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The Low Down on Low Libido

The Low Down on Low Libido

What is low sex drive?

The definition of “low sex drive” may be different for each person. In general, low sex drive is a lasting lack of desire for or interest in sex. Low sex drive – or low libido – may involve thinking about sex less often, getting less pleasure out of sex, and wanting to engage in sexual activity less frequently. There’s no “normal” level of sex drive, but if your lack in interest in sex is bothering you, you can talk to a doctor to come up with possible solutions.

How common is low sex drive?

Low sex drive is more common than you may think. In general, most people experience some loss of libido as they get older. Some sources claim that over 40% of women eventually experience low sex drive, and about 5 to 15% of the time, these problems are more lasting. It’s likely that numbers are similar among men. Because sex drive is something that fluctuates throughout a person’s life, based on a variety of physical and emotional factors, the majority of people will probably experience some kind of decrease in sex drive at some point in their lives.

What causes low sex drive?

A variety of factors – both physical and psychological – may cause low libido. For some people, low sex drive is caused by physical problems, like other illnesses, certain medications, surgery that affects your genitals, or any problems that make sex painful. Alcohol and drugs may lead to a decreased sex drive. Hormonal changes may affect libido, so women may experience low sex drive during pregnancy, breast feeding, and menopause. Low libido can also be caused by aging – as people get older, their hormones and other physical characteristics may change and affect their sex drive. Psychological issues may also decrease your sex drive. Stress, anxiety, and depression may cause a low sex drive. In addition to psychological issues, relationship issues may also affect your sex drive. A low libido may be caused by conflicts in your relationship or any kind of disconnection with your partner.

What are some key ways to kick-start a sagging sex drive?

If you feel like you’ve lost some of your sex drive, try these tactics for restoring some of your long-lost libido: Ask yourself what happened in your relationship when you noticed your sex drive changing. If you can ID the out-of-bed problem, it can help lead to an in-bed solution. Women: If you’re suffering from some kind of vaginal pain, strengthening exercises (called Kegels) may help, depending on the issue.
Experiment with more oral sex, or fantasies, or watching each other on videos or real life. Change things up to charge things up. Get comfortable with yourself. You can try to reboot your system by experimenting with your body and finding what brings you a joy (for instance, many women like the shaft of their clitorises stimulated, rather than the tip, so you need to be able to communicate that with your partner). Get comfortable with the fact that a mirror, sex toys, and locked doors can be a healthy part of a solo experience that can energize your sex life with your partner.

How do I manage my low sex drive on a daily basis?

To manage your low sex drive on a daily basis, it’s important to address your physical and emotional health. If physical issues are preventing you from enjoying sex, talk to a doctor. Stress and anxiety may lead to a lower libido, so try to find ways to reduce your stress and increase your happiness on a daily basis. It’s also important to address the ways that a low sex drive may affect your relationships. Low libido may be caused by problems in a relationship, but it can also create problems if your partner feels frustrated or rejected. Make sure you talk about your feelings with your partner. In some cases, counseling may be helpful. Remember that low sex drive is often just a temporary problem, so try to stay positive and focus on little things that make you feel good.

Can low sex drive be prevented?

You may not necessarily be able to prevent low sex drive, but you may be able to do some things to help maintain a healthy level of libido. Because low sex drive can be caused by a combination of physical and psychological factors, it’s important take care of your physical and psychological health. Exercising and reducing your levels of stress can help improve your mood and increase your libido. Maintaining a strong relationship with your partner, especially keeping open communication, may help prevent emotional issues that can cause a low sex drive.

Is there a cure for low sex drive?

There’s no guaranteed “complete cure” for improving low sex drive, but there are a variety of things that may certainly help. Lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise and reducing stress levels can help improve sex drive. Improving your relationship with your partner may also help treat low libido. Therapy or counselling, increased communication, and focus on other good things in your relationship can all help increase your sex drive. In some cases, the cause may be physical. If you think hormonal problems or certain medications you’re taking may be affecting your sex drive, talk to your doctor to come up with possible treatments. Look out for our Sex Again Program here at Loveintel to give you guidance on how to reclaim your sexual desire.

Should I have sex if I don’t feel like it?

If you and your partner feel like you’re in a drought, this can break you out of it. Try engaging in sex at least once a week, even if you’re not in the mood initially. Research suggests that once arousal begins, desire follows for future hook-ups.

Can low sex drive be permanent?

Most of the time, low sex drive is a temporary condition. A variety of factors such as hormone changes, illness, depression, stress, and relationship issues may lead to low libido. Many of these factors can be treated with lifestyle changes, counselling, and sometimes the help of a doctor. In general, sex drive fluctuates throughout a person’s life, and a person may go through many different levels of sexual desire. If you’re experiencing lasting lack of interest in sex, talk to a doctor to find solutions.

Why is lack of sex drive a symptom women over 40 should not ignore?

There are many reasons sex doesn’t always sound good, but a consistently low libido can be an important indicator of early diabetes. High blood sugar causes arteries to grow sticky over time and become prone to clotting. This can cause a loss of blood flow, which is critical to sex drive and sexual function. Don’t chalk up lack of interest in sex to being busy or tired, pay attention to it, and, if it persists, talk to your doctor.

What medications can lower a man’s sex drive?

