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.
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.
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
- Heart disease
- 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 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.
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
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)
- ACE inhibitors
- Anabolic steroids
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.
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.