Are you feeling less interested in sex than usual? If so, you’re not alone. A low sex drive is a common problem and has many possible causes.
Adults are constantly juggling a million things and it’s no wonder that our sex drives sometimes take a backseat to everything else going on in our lives.
- What is libido?
- What can cause a low sex drive, and how can you improve it?
- When should you see a doctor?
But if you’re finding that your sex drive has taken a noticeable nosedive, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Here are 10 common reasons your sex drive might be low, as well as some suggestions for how to get it back up to speed.
What is libido?
Libido is a person’s sex drive or desire for sexual activity. It is a natural part of the ageing process. For some people, libido decreases with age, as this is often due to a decrease in hormone levels.
For others, libido remains unchanged or may even increase with age in some instances. Many elements can affect libido, including stress, relationship problems, medical conditions, and certain medications.
It’s worth noting that there is no normal level of libido as it all comes to personal preferences. Some people like to have sex every other day, others once a month, and others are fine with no sex at all.
What are the symptoms of low libido?
A decreased sex drive can be very frustrating and may cause tension in a relationship. The symptoms of a low libido could be little to no interest in having sex.
Low libido can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as low testosterone or depression. However, it could also be due to relationship problems, stress, or pregnancy.
There are a variety of treatments and lifestyle changes that can help improve libido, depending on the cause. If you are concerned about your sex drive, talking to your doctor may help. They can perform tests to check for underlying health conditions and help you find the best treatment option.
What can cause a low sex drive, and how can you improve it?
A low sex drive is a common problem that can affect both men and women. Many possible causes include stress, hormone imbalances, and relationship problems. In some cases, a low sex drive may be a side effect of medication or a medical condition. Let’s elaborate on the different causes for men and women.
Reasons why men’s sex drive can be low
Different factors can contribute to a man’s low sex drive. While some of these facets may be out of his control, there are steps he can take to help increase his libido.
Out of the reasons for a low sex drive in men, relationship issues are often at the root of the problem. If a man feels disconnected from his partner, he may not be motivated to initiate sexual activity.
Of course, resentment or anger can also lead to a decrease in sexual desire. If a man feels like his partner is constantly rejecting him, he may start to believe that they are not interested in him and lose interest in having sex with them.
In addition, if a man feels like his partner always initiates sex, he may begin to see it as an obligation rather than a pleasurable experience.
When any of these issues are present in a relationship, it can create tension and conflict that can ultimately lead to a decrease in sexual desire.
By addressing these issues head-on and improving the relationship by doing activities together or talking about it, couples can often find their way back to a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship.
Mental health problems
Mental health problems can significantly impact men’s sexual desire and performance. Depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues can all lead to low libido or erectile dysfunction.
Also, certain medications used to treat mental health disorders can cause sexual side effects. For instance, Xanax, Tegretol and other anti-mania medications or antipsychotics could be the root cause of low libido.
If you are experiencing a low sex drive, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential role of mental health in your situation. Mental health problems can be effectively treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both.
With treatment or medication, many men can improve their sexual function and increase their libido.
Underlying drinking or drug problem
Another common reason why a man’s sex drive is low is a drinking or drug problem. Alcohol and drugs can both have a negative impact on sexual function, causing problems with erections, orgasm, and libido.
In addition, substance abuse can lead to relationship problems and financial difficulties, which can further add to stress and reduce sexual desire. If you suspect that your low sex drive may be due to an underlying drinking or drug problem, it is important to seek professional help.
You can overcome your addiction and regain a healthy and enjoyable sex life with treatment.
Not resting well enough
One of the most common causes of low libido in men is not getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability, and low energy levels, all of which can reduce a man’s interest in sex.
Poor sleep can also cause hormonal imbalances that can affect libido. On top of that, sleep deprivation can increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can further lower libido.
If you’re struggling with a low sex drive, ensure you get quality sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours per night and create a bedtime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before turning out the lights.