Drugs used to treat certain health issues can also lower his desire. The biggest culprits: A class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that boost the brain chemical serotonin. These medications can be a godsend for depression, but they can also lower sex drive (and can delay orgasm and ejaculation) in many men who take them. Other medications that can dampen desire include those used to treat high blood pressure or cholesterol, ulcers, anxiety, prostate cancer, and even hair loss.

What are psychological causes of low sex drive in men?

Emotional issues: A guy’s sex drive is often closely tied to his self-esteem — when one suffers, so does the other. The economic downturn has sent lots of men into a funk: Job changes or loss, financial worries, and depression can all add up to a low libido. He may feel like less of a man, no matter how much you tell him that money doesn’t matter. Stress connected to family matters, parenthood, and other issues can also affect his sex drive. Relationship issues: Feelings like anger, resentment, and general dissatisfaction with his relationship can play havoc on a man’s sex life with his partner. Sometimes men aren’t even aware at how much these issues can be affecting them. Most women will find the birth control pill will decrease their sex drive over time, especially in perimenopause. Remember why teens like the pill, lighter periods and less acne! The clearer skin occurs on the pill largely because it inhibits testosterone so much. But testosterone drives libido in all of us.

Does the pill decrease a woman’s sex drive?

Pill forms of hormones, as found in most birth control pills, go from stomach to liver when absorbed- and trigger the liver to make more proteins that bind up your circulating testosterone. In perimenopause women often struggle with libido for many reasons including stress, boredom in relationship, less lubrication, and dropping testosterone levels already – so being on the pill may add to that list of factors. Contrary, if fear of pregnancy curtails your libido- then being on the pill may help. There are many forms of birth control pill formulations. Some pills are really more anti- testosterone than others. The newer pills that contain Drospirenone are the most anti-testosterone, great for acne and PMS- but you may want to avoid if trying to improve libido.

While other pills that contain Norethindrone may be the least anti-testosterone pills we can choose from, and a better choice if you need the pill but want to encourage a better libido. For women in their 40’s who need/want the pill, Loestrin in often a good option as it is a pill variety which contains norethindrone. Talk to your Doctor to discuss what may be best for you if you need contraception and you have Libido concerns. You can certainly consider good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and mind body techniques to improve your libido even if you are on the pill.

What foods and nutrients will benefit my sex life?

Sure, chocolate has long been considered the consummate love drug, because the ingredients have a feel-good effect. One study even shows that caffeine (which is also found in many types of chocolate) may have a positive effect on female libido. So sharing some chocolate can heat things up. But there are other things you can put in your mouth that will rev up your sex life as well.

For men, certain foods can help strengthen the sperm. If your goal is to consummate your attraction with reproduction, then you should add these foods to your fertility arsenal: Garlic, which is nature’s Viagra because it helps improve blood flow by increasing a gas called nitric oxide. You can also supplement yourself with zinc, selenium, folic acid, and vitamins C and E, which have been shown to increase sperm count. But most important is DHA Omega 3 fats – the active ingredient in fish oil that can be obtained in even more purified form from the algae they eat.

The below sex-slanted shopping list will spice up your bedroom as well as your kitchen. There’s little science proving the below benefits, but anecdotal reports keep recurring enough to probably have some validity:

  • Apples (will sweeten breath)
  • Asparagus (rich in Vitamin E, which helps hormone building)
  • Bananas (contain the bromelain, which is believed to improve male libido)
  • Cabbage (increases bloodflow)
  • Celery (contains androsterone, a hormone released by male sweat that turns women on)
  • Figs (high in amino acids to increase libido)
  • Garlic (contains allicin, an ingredient that increases blood flow to the sexual organs)
  • Nutmeg (significantly increases sexual activity in rats)
  • Oysters (high in zinc which helps produce testosterone)
  • Wild yams (may increase genital sensitivity)

What product can be used for female libido?

The sexual response cycle is broken down into libido, arousal, and orgasm. Libido is the desire for sex. Libido and problems with libido have not been well studied in women. This allows for much discussion and theorizing while we wait for more evidence to develop. Various professionals have given us input and ideas to think about.

The sociologists look at a woman’s role in life. Does she have multiple jobs as in paid employment and homemaker and caregiver for young children or elderly parents? Does she have enough relaxation time? They propose that sex can seem just like another chore if her life is filled with too many chores already.

The teaching learning theorists point out that sex is a physical or motor skill and that we don’t get better at motor skills unless we actually practice them. You can’t play the piano from listening to recorded music or play football from watching TV on a Sunday afternoon. They recommend a minimum frequency of sex to improve libido.

The hormone-based folks have actually already shown in clinical trials that testosterone supplementation improves libido in women. Women do make small amounts of testosterone naturally. Adding to this amount, or supplying it if the woman is not making her own, improves libido. However, this product is not yet available from your pharmacy as safety studies are currently in progress. We do not know the effects if women supplement their testosterone over a long period of time. Your Doctor can provide you with a prescription for testosterone cream to be made by a compounding pharmacist.

How can good communication with my partner increase my sex drive?

Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your partner at all times can be a potent aphrodisiac. Intimacy isn’t just about what happens between the sheets. It’s also about understanding each other’s moods, desires, and likes. Being in sync with your partner? Now that’s sexy.

 

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