Sexual gratification is one of the most basic needs every human being experiences, and there are multiple factors at play here. The act of sexual intercourse involves a lot of physical and psychological factors, and the major factor that governs the entire act is the couple’s libido. In a layman’s language, libido is the individual’s overall sexual drive or the desire to indulge in a sexual activity. This libido is widely dependent on several biological, social, and psychological factors, and it can fluctuate for better or for worse.
Though there are times when one might not be “very interested” in getting intimate with their partner, if it occurs for a prolonged period, there are high chances that the individual’s libido is affected. The term “low libido” is used to describe decreased interest in sexual activity. It is normal for the individual’s libido to fluctuate, but if it remains persistent, it can be a sign of an underlying health condition. Also, both men and women can fall prey to low libido, but it is treatable.
Read on to understand the major causes of low libido in men and women.
Often, low libido can be attributed to being a side-effect of certain medications. The medications used to control blood pressure such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are known to cause low libido in men by preventing erections and ejaculation. Other medications like chemotherapy, corticosteroids, hormone therapy, opioid pain relievers, certain antifungal medications, antidepressants, anabolic steroids, and some medications used to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause low libido.
Stress can affect one’s life in unthinkable ways, and low libido is one of them. The human body is quite intricate and has several unconventional ways of dealing with the problem at hand. So, when an individual is stressed, the body reacts to it by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, and chronic stress causes the hormone levels to go haywire and this affects the individual’s libido. In men, the arteries narrow and restrict the flow of blood to the penis in response to stress. This eventually leads to erectile dysfunction.
Another cause of low libido is depression. In fact, low libido and depression share a very complicated link. Depression is known to change the body’s biochemistry and thereby reduces libido. In fact, it is difficult for one to experience any sexual feelings when they feel depressed. Also, certain antidepressants like serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can affect one’s libido.
Pain during sex
Women’s libido takes a hit when they experience intense pain during sex. The excruciating pain they experience during sex often deters them from having sex. Also, when women can’t orgasm, it directly affects their desire to have sex.
When an individual suffers from any chronic health condition, sex might not be something they might desire in such a state. Chronic pain or illnesses like cancer can cause low libido, and the treatments for these health issues can have a direct impact on the individual’s libido. For instance, illnesses like cancer can reduce sperm production and the medications can affect the individual’s libido. Other chronic illnesses that can cause low libido include obesity; type 2 diabetes; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; and chronic lung, kidney, heart, and liver failure.