How to Treat Libido Problems in Men
The term ‘low libido’ describes depleted sex drive which results in a below-the-norm sexual activity of an individual. When this is the case, a relationship with your partner may begin to show signs of strain, while doubts and suspicion may arise. Fortunately, discovering an underlying cause helps treat the issue effectively.
Low libido does not mean the same as erectile dysfunction (ED), so it requires a different approach. Only combined efforts of both partners involved can produce a positive result. To succeed, it is necessary to locate an exact underlying cause and choose a therapy accordingly. Hormone replacement, psychotherapy, a medicinal course or just lifestyle changes can be applied depending on your specific situation.
Sometimes, the problem can be caused by multiple factors, which is a common situation. So one should apply comprehensive treatment. Low testosterone levels, medications, stress, chronic health conditions – all those factors can add to libido issues. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Low Testosterone Levels
Hypogonadism, which is the medical name for low testosterone levels, is typically developed in male individuals with age. Sometimes, however, younger people can be affected for a number of reasons too. Testosterone, a male-specific hormone, is vital for proper body development, muscle strength and adequate sex drive. Levels below 300-350 ng/dl can result in a libido drop.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a highly effective and popular treatment approach focused on this specific underlying cause. It has associated risks though, such as:
- Higher blood clotting and strokes in patients with cardiovascular disorders;
- Sleep apnea;
- Breast enlargement, etc.
Low male libido can be a side effect with certain medications. Antidepressants, beta-blockers, antipsychotics, statins, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and other drug groups can provide this adverse effect to varying degrees.
Some over-the-counter products are known to be responsible for poor libido too, specifically when overdosed or taken for a long time. If there is a suspected drug, it is advisable to stop taking it immediately and consult your doctor to make them assess the situation and substitute the culprit with another, safer product. In less severe cases, just adjusting a dose can help.
This is one of the most common causes behind poor sex drive in men. However, it can be the consequence too, which only aggravates the situation. Psychotherapy is the major treatment approach in this case. Antidepressant medicines, while quite effective, are known to suppress libido in many men rather than improve it. When this occurs, dosage reduction or switching medications cab be recommended. Just taking drugs after, not before, sex can be a valid solution too.
Reduced sex drive can be just an indicator of another problem in your body. This is often the case with conditions accompanied by chronic fatigue or pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, fibromyalgia etc.
When low libido is associated with a chronic condition, there is no a straightforward treatment approach besides curing the disease itself. This is because long-term health problems typically cause more health problems as well as affect the hormonal balance and cardiovascular function.
Additionally, medications administered to treat the underlying condition can further suppress libido in men. That being said, make sure your doctor considers the sexual life aspect too. You will need to provide feedback to elaborate an optimum treatment schedule together.
This is another major factor able to deplete your sexual drive. The problem is that stress is not an obvious cause for many people. Hidden deep inside your brain, it can trigger the cortisol production in your body. This alarm hormone causes blood vessels constriction thus adding to erectile dysfunction and resulting in a precipitous testosterone levels drop.
It is common knowledge that stress is responsible for sleep abnormalities, such as insomnia. This only promotes fatigue accumulation and lower interest in sex. Studies show that high cortisol levels can result in obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition directly associated with the daytime testosterone drop by 10%-15%.
Treatment can be based on stress management and sleep improvement practices. In many cases, stress is a side condition of an anxiety disorder, which requires pharmaceutical treatment. How the administered drugs affect your sexual aspect should be considered when deciding on a treatment course.
What lifestyle a man follows affects, among others, his libido level too. Unhealthy lifestyle patterns can result in sex drive depletion. The good news is that, in this case, the situation can be corrected by just stopping doing wrong things and returning to healthy lifestyle practices. The most common lifestyle factors include:
- Smoking. According to studies, it not only increases risks of getting ED, but also suppresses sexual arousal.
- Alcohol. If abused, used in excessive amounts and over a long period of time, alcohol causes testosterone levels reduction thus destroying a man’s sexual function.
- Obesity. This is another major risk factor, which acts through impairing metabolism and production of hormones, which, in turn, significantly reduces testosterone levels in the body. Keeping always fit and energized is beneficial to the sexual function.
Please, keep in mind that poor libido can rarely be attributed to a single factor, so correcting your lifestyle patterns is to be done in parallel with in-depth health condition examination by a medical specialist.
A Bottom Line
Loss of libido is a common reason why so many relationships go broken over time. Instead of blaming each other, partners will be better off to focus on finding out an actual underlying cause and defining an approach to correcting the situation.
An open and frank discussion is to focus on both somatic and mental potential causes. This will help you choose the right doctor to consult. While the problem may take some time to resolve, chances to succeed are high enough. Most of the time, low libido has only temporary nature, so it is worth to invest some time and efforts to return your sexual life to normal.