Low libido is a very relative term. What is considered to be low libido is not easy to define. There is no specific way of measuring the condition. It is safe to say that low libido is considered to be present when a man has noticed a decrease in his sexual drive and or that he is simply unhappy with the amount of libido he presents. THERE IS NO NORMAL LIBIDO.
There are several causes of low libido in men and they are mostly related to low testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone found in men and women. Men's testosterone is primarily produced in testicles while women produce testosterone in ovaries ( in a much smaller quantity than men.) Testosterone levels in men are considered low when they fall below 300 nanograms. The peak of testosterone levels in men is usually reached at age 20 and starts to descend each year after turning 30.
What Causes a Low Sex Drive in Men?
Some acquired causes of low testosterone levels are sleep apnea (periods of shallow breathing during sleep), taking certain medications (antidepressants, painkillers, steroids and blood pressure pills), normal aging, obesity and underlying chronic health conditions ( diabetes and heart disease).
So how can you tell if your testosterone levels are low? A simple blood test can reveal your testosterone level.
Testosterone levels are at their highest during the morning so it is best to get the blood test at this time. Any result ranging from 300 ng/dL to 1,000 ng/dL is considered to be normal (during youth). Other symptoms of low testosterone are: fatigue, loss of muscle mass, loss of beard growth, loss of body hair and increased body fat.
Other causes of low libido that are not directly correlated with testosterone levels are depression (decreases motivation in general), anxiety (dealing with many concerns can affect sex life), obesity (can make sex harder to perform and might cause insecurities), heart disease (can cause erectile dysfuncition) and performance expectations.
What Can Be Done in Order to Help out With a Low Libido in Men?
If experiencing low testosterone symptoms, a testosterone test would probably be a good idea. In case testosterone levels are actually low, there are plenty of ways a man can increase them. A good first step is improving life habits such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly (extreme endurance training can decrease libido) and eating healthy. It is all about balance! As cliché as this might sound, these are the most important factors for your body to be able to regulate hormonal levels. Of course testosterone replacement therapy is an option as well, and a very good one.
It is very important to identify what might be the cause of the low libido. By identifying the cause, treatment options can go from acupuncture to testosterone replacement therapy. Different people will benefit from different treatment approaches. Some men might benefit from integrative psychotherapy while others might benefit by changing medications (changes only to be made by a medical doctor). If you are bothered by low libido, it is recommended to visit your doctor for a check up. Your treatment might be simpler than you think.
Natasha Mikhail MD/MS Aesthetics and Longevity
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.