Lastly, taking a holiday is a great way to relax while focusing on your intimacy.
Lack of exercise
Lastly, lack of exercise is a big reason why men don’t feel the desire to have sex. Exercise is not only good for overall physical health, but it also helps to increase blood flow and reduce stress levels.
Both of these aspects can contribute to a healthy sex life. In addition, exercise can help to improve self-esteem and body image, both of which are important for a fulfilling sexual relationship.
If you haven’t been exercising lately and feel that your libido is decreasing, going a few hours a week running, walking, or visiting the gym will most likely increase it.
Reasons why women’s sex drive can be low
Just like men, women can experience different life situations that could cause their sex drive to lower. Some of these reasons can be due to physiological changes, while others may be due to psychological factors. Let’s cover all of them.
The contraceptive pill
First and foremost, one of the most common reasons a woman’s libido can be low is the contraceptive pill. The pill can cause a decrease in libido by affecting hormones, which can lead to a lower sex drive.
Apart from that, the pill can also cause side effects such as weight gain, depression, and anxiety, which can all contribute to a lower sex drive. If you are taking the pill and your sex drive is low, you may want to speak to your doctor about switching to another contraception method.
You will find several types available, so there is sure to be one that will not affect your libido.
Another frequent explanation of a low sex drive is menopause. Menopause is when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs, and her body goes through changes that can cause a decrease in hormones like estrogen.
A decrease in estrogen can lead to several changes in a woman’s body, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and weight gain. These changes can affect a woman’s sexual desire as well as her ability to have an orgasm.
While menopause is a natural part of ageing, it can be difficult to adjust to the changes it brings. However, there are treatments available that can help ease the symptoms of menopause and improve sexual function.
The NHS reports that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a safe and effective treatment for menopause.
It’s normal for women to have low libido after recently giving birth. You are likely to be exhausted from caring for your baby, and your hormones are still adjusting after pregnancy and childbirth, which can affect your mood and libido.
Also, you may worry about how your body looks after pregnancy and childbirth or about the pain of sex after childbirth.
However, there are many ways to increase your sex drive after you’ve had a baby.
Naturally, getting plenty of rest is paramount. Using sex toys, warming lube, and practising mindfulness can greatly help. Alternatively, talking to an expert is an efficient way to seek appropriate treatment.
Other than contraceptive pills, one possibility is that you are taking medications that have libido-decreasing side effects. For example, some antidepressants can lead to a decreased sex drive. Other medical conditions can also contribute to a low sex drive, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and menopause.
Just like males, Xanax, Phenytoin, and other antidepressants can decrease libido in women. Hence, you won’t want to spend an intimate moment with your partner. If that’s the case, we recommend talking with your GP and potentially changing the tablets.
You don’t feel confident with your body
Lastly, not feeling confident with your body is a common reason why you don’t feel like having sex.
This can be due to a variety of factors, including weight gain, pregnancy, or simply ageing. When you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, it’s difficult to feel sexy.
To feel confident, the best remedies are exercising, eating healthy, cutting out negative self-talk and not comparing yourself to others. Talking to your partner will ultimately help, as he may give you more compliments and make you feel better.
When should you see a doctor?
A healthy libido, or sex drive, is an important part of a person’s overall well-being. While low libido can be normal at certain points in life, such as during times of stress, it can also be a sign of an underlying health condition.
If you are concerned about your libido and it doesn’t get better after a couple of weeks despite improving your lifestyle, it is best to speak with a doctor.
Depending on your situation, it could be a different doctor – a mental health professional, a gynaecologist, or a primary care physician. This will allow them to identify any potential underlying causes related to low libido and recommend adequate treatment.
Low libido is complex, and the reason behind it is not always easy to determine. The good news is that there are many potential solutions.
If you’re struggling with a low sex drive and can’t seem to solve it with our tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional for help. With the right treatment plan, you can enjoy a healthy and active sex life and a happy relationship.