Low Libido

What is low libido?
The definition of low libido is when sexual desire is diminished or absent. The definition also varies according to the patient’s level of satisfaction of his own sexual desire. Some men can be very fulfilled with what some men consider scarce sexual activity.
Sexual desire problems affect approximately 5% to 15% of men in the general population. Libido is mainly a hormonal and brain phenomenon. Sexual desire requires normal levels of testosterone (male hormone) in the blood and a certain attraction for the partner in question.
 

What are the risk factors for low libido?
The risk factors for low libido in men include:

  • Age because testosterone concentration will decrease over the years
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Malnourishment
  • Smoking
  • Drug consumption
  • Conditions requiring medication that lowers testosterone, depression,benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), pain, and prostate cancer

 

What causes low libido?
Many causes have been identified as contributing to the diminishment of sexual desire. They include:

  • Medications (SSRIs, anti-androgens, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, opioid analgesics)
  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hypoactive sexual disorder
  • Recreational drugs
  • Relationship problems
  • Other sexual dysfunction (fear of humiliation)
  • Sexual aversion disorder
  • Systemic illness
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Stress
  • Lack of time
  • History of sexual abuse
  • Hormonal problems such as hyperthyroidism

 

What are the symptoms of low libido?
The person that lacks sexual desire won’t want to initiate the sexual relation. If the act is initiated, low libido can also present itself as the inability to attain an erection. If the patient experiences a first episode of erectile dysfunction without any previous sexual symptoms and adequate nocturnal erection, the cause is probably psychogenic and the problem is not the erection. It is also important to specify if the low libido is new in onset or if one has always felt this way about sexual relations.