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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.