Common Causes and Treatments for Low Sex Drive

What is low libido? 

The term "low libido" refers to a decline in sexual inclination. 

Occasionally losing interest in sex is normal, and libido levels change throughout life. It's also typical for instances when your interests don't align with those of your partner. 

But for other people, a persistently low libido can be a source of worry. On occasion, it might be a sign of a hidden medical issue. 

Here are some possible reasons for men to have reduced libidos.

reduced testosterone:

An essential male hormone is testosterone. It is primarily made in the testicles in males. 

Testosterone is in charge of increasing bone density, muscle mass, and sperm production. Your sex drive is influenced by your testosterone levels as well. 

The normal testosterone levels can differ. However, according to recommendations from the American Urological Association, adult males are deemed to have low testosterone, or low T, when their levels dip below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) (AUA). 

Your desire for sex falls as your testosterone levels do. 

Age-related testosterone decline is a typical aspect of aging. However, a sharp decline in testosterone might cause a reduction in libido.


A reduced libido may result from testosterone levels being decreased by several drugs. 

For instance, blood pressure drugs like beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors may prevent erections and ejaculation. 

Other drugs that can reduce testosterone levels consist of: 

  • radiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment. 
  •  hormones used to treat prostate cancer. 
  • corticosteroids. 
  • opioid painkillers such morphine (MorphaBond, MS Contin), oxycodone, and others (OxyContin, Percocet). 
  • a ketoconazole-based antifungal drug. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn are treated with the drug cimetidine (Tagamet) (GERD). 
  • anabolic steroids, which athletes may use to build more muscle. 
  • certain antidepressants

Consult your doctor if you're feeling the affects of low testosterone. They might suggest that you change your medication.

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) 

The uncontrolled urge to move your legs is known as restless legs syndrome (RLS). According to a study, men with RLS are more likely than those without RLS to experience erectile dysfunction (ED). When a guy is unable to achieve or maintain an erection, ED sets in. 

Researchers found that males with at least five RLS episodes per month were almost 50% more likely to develop ED than men without RLS. 

Additionally, males who experienced RLS episodes more frequently were significantly more likely to lose their sexual function.


A person's life is altered by depression in every way. People who are depressed report having little to no interest in once-pleasurable activities, including sex.

Other antidepressants that might cause low libido include: 

SNRIs (inhibitors of serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake), such as duloxetine (Cymbalta). 

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline and fluoxetine (Prozac) (Zoloft).

The norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NRDI) bupropion, which is found in the medications Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL, hasn't been demonstrated to lessen libido. 

If you take antidepressants and have a reduced libido, talk to your doctor. By changing your medicine or your dose, they may be able to reduce your negative effects.

persistent disease 

Sexual activity is probably not high on your priority list when you're not feeling well because of the symptoms of a chronic health condition, such chronic pain. 

Your sperm production counts might also be decreased by several diseases, such cancer. 

Your libido may also be affected by the following chronic conditions:

obesity and type 2 diabetes 
blood pressure is high. 
chronic failure of the liver, kidney, heart, and lungs due to excessive cholesterol 

Ask your partner for advice on how to be intimate when you're dealing with a chronic disease. You can also think considering discussing your difficulties with a marriage counselor or sex therapist.

trouble sleeping 

Nonobese males with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have reduced testosterone levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Thus, desire and sexual arousal are thus reduced. 

Researchers in the study discovered that testosterone levels were lower in approximately one-third of the males with severe sleep apnea. 

During a week of sleep deprivation to five hours each night, testosterone levels in young, healthy males were shown to drop by 10 to 15% in another recent studyTrusted Source. 

The effects of sleep deprivation on testosterone levels, the researchers discovered, were particularly pronounced between 2:00 pm and 10:00 pm the following day.


Men reach their peak testosterone levels in their late teens, which are related to libido. 

It could take longer to ejaculate, experience orgasms, and feel aroused as you age. Your erections could not be as strong, and your penis might take longer to erect. 

But there are drugs out now that can help treat these problems.


Sexual desire may diminish if you're preoccupied by events or stressful times. This is due to the fact that stress can alter your hormone levels. Stress can cause your arteries to constrict. This constriction limits blood flow and could result in ED. 

According to a study that was published in Scientific Research and Essays, stress directly contributes to both men's and women's sexual issues. 

Added research 

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were discovered to have a more than threefold greater risk of sexual dysfunction, according to a reliable source.

It's difficult to avoid stress. Relationship issues, divorce, coping with a loved one's death, financial difficulties, the birth of a child, or a busy work environment are just a few examples of life events that can have a significant impact on the desire for sex. 

Techniques for reducing stress, like breathing exercises, meditation, and counseling, may be beneficial. 

One study, for instance, found that an 8-week stress management program significantly improved the erectile function scores of men who had just received an ED diagnosis.

lack of confidence 

The general view that a person has of themselves is known as self-esteem. Your mental well-being can suffer if you have low self-esteem, lack of confidence, or a negative body image. 

Sexual experiences will probably be less enjoyable if you think you're unattractive or unappealing. You could even want to postpone having sex altogether if you don't like what you see in the mirror. 

Low self-esteem can also result in sexual performance anxiety, which can exacerbate ED problems and decrease sexual desire. 

Self-esteem difficulties have been associated with decreased libido, but over time, they can also lead to more serious mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and substance misuse.

inadequate (or excessive) exercise 

Low sex drive in males can also be brought on by inadequate or excessive exercise. 

Getting too little (or no) exercise can result in a number of health issues that might influence arousal and sexual desire. 

Regular physical activity may lower your risk of developing chronic illnesses including obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, all of which are linked to a low libido. 

Exercise can assist enhance sex desire because it is known to lower cortisol levels at night and lessen stress. 

On the other side, excessive exercise has been linked to a decline in sexual health. 

One study found a clear correlation between lower male libido scores and greater levels of chronic, long-term, intensive endurance exercise.


A reduction in testosterone production has also been associated with heavy alcohol consumption, or having more than 14 mixed drinks per week. Excessive alcohol consumption can eventually make you less sexually motivated. 

Men who routinely consume three or more alcoholic beverages are advised to think about cutting back, according to the Cleveland Clinic. A typical adult male should have two drinks of alcohol or less each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Reliable Source); exceeding this limit can harm one's health over the long run.

drug abuse 

In addition to alcohol, testosterone production has also been linked to usage of tobacco, marijuana, and illegal narcotics like opioids. This may lead to a loss of sexual arousal. 

Smoking has been discovered to have a detrimental effect on sperm motility and production.

Effects of reduced libido on the body and the mind 

Men often find it quite disturbing when their sex drive declines. The inability to keep an erection for long enough to have satisfying sex is one of a number of physical and psychological adverse effects that can result from low libido. 

Anxiety about sex might develop in men with ED. This can cause him and his partner to get tense and argue, which might result in fewer sex acts and more relationship problems overall. 

Depression, problems with one's self-esteem, and negative body perception can all result from doing poorly due to an ED.


Treating the underlying problem is frequently necessary for treating low libido. 

You might need to change drugs if your low libido is brought on by a medical problem. You might need to seek relationship counseling from a therapist if your low libido has psychological origins. 

Additionally, you can take action on your own to increase libido. The following activities may boost your libido: 

  • adopting a more healthful way of life 
  • obtaining adequate sleep, 
  • managing stress,
  • adopting a healthy diet

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