More than one in three men have admitted to having experienced at least one form of desire disorder in the last 12 months. Still too taboo for men, low libido in men is more present than you might think. And although our society might make us think otherwise, it's actually a rather commonplace situation.
What are the causes of low libido in men? Can all men experience low libido in their lifetime? Today we answer all these questions to better understand it.
1 What is libido?
2 The causes of low libido in men
3 Treatments for loss of libido in men
What is libido?
Libido is also called sexual desire. It denotes the energy relating to sexual behavior. In some people, the libido is almost non-existent and becomes a normality; while in others, this sexual desire is rather exacerbated.
When do we talk about low libido?
A decrease in libido in men is very common as we age, it can vary over time and each person's personal experiences. However, we speak of desire disorders, otherwise known as hypoactive sexual desire, when the problem has been present for at least 3 months and the person concerned suffers from this situation.
The decrease or absence of sexual desire called anaphrodisia is not new since many epidemiological studies have been looking into this subject for decades. They were then able to demonstrate a strong presence of low libido in the general population, thus leading to the main cause of consultations in clinical sexology (source).
The causes of low libido in men
The causes of low libido are multiple and specific to each person. This is why it is useless to self-diagnose according to what we hear, and to consult your sexologist doctor if the problem persists.
Indeed, although the decrease in libido is generally natural and progressive, it can also be a sign of as yet undetected health problems.
The psychological cause of low libido
The psychological aspect affects a majority of the population. It very often influences our daily lives, even during the most intimate moments.
The stress of everyday life
As with anyone and regardless of gender, daily stress can be one of the main factors in a low libido. Directly affecting testosterone levels, a highly stressed person may experience a significant loss of sexual desire.
It is therefore not uncommon for the man to be able to regain his libido once he is on a weekend or on vacation, because he is less stressed and less taken up by the worries of everyday life.
In general, sleep disorders are increasingly present in our society. Many studies have been conducted to better understand the impact on our health of such a lack of sleep.
We therefore know today that it only takes one week of restrictive sleep, equivalent to 5 hours a night, to reduce your testosterone levels by 10 to 15% (source). The symptoms would also be very pronounced between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. the following day.
People prone to depression are often victims of a lack of interest in multiple activities, such as sex (source). This drop in libido occurs in particular by a considerable drop in self -esteem leading to a total disinterest in pleasure.
In addition, people taking antidepressants may experience side effects, in particular by taking Prozac (source).
The hormonal cause of the drop in libido in humans
The hormonal impact is also very important in men. Indeed, testosterone is often one of the factors of different problems of sexuality , and libido is also the first concerned.
Andropause is a collection of symptoms in men as they age and is primarily characterized by a decrease in testosterone levels. It is one of the main reasons for the decrease in libido in men over 45 (source).
Although it is still misdiagnosed, the symptoms and their intensity can be different from one man to another. That's why, if you experience a sharp drop in libido and you're over 45, it's best to go see your doctor. Thus you will address the potential androgen deficiency and you will do blood tests to know your testosterone level.
The drop in testosterone
Testosterone supports the production of sperm, the development of muscle mass, or the general regulation of energy. Finally, when the rate is at half mast, a decrease in libido may also be developed.
Besides andropause, the decrease in testosterone levels can be present in all men, even before the age of 45. Other factors may be associated with lower testosterone levels such as:
– Poor diet – Too much sedentary lifestyle – Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs – Excess weight and abdominal obesity.
The medical cause of low libido in men
A low libido can also result from medical problems. Whether it is in the case of a sudden or prolonged drop in libido, it is important to consult to know the exact cause and to be able to treat it.
Generally, when we live with a chronic disease, we rarely feel in good health. Indeed, due to the recurrent pain that a disease can cause, sexual desire takes a hit.
Certain chronic illnesses have a major influence on testosterone levels :
– Type 2 diabetes – Obesity – High cholesterol – Kidney failure – High blood pressure – Thyroid problem.
All these diseases require regular medication, and in addition to their associated pain, the side effects of treatments can have a significant impact on libido.
restless leg syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Also called nocturnal impatience, they usually manifest during the night with discomfort in the lower limbs leaving unpleasant sensations.
It then becomes difficult to simply rest or sit too long. This syndrome is said to be one of the causes of erectile dysfunction in men, leading to a significant drop in libido (source).
Taking certain medications
Unfortunately, some medications can lower testosterone levels, resulting in low libido. Medications like antidepressants, cancer drugs, beta-blockers, etc. can cause side effects, and therefore lead to a significant loss of sexual desire. (source)
Treatments for loss of libido in men
Two types of treatment exist for loss of libido in men.
The first is psychological with support for the patient: psychotherapy or behavioral therapies for the man or the couple.
The second is in the form of testosterone intake in the form of a patch, gel, or injection. Testosterone supplementation is only recommended if the patient has low levels of this hormone.
Find all the solutions against libido disorders in our dedicated article.
Low libido is not a disease and is more present than we think in men. Don't forget that the best way to prevent a loss of desire is to talk to your doctor about it.
Knowing the cause is the first step. Thus, you will be able to find the appropriate solutions for a boosted libido again.