Causes of Low Sexual Desire in Men

Low sexual desire in men can be caused by one factor, of course, but it is most commonly the result of multiple factors working together. In this leaflet, we will run through the common causes of low sexual desire in men, in detail.

Mental Health Conditions

Depression and anxiety, two of the most common mental health conditions can have various negative effects on an individual's life. Both conditions reduce sexual desire significantly due to
- Anxious or depressed thoughts
- Increased performance anxiety
- Lack of interest in sexual activity
- Increased insecurities, etc. 

Other mental health conditions that could result in low sexual desire symptoms include physical or sexual abuse, PTSD, OCD (an anxiety disorder), and bipolar disorder.

Medical Conditions 

Many chronic illnesses result in physical pain, not to mention taking a huge mental health toll on the individual experiencing it. Some conditions that reduce sexual desire as a consequence of their symptoms and effects are
- Cancer
- Diabetes
- Heart disease
- Arthritis
- Hypercholesterolemia
- Obesity
- Major organ failure: kidney, liver, 

With medical conditions that require medication treatment and/or affect mental health enough to cause depression, can exaggerate low sexual desire or libido.

Sexual Dysfunctions

Sexual health conditions such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature or Delayed Ejaculation, and Performance Anxiety, can all lead to low sexual desire or low libido. Conditions such as the ones mentioned above are very common but have a huge stigma associated with as little as a conversation around them. Men tend to be embarrassed by their symptoms, worried about satisfying their partner, and engage in isolation. This unfortunately can reduce their desire to engage in sexual activity as it doesn’t make them feel good or satisfied. 

Hormone Imbalance - Low Testosterone 

Testosterone, a significant reproductive hormone in men, is responsible for many male characteristics. This includes physicalities such as increased facial hair during puberty, aiding in sustaining a male's sex drive, and allowing for optimum sperm production. 

What are low testosterone levels in men?
When a male reaches early adulthood, his testosterone levels are at their highest. However, as he gets older, testosterone levels begin to decline, especially after the age of 40 or 45 years. As per experts, low testosterone levels are considered to be diagnosed after a blood test that is usually done before 10.30 am.

While low testosterone levels are common in older men, it is very possible in younger men as well. These low levels can impact an individual's sex life in the following ways.
- Reduced sex drive or libido
- Reduced physical male characteristics such as muscle or hair loss
- Increased fatigue 

Side Effects Of Medications 

Medications have a lot of side effects that are not focused on and so catch many off guard. There are certain classes of medications that can cause low sexual desire or low libido in men. These include
- Antidepressants (SSRIs & SNRIs)
- Antipsychotics
- Beta-blockers
- Benzodiazepines
- Chemotherapy
- ACE inhibitors
- Anabolic steroids

Lifestyle Disruptions

Lifestyle choices greatly affect an individual's physical and mental health. Unfortunately, common vices such as smoking cigarettes are not focused on the effects they cause. Many people forget those bad lifestyle choices can affect their sex life as well.
- Binge alcohol drinking: can lead to low testosterone levels
- Increased stagnant or sedentary state: lack of activity can increase weight and risk for chronic medical conditions such as heart disease
- Smoking: increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Relationship / Interpersonal Concerns

Within a relationship - having frequent arguments can lead to intimacy issues. Sex is a significant part of a couple's life, and intimacy issues, over some time, can lead to a lack of sexual desire and/or libido.

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Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.


Remember - the blood flow (BF), the nerve supply, and the balance of sex hormones - a concern in any of these can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by a physical (a ‘hardware’ problem) or psychological (mental health effects) - mental health can play a huge part.

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be an indication of cardiovascular concerns? Chronic health conditions affecting blood flow can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

If a man lasts less than 2 minutes after penetration (all or most of the time), and/or if it leads to frequent dissatisfaction for him or his partner, he may have Premature Ejaculation.


The causes of Premature Ejaculation include:
(1) Physical Factors: Medical conditions, chronic health conditions, or sexual disorders are some physical causes of Premature Ejaculation.
(2) Psychological Factors: Depression, Anxiety 

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be a cause of Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation can lead to other sexual dysfunctions, but that is not a wide-known fact.


Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina tighten up during penetration.


Vaginismus is commonly caused by psychological factors. Women don't have control over the tightening, and it can be uncomfortable. Due to the physical discomfort, the anxiety or fear response gets worse, and this can lead to a cycle of avoidance.

Fact Check

Did you know that there are four types of Vaginismus?

(1) Primary Vaginismus

(2) Secondary Vaginismus

(3) Situational Vaginismus

(4) Global Vaginismus

Low Sexual Desire
Low Sexual Desire

Low sexual desire, commonly referred to as low libido, is a decrease in sex drive.


Individuals that experience low sexual desire due to various causes are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally by the symptoms the condition can cause.

Fact Check

Like other most common sexual disorders, low sexual desire can be influenced by many aspects, such as hormonal imbalance, increased age, side effects of medications, chronic illnesses, and addictive or compulsive behavior.

Couple Sex Problems
Couple Sex Problems

This would include concerns with infertility and/or conception. Sexual disorders such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, and Vaginismus can lead to challenges with pregnancy attempts.


There could be various causes of infertility, such as sexual dysfunctions, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions leading to low sexual desire and a low sperm count. A sexual health professional should evaluate the causes of failed pregnancy attempts because there can be a variety of causes.

Fact Check
Porn Addiction
Porn Addiction

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming excessively dependent on pornography leading to a disruption in their everyday life. This could include their job, relationships and at times, their day-to-day lifestyle.


The causes behind porn addiction could be:

(1) Negative sexual experiences

(2) Incorrect understanding of porn and its uses

(3) Initially trying to learn about sexual experiences, resulted in dependency

(4) Experiencing mental health disorders such as OCD (an anxiety disorder) or depression

Fact Check

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be associated with any shame. However, compulsive porn watching can have negative effects on your sexual, physical and mental health.

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