In many cases, low sex drive in men is an issue that sneaks up unexpectedly.
There are plenty of things men take for granted when we’re younger. Drinking to inebriation the night before waking up for a 7:00am 5k, setting a personal best, and celebrating with a refreshing beer is one of them. Consistently knowing the latest pop single on the radio waves is another. Most especially, rising to the occasion when the time came to get a little closer to your partner was always a given.
Of course, finding out we can’t maintain these same habits as we grow older can be a less than pleasant surprise. These days, one extra drink might put you out of commission for the next 48 hours. You can’t name a single artist or song on the Billboard charts, and between work, the house, and kid – you just don’t feel as full of spunk as you used to.
Though men may want to stick our collective heads in the sand and neither talk or hear about a loss of sex drive, the truth is it’s more common than you may think. What makes it a sensitive subject is that decreased sex drive in men can be a deeply personal struggle, and can often cause tension in relationships or lead to feelings of guilt on both sides.
First, let’s make one thing clear: libido is something that naturally waxes and wanes over the course of our lives. Simply not being in the mood at the same time as your partner isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm. In addition, decreased sex drive should not be confused with erectile dysfunction issues – which is a separate concern that requires unique treatment.
The unfortunate thing about a loss of sex drive for men is that there may not be one single cause. Instead, there are a range of complicated underlying issues that may not be easy to identify or cure. For example, a loss of sex drive for males may be attributed to any or a combination of these factors:
- General Lifestyle
If your lack of sex drive has persisted for a long period of time, then it’s time to dive a little deeper into what the potential cause or causes may be.
The Role of Testosterone in Decreased Male Sex Drive
As we all know, testosterone is the hormone that we rely on to build our muscles for those 5k runs, or bring us to attention when the time comes to perform in the bedroom. As such, reviewing your testosterone levels (also known as “T levels”) is typically one place your doctor may start when attempting to diagnose your lowered libido.
Men begin to lose one or two percentage points per year from their peak testosterone production beginning around age 30. However, natural aging is rarely the reason for less than ideal amounts of T. Things like elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease can each have a detrimental effect. Low T levels will usually manifest in the form of hair loss, fatigue, reduced muscle tone, depression, and – yes – decreased sexual appetite.
If your doctor has determined you have low testosterone, and you’re also experienced a lack of – or even no sex drive – then they may recommend Testosterone Replacement Therapy, or TRT. This is a common and effective method of treating lowered sex drive, as well as the other associated ailments of low T, and could help rev up those intimate desires once again.
Prescription Medicines for Low or No Sex Drive in Men
Another part of growing older is maintaining our health with a little extra help from prescription medicines. However, some of these meds can have a negative effect on male libido. Drugs like beta-blockers or antidepressants can certainly quell sexual appetite. However, the solution often isn’t as simple as removing them from your routine. After all, you’re likely taking them for very good reasons. This is even less of a possibility if you are treating a chronic ailment.
Your first step, as always, should be to talk to your doctor about any and all side effects you may be experiencing – including a loss of sex drive. Don’t ever attempt to adjust your dosage, or worse, abstain from it, without consulting with a trusted medical professional who knows and understands your unique history and needs.
Lifestyle Causes Contributing to the Loss of Sex Drive in Men
After the whirlwind of their 20s and 30s, most men gradually begin to lead a more and more sedentary lifestyle. It’s nothing to feel guilty about necessarily – there are other priorities in our lives beyond a strict gym regimen. However, bad habits can often have outsized impacts as we grow older. For example, chronic alcohol and drug use has a negative effect on libido, and smoking has also been shown to indirectly impair sexual arousal. However, simple healthy changes can make a big difference.
Even if you’re still treating your body like a temple, not regularly exercising can still result in lowered sex drive. Worse, obesity diminishes your metabolic and adrenal systems, hampering hormone production. However, on the other end of the spectrum, too much high intensity exercise can actually decrease your sexual appetite as well. As with all things, finding a moderate balance is key.
The best way to start? Simply plan a 30-minute daily walk. Include your partner, and see where the evening takes you both from there.
Mental Health and Low Sex Drive in Men
Diving headlong into an ambitious career, constantly climbing the corporate ladder, or starting and running your own business is a huge source of stress in many men’s lives. It’s also a cause for fulfillment – but that doesn’t always extend to the bedroom, as stress is a leading cause of lowered sex drive in males.
Think about it from a physiological standpoint – when your body encounters stress, your arteries narrow, restricting blood flow. Your body becomes more focused on survival than putting the moves on your partner.
The case is even worse for our brothers who have traveled abroad to serve our country. One study found that PTSD in veterans can increase their risk of sexual dysfunction by more than 300%.
Stress management in today’s society is perhaps more important than ever – and not just from a sexual standpoint, either. You can increase your overall well-being as well as potentially increase your libido through the practice of breathing exercises, regular meditation, and therapy.
Speaking of therapy, some men experience a decrease in sex drive due to psychological factors. For some, it comes as a result of actually wanting a different kind of intimacy with their partner – one that doesn’t revolve around sex. In this case, individual or couples therapy can be a quick, if not an entirely easy, solution.
The Roadmap for Treating Low Sex Drive in Men
Even though identifying a single factor behind your decreased sex drive might be next to impossible, there is a general hierarchy of methods that men can pursue when it comes to increasing their libido:
- Lifestyle changes: Getting more active and medically reducing excess weight (without overdoing it) and cutting out any remaining vices in the form of excessive alcohol, nicotine, or drug consumption is the ideal first step. The health benefits extend far beyond the bedroom.
- Mental changes: Root out the top causes of stress in your life, and address them head-on. If they can’t be removed, nullify them through meditation, breathing exercises, or therapy.
- Medical changes: Talk to your physician about your prescriptions and whether or not there are alternatives that won’t inhibit your sexual desire. Beyond this, have a discussion about whether TRT might be the right treatment for you.
You may not be as young as you used to be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have as much fun as you used to between the sheets. You can attack your low sex drive, and potentially conquer it, no matter your age.
If you’re having issues with low testosterone and are searching for low testosterone treatments, call the team at Priority Men’s Medical Center now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff.