Low libido or low sex drive is an issue that affects many men and women. It is caused by stress, hormonal change, and a few other factors.
Experts have pointed out that low libido may also be a result of health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, Osteoarthritis, and high blood pressure. The use of medications like an antidepressant, antipsychotics, and hormonal contraceptives can also cause low sex drive.
Note that it is normal to have a low sex drive from time to time. Experiencing low libido for an extended period may be a sign of an underlying health condition.
While low libido can affect both men and women, research suggests that it is more common in women. As can be seen in this study, low libido affects 43% of women and 31% of men.
Category of low libido
Health experts categorize low libido based on its cause. If the condition is caused by factors like low self-esteem, anxiety, negative views about sex, and poor communication, it may be regarded as mild. However, if it is caused by chronic health conditions like neurological diseases, arthritis, and high blood pressure, it may be categorized as severe.
Symptoms and diagnosis of low libido
Below are some of the main symptoms of low libido.
- Getting little or no pleasure from sex
- Having no sexual thought
- Not having pleasurable sensations while having sex or when the genitals are stimulated.
- Having little or no urge to engage in sexual activities
Diagnosis of low libido
To determine if you have low libido, your doctor will carry out the following tests.
Here CT scans and MRI will be used to check for tumors in the brain. Ultrasound may also be used to check for issues like ovarian cysts.
During this test, a sample of the semen will be collected and tested in a lab. The test will help measure the sperm count of the patient.
Here a blood sample is collected and tested. Examining your blood will help your doctor determine if a patient’s estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone level is high or low.
How to treat low libido
Your doctor may recommend the following if you are diagnosed with low libido.
Review of your medications
If you are experiencing a low sex drive because of medications (anti-depressants) you are on, your doctor will prescribe an alternative with fewer side effects. Be sure to consult your doctor before stopping any medication you are taking.
If the root cause of your low libido is linked to emotional issues, your health care practitioner may recommend counseling. The sex therapist will teach you how to communicate better and overcome your emotional issues.
Boost your estrogen level
During menopause, many women experience changes in their estrogen levels. This change can cause low sex drive and a few other issues. If you are in this boat, your doctor will recommend estrogen therapy, suppository cream, and a vaginal ring to increase your estrogen level.
Your doctor may prescribe medications like Addyi to boost your sex drive. Addyi is an FDA-approved medication that can increase the libido of women.
Below are some lifestyle changes that can help increase sex drive in men and women.
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce your stress level by engaging in stress-relieving activities
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Set aside time to be intimate with your partner
- Experiment (sex toys)
How to manage low libido
Here are some alternative treatments for low libido.
Rekindle your relationship
Improving the quality of your relationship with your partner can increase libido. Below are a few ways you can do this.
- Spend quality time with each other
- Go on dates
- Engage in fun activities together (outside the bedroom)
- Improve communication
Ensure that you are getting quality sleep
Getting enough rest can improve your mood, boost your sex drive, and increase your energy level. A 2015 study in women buttresses this. The participants of the study who slept longer had better arousal than those who slept for a short time.
A study conducted in 2015 found that ginseng, maca, ginkgo, and Tribulus can improve sexual function. Make sure you consult your doctor before trying any of them.
- How to prevent low libido? Here are a few things you can do to prevent your libido from decreasing.
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid bad habits (drinking and tobacco)
- Spice your sex life
- Improve your relationship with your partner
2. What causes low libido? Low sex drive is caused by many issues. Below are a few of them.
- Poor body image
- Breach of trust
- Certain medication
- Low self-esteem
- Poor communication
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!