Your libido is simply your sex drive, and it refers to both your mental and emotional craving for sex. It is unique to you and varies between people 1, 2. For instance, what seems like a normal sex drive to you might be lower or higher than what other person experiences 3. When you're suffering from low libido, you might experience many distressing feelings. This article looks at seven things that can decrease your libido.
7 things that can decrease your libido
1. High blood pressure
According to an article by Mayo Clinic, high blood pressure may affect ejaculation and decrease sexual desire 4, 5. Moreover, certain hypertension medications may also cause similar negative effects.
With time, hypertension disrupts the lining of the blood vessels, causing arteries to toughen and narrow – a condition called atherosclerosis 6, 7, therefore restraining blood flow, which subsequently means limited blood flows down there.
For some men, reduced blood flow in the genitals makes it harder to attain and sustain erections 8, 9, 10.
2. Low testosterone levels
While some men may sustain sexual drive even at comparatively low testosterone levels, others may find it difficult even with normal levels 11. Low T levels are among the potential causes of low sex drive 12.
Testosterone is among the group of hormones that physiologically triggers libido in men. Low testosterone, also clinically known as hypogonadism 13, is an abnormal testosterone level in the blood.
Many studies have linked low testosterone levels with erectile dysfunction 14.
3. Poor sleep
Poor sleep is also associated with unstimulated sexual desire in men and women with high testosterone levels 15.
Moreover, not getting enough sleep may also cause low libido. Infertility and erectile dysfunction 16.
4. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes disruptions in your breathing while you sleep. Sleep apnea has been found to reduce sex drive in both men and women 17, 18. If untreated, sleep apnea can cause sexual dysfunction in both genders, according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine in 2020.
Another study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2009 found that obstructive sleep apnea is associated with both sexual and erectile dysfunction 19.
Your emotional and mental state is mirrored by your sexual performance. Positive mental health can improve performance many fold and vice versa. Depression, stress, and anxiety tend to greatly lower your sexual desires 20.
To have a healthy, normal sexual life, it is important to ensure you keep stress at bay or at least find ways to manage it.
6. Medical condition
Medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and obesity have been found to negatively impact a person's sexual drive 21.
See your doctor if you feel the medication you are taking affects your sex drive. The GP can review it and, if possible, switch your drugs.
Studies have shown that smoking affects both estrogen and testosterone levels in both men and women. These two are hormones responsible for a large part of our sexual drive 22.
Smoking is one of the number one killer habits that affect an individual's libido. Equally, drinking and drug abuse can also cause low sex drive 23.
When you're suffering from a low sex drive, you may experience several negative feelings. Some of these might be caused by poor health; others could be triggered by certain lifestyle choices that initially seem harmless but have negative effects over time.
If you are experiencing any of the above factors, it is best to check yourself out. From high blood pressure to low testosterone levels and poor sleep, many things can potentially decrease your libido. Remember, you don't need to suffer in silence. There is certainly a way to reinvigorate your sex drive and get you feeling like a man/woman again.