry

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sexual health
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