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People in general have varying degrees of sexual desire. There is no single standard of sexual desire and desire varies not only from person to person but also over a person's lifetime. Decreased libido (sex drive) is a common problem that affects many men and women at some point in their lives. Low libido can be caused by several physical, emotional, and lifestyle factors, from getting too little sleep to drinking too much alcohol. Everyone's sex drive is different and there is no such thing as a "normal" libido.

This article explains what libido is. Also, what are the symptoms, causes, and treatment of low libido in women and men?

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  1. What is libido?
  2. What is a low libido?
  3. Symptoms of low libido
  4. Low libido causes
  5. Low libido test
  6. Loss of libido treatment
  7. Medicine to increase sexual arousal
  8. Takeaway
Doctors for Low libido

Libido is a term commonly used to describe a sexual activity or the desire for sexual activity. Modern physicians recognize the importance of libido as one of the main indicators of general health and quality of life.

In men and women alike, libido is directly linked to androgen hormones (namely testosterone). Men have about 40 times more testosterone than women and are believed to have a higher and stronger libido. This disparity in testosterone levels exists in other mammals as well, hence the bias seen in most species that males have a more pronounced libido than females.

(Read More - Low Libido in Men)


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Low libido refers to a lack of sex or interest in having sex. Although low libido can affect both sexes, it is more commonly seen in women than in men.

A woman's sexual desire naturally fluctuates at different levels of her age. These ups and downs usually coincide with major life changes such as pregnancymenopause, or illness, along with the beginning or end of a relationship. Some antidepressant medications can also cause low sex drive in women. Apart from losing sexual desire, women may also face severe menstrual problems. Loss of interest in sex is not as much of a problem for men as it is for women. This has been claimed in some research.

"When men lose interest in sex, it scares them more than it does women because their masculinity is so tied to their libido," says Esther Perel, New York City-based couples therapist and author of Mating in Captivity.

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The symptoms of low libido in men and women differ to some extent, which are mentioned below -

Signs of low libido in males -

  • Low level of testosterone.
  • The weak parasympathetic nerve.
  • Different types of erectile dysfunction especially weak penis, the curvature of the penis, premature ejaculation, loss of semenlow sperm count, etc.
  • Decreased sexual excitement and desire.
  • Poor performance in bed.
  • Strong arousal during sexual activity and delayed ejaculation.
  • Fatigue and loss of energy.
  • Decreased self-esteem and confidence.
  • Increase in body fat.
  • Muscle problems.
  • Hair fall.
  • Decreased bone mass.
  • Increase in mood swings.
  • Decreased amount of semen.

Symptoms of low libido in women -

  • Any venereal disease.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Urinary system and genital disorders.
  • Vaginal disorder.
  • Not getting satisfaction from sex.
  • Physical weakness or fatigue.
  • Decreased energy.
  • Hormonal fluctuations.
  • Mood changes.
  • Low confidence and self-esteem.
  • Various symptoms related to menopause like a low orgasm, low testosterone, urinary infections, etc.

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Low libido is often associated with bad relationships, stress, or fatigue. In addition, it can also be caused by an underlying medical problem, such as low hormone levels. The reasons for this can be somewhat different in women and men. The following reasons are considered responsible for this.

Causes of low libido in men -

  • Low level of testosterone.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs, and strong antibiotics.
  • High blood pressure can also be the main reason for low libido.
  • Excessive masturbation is quite harmful and can weaken the sexual nerves and thus lead to low libido.
  • Increased stress levels with depression, anxiety, and many other psychosis.
  • An unhealthy lifestyle, especially unhealthy food habits and smoking habits can also hinder your sex life by lowering libido.
  • Do not exercise.
  • Low intake of a healthy diet including green vegetables and fresh fruits.
  • Any kind of harmful effects after surgery.
  • Hormonal imbalance can also be one of the major reasons for low libido.
  • Improper sleep mainly results from disturbances in the mind and hence automatically affects the libido flow.
  • Serious illness or dangerous health conditions can lower your immunity which can result in low libido to a serious level.
  • Excessive sex with a partner.

Causes of low libido in women -

  • Menopause
  • Other health problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Medicines
  • Surgery
  • Breastfeeding and Pregnancy
  • Relationship problems such as lack of companionship, unresolved conflicts, poor sexual behavior, distrust, etc.
  • Psychological factors especially anxiety, depression, stress, poor body image, low self-esteem, history of sexual abuse, etc.

