There’s no reason to feel shame for having a low libido. As most men age, a decreased interest in sexual activity is normal.
It’s also normal to experience peaks and valleys in your sex drive over time. However, if you notice a consistent flatline in your libido––and issues like erectile dysfunction and stress are getting in the way in the bedroom––it may be time to look for answers.
Most men don't realize that there are 4 common causes of low libido, and they can happen at practically any time. Identifying those common causes and addressing them can be the first steps to regain control of your sex life and your confidence.
1. Low Testosterone
Nearly 4 out of every 10 men over 45 have low testosterone.
Why is testosterone important for libido? Because testosterone is not only responsible for accelerating the growth of muscle and bone mass––it’s also responsible for sperm production, which has a direct link to your sex drive.
Some signs you have low testosterone:
- Loss of muscle mass
- Increased body fat
- Mood swings
- Worsening memory
It’s normal to experience a decline in testosterone as you age. For most men, it starts decreasing after age 30. In fact, between 19 and 39 percent of older men have low T. But there are other factors besides aging that can cause low T (otherwise known as male hypogonadism):
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Injury to testes
- Steroids and opiates
No matter the cause, low testosterone is a major factor in a lowered sex drive. A fantastic solution for low T is testosterone replacement therapy. It can be a noninvasive treatment, administered in the form of a pellet that releases a steady dose of testosterone into your system for up to six months.
2. Depression & Other Emotional Troubles
As much as most men would prefer otherwise, your emotional state plays a big role in your sex drive. If your mind and emotions aren’t aligned with your body, then it’s hard to become sexually excited.
Depression changes your body’s biochemistry, which, in turn, affects your sex drive. A big part of sexual pleasure is the anticipation. Depression can prevent you from feeling this anticipation and leave you struggling to look forward to moments of intimacy.
Similarly, stress can also play a role in your libido. Your body responds to stress by releasing both adrenaline and cortisol, which at high levels can actually result in fertility problems in both men and women. Stress can also restrict blood flow and cause arteries to narrow, which can increase the potential for erectile dysfunction.
If you struggle with stress and/or depression, that may be causing low libido. You’ll have to address those mental and emotional troubles before you can tackle the rest of your sex drive.
3. Lack Of Sleep
Lack of sleep has a negative effect on your testosterone levels. One study found that just a single week of sleep deprivation (meaning less than 5 hours of sleep a night) caused otherwise healthy men’s testosterone levels to lower by 15%. That’s a testosterone drop that usually happens over the course of 10 to 15 years of normal aging.
In short, a lack of sleep lowers your testosterone, which in turn lowers your libido.
And let’s face it. If you’re low on sleep and you get into bed with your partner, the prospect of simply shutting your eyes and falling asleep will be more appealing in the moment than having sex. What’s more is that the lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels, which can further lead to lower sex drive and erectile dysfunction.
If you want to increase your libido and feel the urge to “sleep” with your partner more, start first by literally sleeping with them.
4. Substance Abuse
- Alcohol––Although a bit of alcohol can help lower your inhibitions and thus increase your sex drive, there’s a limit to its positive effects. Alcohol can depress your central nervous system, decrease blood flow to your penis, and increase the hormone angiotensin, which is linked to ED. All of which can take a toll on your libido.
- Tobacco––Cigarettes decrease blood flow and make it more difficult to get an erection, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Nicotine has also been shown to decrease sexual arousal. According to one study, nonsmoking men have twice as much sex as smoking men, in large part due to its negative impacts on arousal and sexual performance.
- Marijuana––Much like alcohol, many people believe marijuana improves sexual drive. Although it may lower inhibitions to a certain extent, its overall effects are negative when it comes to male libido. Marijuana has been found to suppress the pituitary gland, which is critical in the production of testosterone. Marijuana reduces your testosterone and, subsequently, your sex drive.
Reclaim Your Libido
Low libido can be a vicious cycle. You may feel stressed, which makes you lose sleep, which makes you more stressed, which makes you more likely to abuse substances, which lowers your libido. All the while, you’re left wondering where your sex drive went.
At Matrix Age Management, we believe that everyone deserves great sex. That’s why we offer a wide variety of sexual health treatments, so you and your partner can have satisfying sex again.
Our Sexual Vitality treatment options include hormone replacement therapy, peptides, the P-Shot, and the GAINSWave male ED therapy.
To learn which treatment might be best for you, schedule a consultation.