Low libido is a problem that often doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. There are several reasons for this. One is that we generally don’t like the idea of talking about our sex lives and that even includes speaking about it with our doctors. Another is that libido is psychosomatic – meaning in other words that it is at least to some degree controlled by the brain. This makes it all too easy to write off as ‘just stress’ or otherwise ‘no big deal’, when in fact it can be the result of complex and sometimes even serious biological changes.
And apart from anything else, low libido is a serious symptom in and of itself. While it might not be life threatening, it can damage your self-esteem, place a strain on your relationship and rob you of one of life’s real joys. So if you are struggling with it, it’s something you should get looked at as soon as possible.
Causes of Low Libido
It is true that low libido can sometimes be caused by more straightforward problems. A common cause for example is stress. When we produce stress hormones, this can suppress the production of testosterone and prevents estrogens from acting normally in the brain. It’s not simply a matter that you don’t want to have sex because you’re stressed – the stress is causing biological changes that prevent arousal.
The same is also true for other emotional problems such as depression and of course relationship difficulties can also damage sex drive, as can a lack of self-esteem.
But moreover, a low sex drive can also be a sign of a hormonal imbalance and there are numerous things that can cause this, including:
- Medication – Low libido is a common complication of the oral contraceptive pill, as well as anticonvulsants and antidepressants
- Various illnesses including diabetes and cancer
- Poor sleep
- Poor diet
As you can see then, this may very well point to complex problems with the body’s natural hormone cycle, so it’s important not to simply write it off.
What to Do If You Have Low Libido?
So what should you do if you have low libido? The first and most important step is to speak with your doctor. They will be able to advise if the problem may be to do with any medication you might be using and they can assess other symptoms of various conditions affecting your hormones. They may also be able to carry out a blood test which will be able to look at levels of certain hormones and other markers in your blood. If these are lacking, then your doctor might be able to prescribe medication, which could include HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
You should also think about making lifestyle changes regarding your diet, your sleep and your exercise. Exercise is one of the most effective tools for altering your hormone balance and can help you to improve your general health as well. Getting outdoors is also important, as this will increase your body’s ability to produce vitamin D, which in turn can act like a master key for your hormones, improve your sleep and provide you with more fresh air.