(Read More - How to increase libido)

Both men and women need a physical exam to diagnose low libido, as arthritisdiabetesheart disease, and other chronic diseases can sometimes cause low libido in men or women. Sex-specific problems, such as endometriosis in women, can also cause low libido.

Any vaginal pain during sex that is unusual may affect libido and should be evaluated by your doctor. Female patients may be asked about any vaginal discharge, which may be a sign of infection and in turn a cause of low libido.

During your discussion with your doctor, tell him about all the medicines you are currently taking. Antidepressants, birth control pills, and even antihistamines can also cause decreased libido.

It is important to tell your doctor whether you have always had low libido or whether this is a new problem. Women who have always had a low level of sexual desire may have a sexual disorder called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

The doctor may ask the patient about his medical history. Apart from this, the doctor can also use the following methods -

  • Pelvic exam - During a pelvic exam, your doctor may check for signs of physical changes that may be causing low sexual desire, such as your genital tissue, vaginal dryness, or pain-triggering spots.
  • Other tests recommended - Your doctor may recommend blood tests to check hormone levels and also check for thyroid problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, and liver disease.
  • Referral to a specialist - A specialist counselor or specialist sexologist can better assess the emotional and relationship factors that may be causing low libido.

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Depending on the cause of low libido, the following are the possible treatments -

  • Healthy lifestyle - improve your diet, exercise regularly and get enough sleep, stop drinking, and reduce stress.
  • Change in Medication - If the medication you are taking is affecting your libido, talk to your doctor about replacing it with an alternative. For example, if a person is depressed, antidepressants can be helpful, but they can also reduce libido.
  • Testosterone replacement therapy - If your loss of libido is due to androgen deficiency (low testosterone) that is confirmed by blood tests, you may need testosterone replacement therapy.
  • Counseling - Stress management strategies or psychological counseling may help with low libido related to stress or fatigue. Individual or couples counseling can help find out the issues that are causing problems in any relationship and in increasing the libido. Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy if the problem is psychological.

You may be wondering, what to do with the drugs advertised on TV and in magazines that claim to cure low libido, such as CialisLevitra, and Viagra. Keep in mind that these drugs do not boost libido. They only help you get aroused and maintain an erection.

Know your body and tell your doctor what you're feeling. This is the only way you will know whether the root cause of the problem is physical or psychological or both. The sooner you know this, the sooner you can regain yourself and have a fulfilling sex life.

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If the patient needs medicine, the doctor may consider giving the following medicines -

Medicine to increase sexual arousal in men

Testosterone helps in increasing the desire to have sex. Therefore, when testosterone levels go down, the libido may decrease. It is normal for testosterone levels to decline as we age. In the case of this type of hormone deficiency, correction is done with hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can be given as pills, skin creams, gels, or scrotal patches. This therapy can be used for men as well as for women.

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Medicine to increase sexual arousal in female

What most people don't know is that testosterone is naturally produced in the body of women as well. This hormone also affects libido in women. The natural decline of testosterone with aging can affect a woman's sexual response, although a clear link between low testosterone levels in women and low desire or other sexual problems has never been found.

If vaginal dryness makes sex painful, estrogen creams can help. This is especially the case when estrogen levels drop due to menopause or breastfeeding. Estrogen is also available in other forms, such as tablets or skin patches.

If a woman is experiencing loss of libido before the onset of menopause, taking flibanserin may be beneficial. Of course, this pill is beneficial, but along with it, there can be problems like low BP, dizziness and fainting, etc. Therefore, experts suggest that if there is no improvement in libido even after 8 weeks of taking it, then the drug should be discontinued.

(Read More - Female low libido)

Medicine for chronic illness

Health problems such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetesheart disease, and arthritis can affect your sexual health and cause low libido. Therefore, treating them appropriately can help improve your sex drive.

If the patient is taking any medicine, then the doctor checks that there is no decrease in libido due to the medicines being taken. For example, antidepressants such as paroxetine and fluoxetine can reduce sex drive. Therefore, it may be beneficial to replace them with a different type of antidepressant, bupropion.

Note - Do not take any of the above medicines without consulting a specialist. If you want to take any of the above medicines, then you should talk to a good doctor regarding this.

(Read More - Best homeopathic medicines for low libido)
 

Decreased testosterone, menopause, high BP, stress, etc. are many reasons, due to which there may be a decrease in libido. Both men and women can be their victims. In such a situation, there is a need to take this disease seriously, and for this proper consultation should be taken by meeting the doctor. Hormone therapy or medicine can be given as a treatment for this problem. Now the doctor decides which medicine to be given, keeping in view the condition of the patient.

(Read More - Side effects of high testosterone)

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