Decreased libido

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Know the basics

What is decreased libido?

Decreased libido (sex drive) is a common problem affecting up to one in five men – and even more women – at some point in their life. It’s often connected with professional and personal stress, or important life-changing events such as pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

However, an unexpected loss of libido – especially when it lasts for a long time or keeps returning – can also indicate an underlying personal, medical or lifestyle problem, which can be upsetting to both partners in a relationship.

If you’re concerned about your libido, especially if your diminished sex drive distresses you or affects your relationship, make an appointment to see your doctor to discuss any underlying causes and possible medical or psychological treatments.

How common is decreased libido?

This condition is considered as more popular in the old over 60 years old for both men and women.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of decreased libido?

Signs and symptoms of decreased libido can be various. These following signs and symptoms are considered as the most common ones:

  • Difficulty achieving erection in men
  • Low semen volume
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Mood change
  • Decrease in bone mass


When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes decreased libido?

Any number of things, some physical and some psychological can cause decreased libido. Sometimes it’s both.

Physical issues that can cause low libido include low testosterone, prescription medicines, too little or too much exercise, and alcohol and drug use. Psychological issues can include depression, stress, and problems in your relationship.

About 4 out of 10 men over age 45 have low testosterone. While testosterone replacement therapy remains somewhat controversial, it’s also a common solution to the problem.

Taking certain medications can also lower testosterone levels, which in turn may lead to low libido. For example, blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers may prevent ejaculation and erections.

No one thing causes low libido. So it’s crucial to talk to your doctor if you’re worried your sex drive has dropped.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for decreased libido?

You seem to have a higher risk of decreased libido, if:

  • You have a depression, which changes all parts of a person’s life. People with depression experience a reduced or complete lack of interest in activities they once found pleasurable, including sex.
  • Certain illnesses, such as cancer, can reduce your sperm production counts since your body focuses on getting through the day.
  • Men with obstructive sleep apnea experience lower testosterone levels. In turn, this leads to decreased sexual activity and libido.
  • Testosterone levels, which are linked to libido, are at their highest when men are in their late teens. Men generally notice a difference in their libido around ages 60 to 65.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is decreased libido diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, a physical examination will be performed and some tests will be also recommended by your doctor such as blood test, or semen test, etc.


How is decreased libido treated?         

Depending on the cause, possible treatments include:

  • Healthier lifestyle choices
  • Improve your diet, get regular exercise and enough sleep, cut down on the alcohol, and reduce stress
  • Change to a new medication, if the one you’re on is affecting your libido
  • Testosterone replacement therapy
  • Counseling

Your doctor may recommend therapy if the issue is psychological. In many cases, a low libido points to a desire for a closer connection with your partner, one that isn’t sexual, but still intimate. It can help to talk through these issues with a therapist, either alone or with your partner. If the issue is depression, antidepressants can help. Some of them actually lower your sex drive, though.

In term of the meds you may have seen in TV and magazine ads, like Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra. Actually, these don’t boost libido. They help you get and keep erections.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage decreased libido?

You can reduce your risk by following these useful ways:

  • Little evidence supports the effectiveness of certain foods, but there’s no harm in experimenting. Figs, bananas, and avocados, for example, are considered libido-boosting foods, known as aphrodisiacs. But these foods also provide important vitamins and minerals that can increase blood flow to the genitals and promote a healthy sex life.
  • The way you feel about your body affects the way you feel about sex. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise may cause you to have a poor self-image. These things can discourage you from having and enjoying sex.
  • No matter how healthy you are, being stressed out is going to affect your sex drive. Women are particularly susceptible to the effects stress can have on one’s sex life. Men, on the other hand, sometimes use sex to relieve stress. And sometimes differences in the approach to sex may cause conflict. To relieve stress, participate in sports activities, practice tai chi, or take a yoga class.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

Review Date: February 10, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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