What is low libido?
Low libido, or low sex drive, is when an individual experiences a decreased interest in sexual activity and intercourse. It can affect both men and women and has many potential contributing factors.
Some key things to know about low libido:
- Prevalence: Low libido is very common, affecting up to 1 in 3 adults at some point. It can develop gradually over time or suddenly.
- Causes: Common causes include relationship issues, stress, anxiety, depression, poor body image, hormonal changes due to conditions like menopause or low testosterone, chronic illness, medications, poor diet and lifestyle habits, prior negative sexual experiences, and more.
- Impact on relationships: Low libido often impacts romantic partnerships negatively and can lead to tension, reduced intimacy, infidelity, and relationship dissolution in severe cases. Open communication about sexual needs is important.
- Treatment: Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options for low libido can include lifestyle changes, sex therapy, addressing relationship conflict, hormone replacement therapy, treating underlying medical issues, changing medications, and more. Discuss options with a healthcare provider.
Now to dive deeper into some key aspects of low sexual desire:
What Factors Contribute to Low Libido?
There are many potential biological, psychological, and interpersonal factors that can suppress libido, including:
- Hormonal changes - Low testosterone, menopause, postpartum changes
- Chronic diseases - Diabetes, cancer, hypertension
- Medications - Antidepressants, blood pressure drugs
- Mental health problems - Depression, anxiety, stress
- Exhaustion/low energy
- Poor body image or self-esteem
- History of abuse or trauma
- Relationship difficulties - Lack of intimacy, anger, mismatched sex drives
- Prior negative sexual encounters - Pain, pressure, dysfunction
Low libido has diverse causes so identifying the root issue is key. Our hormone doctors and sexual health professionals analyze all contributing variables. Customized low libido therapy empowers patients to reclaim intimacy.
What Are Signs And Symptoms of Low Libido?
How can you tell if your libido is indeed low versus undergoing a temporary fluctuation? Key signs and symptoms signaling low sex drive include:
- Little desire or interest in sex for months
- Never/rarely initiating intimate activity
- No erotic thoughts or fantasies
- Discomfort when asked to have sex
- Lack of enjoyment despite participating
- Feeling emotionally withdrawn from partner
If the above persist, reflect on when you felt differently. Gradually diminishing motivation for sex versus lifelong lack of interest can have different roots. Note also connection between mind and body - do you still get physically aroused? Trouble with sexual performance despite desire can contribute to avoidance.
Monitor your symptoms and determine if professional support could help uncover why your libido is lower than optimal. Meet with an understanding provider like our empathetic clinicians to create a safe space for difficult conversations about intimate struggles.