Loss of male libido
What is loss of male libido?
Low libido or low sex drive refers to a lack of interest in sex and sexual desire. Sexual desire often rises and falls over time for no apparent reason. It is very common for people to lose interest in sex (low sex drive or, low libido), from time to time.
What are the symptoms of low libido?
Symptoms of low sex drive or loss of libido might be:
- having no interest in any type of sex including masturbation
- rarely or never having sexual fantasies or thinking of sex
- being unhappy with your low desire for sexual activity or thoughts of sex
CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Sexual health and lower body Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.
What causes low libido?
Low sex drive can be caused by physical and psychological factors. Your libido can rise due to things like relationship pleasures, good health, fitness, holidays and relaxation.
Your libido can fall due to things in your life like relationship problems, the birth of a child, stress, overwork, too much or not enough exercise, or personal issues.
Other things that can impact your sex drive include:
- low levels of the hormone testosterone
- anxiety, depression or fatigue
- being in pain
- some medicines, such as antidepressants, high blood pressure medication and epilepsy medication
- alcohol, smoking or drugs
- some medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea or diabetes
- negative sexual experiences and low self esteem
- history of unwanted sexual contact
- trauma or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
What strategies can help improve my sex drive?
If you have low libido (low sex drive) because of stress, personal or relationship issues, it may be helpful to talk to your partner about how you are feeling. Not talking about it can sometimes make sexual issues more difficult.
You may feel uncomfortable talking about sex. Try asking your partner how they feel about your sex life first.
If you lose interest in sex for no apparent reason, and you or your partner are worried about it, talk to your doctor.
Remember there’s more to sex than having intercourse. If your interest in having sex has decreased, you may want to try some more sensual methods of becoming aroused. These include:
- exploring and caressing each other’s bodies
- taking a bath or shower together
- having a massage
- kissing each other slowly and in sensual places (such as the thigh)
- undressing each other
- experimenting with different sexual techniques alone or with others
What treatments are there for low sex drive?
If you’re worried about low sex drive, see your doctor. They may suggest you alter your medications or cut down on alcohol or drug use. They will check to see there is no medical reason for your low sex drive, such as diabetes. In some men, testosterone therapy can help, or your doctor may recommend relationship counselling if needed.
What else can you do?
Leading a healthy life may improve your chances of having a healthy sex life. You could try:
- losing weight if you are overweight
- reducing the amount of alcohol you drink
- not using illegal drugs
- reducing stress
- taking regular exercise
- giving up smoking
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Last reviewed: May 2022