Sex drive stuck in neutral? What men can do about low libido
A surprisingly high percentage of men are struggling with a secret. And all too often they are ashamed to tell anyone about it. That problem? A diminished sex drive or even a complete lack of interest in sex. This is also known as a ‘low libido.’
Men with low libidos typically don’t like to talk about their problem because they believe that they are abnormal or unusual. The stereotypical guy has sex on the brain and is constantly horny. In reality, men are human beings; their libidos ebb and flow naturally over the course of their lives. This is completely natural.
Sometimes, though, a man may find that his interest in sexual activity is greatly reduced or even non-existent for an extended period of time. If you are a guy experiencing this, you should know that there are a number of personal, psychological, and medical circumstances that might be the cause. Figuring out the reason for your low libido is key to getting the train back on track. Here are some of the most common issues:
Stress and anxiety. Chronic stress and anxiety – whether from work, relationship troubles, money problems, family issues, or other sources – can be a major cause of diminished sex drive. Severe stress interferes with hormone levels which can be recipe for low interest in sex. It can also cause the arteries to narrow and restrict blood flow, leading to erectile dysfunction. If you are under a great deal of stress, and it is impacting your love life, it is time to address the root cause: take time for yourself, get some rest. You may even benefit from counseling. Exercise and meditation are two other ways to reduce stress.
Depression. Depression is another leading cause of reduced libido. One of the most common effects of depression is a loss of interest in activities you once found pleasurable. This includes sex. If you are depressed, you may benefit from therapy or medication.
Medication. Unfortunately, many prescription medications have side effects which include diminished sex drive. This includes, somewhat ironically, many anti-depressants. If your libido has recently decreased, you may want to take a careful look at the side effects of any new medications you are on. Consult your doctor.
Lack of sleep. When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? Sleep doesn’t just leave you feeling refreshed – it can restore your natural libido as well. Also, many men unknowingly suffer from sleep apnea. A common side effect of that condition? A reduced sex drive.
Alcohol and drug use. Alcohol can impair you in more ways than one – too much of it and your body becomes fatigued, and you may find yourself less interested in sex. Other drugs are also known to suppress libido, including mild ones such as marijuana.
Relationship problems. Are you and your partner going through a rocky patch? Perhaps your daily interactions have become rote and routine? Sometimes problems in the bedroom point to underlying relationship issues. Relationship counseling can help sort these out.
Performance anxiety. For many men, expectations about their performance in bed can cause them a great deal of stress. This in turn leads to lowered libido. If you are experiencing performance anxiety, you can address it with the help of a qualified counselor.
Low testosterone or dopamine levels. In some cases, the problem may be strictly medical. If you are suffering from a long-term impairment of libido, consult your doctor, who can test for conditions such as low testosterone levels and low dopamine levels. Hormone replacement therapy can correct low testosterone, and there are also new drugs designed to increase dopamine. You should not be afraid to talk to your doctor about your sex drive, as it can be an indicator of health.
Thyroid problems. The thyroid is another key hormone that sometimes goes awry. Hyperthyroidism is when your body is making too much of the thyroid hormone, and hypothyroidism is when it is making too little. Both can be detrimental to sexual desire. Your doctor can test for them.
Aging. The natural aging process can sometimes be the culprit behind lowered libido… but not as often as you might think! Many men remain sexually active into their sixties, seventies, and beyond. Don’t be too quick to count yourself out in the bedroom due to age.
If you’re worried about low libido, it is important to realize that medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra do not boost sex drive. These drugs are intended to help sustain an erection. They won’t work as substitutes for a lack of interest in sex in the first place.
If it’s been a long time since you experienced your normal sex drive, you should seek help from a professional. Talk to your doctor about your lowered libido and get tested for any health issues. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression, counseling may help. And if you’re experiencing relationship problems or simply a stagnant relationship, it may be time to see a relationship counselor.
Lowered interest in sex happens to all of us from time to time. But if your libido has been greatly reduced for a while, or if it is impacting your relationships, it may be time to take action. You’d be surprised how many men experience these same issues. Don’t keep silent. Help is out there.