Aging, chronic illness, depression—for men, all these conditions and more can result in sexual dysfunction, or low libido. Low libido is defined as a decrease in sex drive brought on by medical, emotional, or psychological issues, and while it is more commonplace than you might think (43 percent of women and 31 percent of men are affected by it), it can still be a difficult topic to discuss.
However, when a medical condition negatively impacts the quality of your life and your relationships, it’s important to seek professional help to address it.
Is Low Libido Really Serious?
For some men, low sexual desire is nothing new. They may have lived with low libido all their lives. For others, especially those who notice a sudden onset of low libido, the condition can bring about a host of problems both mental and emotional:
- Diminished self-esteem: For many men, their sexuality and sexual performance is intricately bound to how they see themselves. If a man equates sexuality with “being a man,” low libido can have a devastating emotional impact.
- Decreased sex life: If the desire isn’t present, a man will not seek out a healthy, active sex life.
- Strain on a relationship: Lack of desire due to low libido can be misunderstood by a man’s partner as somehow their “fault”—as if the partner is not desirable or attractive enough. This can put a tremendous strain on the relationship.
- Anxiety: Low libido can cause a spiral of anxiety, especially if a man questions his virility, becomes anxious over his condition, still has little sexual desire, then questions his virility even more.
- Erectile dysfunction: Mental strain and emotional stress brought about by low libido can result in a man’s inability to sexually perform.
What’s more, low testosterone levels present in men with low libido could be linked to conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction, including:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Endothelial dysfunction
In conclusion, yes, low libido is a serious condition.
What Causes Low Libido in Men?
There are many conditions and factors that lead to low libido in men. If you are experiencing a lack of sexual desire, it’s important to consider what might be causing it:
- Age: This is one of the most common causes of low libido. Because testosterone levels drop as we age, lack of sexual desire becomes a natural part of the aging process.
- Chronic illness/chronic pain: If a large percentage of your mental and physical energy is consumed by dealing with and treating chronic illness and pain, you’re likely not going to have the capacity to focus on sex or sexual desire.
- Depression: It’s common for men who suffer from depression to also suffer from low libido. Most struggle to enjoy those things in which they once took pleasure. Sex is often one of those things.
- Low Testosterone: In men under 50, this can be an indication of a serious underlying condition, such as a pituitary tumor or HIV infection. It can also be the result of chemo or radiation treatment for cancer.
- Medications: There are a wide range of medications that can produce low libido, include ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, anti-depressants, and meds prescribed for enlarged prostate or hair loss, antihistamines, medical marijuana, anti-seizure drugs, opioids, and anti-anxiety drugs.
- Sleep issues: Sleep apnea can lower levels of testosterone, which in turn, lead to low libido. Low quality sleep (insomnia, inability to fall or stay asleep) can also contribute.
- Stress: Everyone encounters stress in their lives, but some triggers for men that can curb sexual desire include worries about their job, finances, and relationship issues.
How Can Low Libido Be Treated?
For men suffering from low libido brought about by low testosterone levels, there is hope: testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
TRT works to increase your testosterone levels, thus improving your sex drive. TRT comes in multiple forms, including:
Working with a medical professional, you should first determine the cause of your low libido to determine if TRT is the right solution for you.
Schedule an Appointment to Grow Your Libido
At Balance Hormone Center in Oklahoma, we specialize in treating men who suffer with low libido. Sexual desire and a healthy sex life are critical to living a balanced and fulfilling life.