What Is Low Libido?
Libido is the more technical term for “sex drive.” Low libido there for is a lack of or a decrease in your desire to engage in sexual activity.
It is hard to put an exact definition on “low libido.” What is a low sex drive for one man, can seem perfectly normal for another. Medical professionals instead of putting a quantitative measure on what constitutes low or diminished sex drive in men, like to say if it is bothersome, then it is low. Meaning, that if you would like to have a greater interest in sex than you have, or feel you are missing out on the kind of sex life you used to have or would prefer – then for you – your libido is low.
If your low sex drive doesn’t seem to bother you, then you don’t need to do anything about it. But if it is causing you stress, anxiety, relationship issues, or other problems in your life – then you should see your doctor and find out the root cause of your diminished sex drive and what might be able to be done to improve it.
How Common Is Low Libido in Men?
Low libido in men, particularly as they get older, can be fairly common. A recent study found that about 1 in 20 men over 45 reported a reduced or low sex drive. Actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher as men tend to underreport sexual health issues.
What Causes Low Libido in Men?
Sexual arousal and sexual desire in men is a complex process. Any number of physical and/or emotional issues can lead to low libido.
Emotional states like depression and anxiety can lower a man’s sex drive, as can physical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Lifestyle choices can also impact libido – smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and a poor diet could all influence your sex drive. Even some medications you are taking could lower your sex drive.
However, one thing that can and does influence all of the emotional as well as the physical factors that can lower your libido, is hormones. Hormones not only directly impact your desire to want to engage in sex, but hormones also influence your physical and emotional wellbeing. Therefore, certain hormone imbalances can lower your sex drive both directly and indirectly.
What Can Men do to Reduce Their Risks of Low Sex Drive?
You can lower the possibility of reduced sex drive by making changing some of the behaviors and lifestyle choices that could be causing your reduced sex drive.
- Quit smoking
- Get more restful sleep
- Take measures to reduce stress and anxiety
- Exercise more
- Eat a healthier diet
- Lose weight
Check your medications to see if reduced libido is a possible side effect. If so, ask your doctor if there could be an alternative you can take.
In addition to making the above lifestyle changes, you should see a doctor to have your hormone levels checked or rule out any other underlying medical causes for your reduced sex drive.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Libido in Males?
Again since the exact definition of low libido is kind of loose, specific symptoms are also not as exact as they are for other medical conditions. Generally speaking; however, men with low libido or a decreased sex drive will have fewer fantasies, thoughts, or dreams about sex. Visual stimulation may no longer cause arousal. Interest in actual sexual activity will wane, and even touching, kissing, or other stimulation will fail to elicit a sexual response.
Other sexual health issues like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation may be a sign of or may often accompany low libido. But in some cases, men with low libido still retain the ability to perform sexually; they just have lost interest in doing so.
How Are Your Hormone Levels Connected to Libido?
In men, hormones and sex drive are intimately related. Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. It is known as sex hormone not only because it drives male sexual development it is also the primary force behind sex drive and sexual ability in men.
Testosterone plays an important role in sex in men. Your testosterone level has a direct impact on your level of sexual desire and on your ability to get and maintain an erection. Testosterone levels also can impact sexual desire in a number of less direct ways. Testosterone influences your mood and your energy level, both of which have an impact on your desire and willingness to have sex.
One of the chief complaints of men with low testosterone is a loss of libido and decreased sexual function.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is another hormone that influences sex drive and sexual performance in men. Men over 45 who are experiencing a lack of libido, erectile dysfunction, or other sexual health issues are usually suffering from lower than normal HGH levels as well.
In men experiencing low libido and other sexual health issues due to hormone imbalances, hormone replacement therapy can help.
Can Boosting Your Hormones Improve Your Sex Drive?
Women are well familiar with menopause and how the loss of hormones before, during, and after menopause can severely impact not only a woman’s desire for sex, but her ability to enjoy sexual activity.
Men go through a similar condition as they age, known as andropause. Like menopause, andropause is also caused by age-related hormone loss, and also like andropause, one of the main symptoms of andropause is a loss of libido. Age-related hormone loss in men can also lead to other sexual health issues, such as decreased sexual stamina and erectile dysfunction.
The two main hormones related to sex drive and sexual performance in men are testosterone and human growth hormone. Both of these hormones decrease as men age and can lead to loss of libido and the various other symptoms of andropause.
The good news is that hormone replacement therapy for men has been clinically proven to improve libido and sexual performance in men diagnosed with low testosterone, andropause, or age-related growth hormone deficiency.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Low Libido
One of the main symptoms of age-related hormone loss in men, or andropause is a reduced sex drive or loss of libido. Hormone replacement therapies for men that are designed to restore testosterone and human growth hormone levels to more normal levels have been shown to increase libido and improve a man’s ability to last longer in bed and have more satisfying sex.
How Can I Get Start With Hormone Therapy?
If you are a man between the ages of 40 and 65 and are experiencing decreased interest in sex, ED, or other sexual performance issues, it is a good chance that age-related hormone depletion is the cause.
Finding out if you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy is easy. All you need to do is:
Fill out the “inquiry form” on this page for more information, or jump ahead to filling out the online medical history form. Either way, one of our professional hormone counselors will contact you.
If you seem to meet the initial criteria, an appointment for a physical exam and blood draw to test your hormones will be scheduled.
If your results indicate you are a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, you will be prescribed testosterone replacement, growth hormone therapy or both.
Having troubles with low libido? Contact our endocrinologists to find the root causes of this condition and get the best treatment.