5 Surprising Causes of Low Libido

Low sex drive can have far-reaching effects for men and women both. It can negatively impact self-esteem, create feelings of guilt and causes tension in romantic relationships. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common. In fact, it has been estimated that one in five men will suffer a loss of libido in his lifetime and upwards of 50% of women will lose the desire for sexual activity.

There’s good news, though. Many times there’s a clear cause of a drop in libido—and many of those causes can be addressed with the help of a knowledgeable health expert. Here are some of the more surprising causes of low libido … and how you can fix them.

  1. Diabetes

When we think of the effects of diabetes, we don’t tend to think about sexual health. But if you think about it, it makes sense that poorly controlled diabetes can be at the root of low libido and sexual performance issues. After all, high blood sugar can cause nerve damage, as well as vascular problems. And don’t forget that people with type 2 diabetes often struggle with weight, which is a big contributor to chronic low grade inflammation in the body and very often related to dysfunction of the endocrine (hormonal) system.

For men, nerve damage makes it difficult to maintain an erection and to feel pleasurable sensations in the penis for men and vagina or clitoris for women. Vascular problems associated with diabetes can restrict blood flow to the penis and vagina, making it more difficult to get an erection for men and significantly impacts vaginal lubrication for women. Excess weight can also increase your chances of having erectile dysfunction (ED) or vaginal dryness and/or discomfort with intercourse.

These performance issues can make men and women feel emotionally stressed about sex, which is known to decrease libido.

Plus, type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for hormone imbalances as mentioned above leading to lower testosterone levels in both men and women!  When testosterone levels are low, libido plummets.  And most women think that testosterone is primarily a male hormone however, there are numerous symptoms in women – such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, weight gain, poor sleep, muscle loss, decreased metabolism, etc. – in addition to lost sex drive that is often times due to low testosterone. Bottom line here is, higher testosterone levels can not only cut the risk of type 2 diabetes but also restore your lost sex drive. 

If diabetes and/or weight are an issue for you then one way to get to the root of low libido is to get your blood sugar under control and get to a healthy weight. You can do that with a custom-tailored health and wellness program like our Body N Balance™ Wellness & Weight Loss System.

2. Stress, Psychological issues and Pharmaceutical Drugs

Job woes got you down? Stressed about money? Try as you might, it’s hard to turn those worries off when it’s time to get turned on. Stress is a major cause of both low libido and sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

Depression is another libido killer. That’s because when you’re depressed, you stop taking pleasure in once-pleasurable activities—like sex. Plus, it’s difficult to muster the energy for intimacy and connection when you’re feeling depressed.

Antidepressants may help treat depression, but unfortunately they can make matters in the bedroom worse. Low libido is a common side effect of most pharmaceutical antidepressants.

So what’s the solution? If your mood or life circumstances are getting in the way of your sex life, talk to a trusted healthcare professional who looks at the whole picture, instead of just treating symptoms. A combination of lifestyle approaches and holistic treatments can help address the stress and depression as a part of the cause of your low sex drive.  As a matter of fact, we have resources to refer clients to when they are interested in a non-pharmaceutical approach to addressing their stress and/or feelings of depression that have created tremendous results, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

In terms of pharmaceutical drugs, as mentioned above, antidepressant drugs are well known for the negative impact they have on libido in men and women however, here are others you should also be aware of:

  • High Blood Pressure Drugs
  • Birth Control for women, such as the birth control pill, patch or ring. Contraceptive implants, progestogen only pill, contraceptive injections
  • Antiseizure drugs
  • Enlarged prostate drugs
  • Antianxiolytics

3. Hair Loss medications for Men

In an effort to curb or even reverse hair loss, some men make a sacrifice they never intended to make: their libido. And not just their libido, but their sexual health in general. The reason? Sexual dysfunction is right up there on the laundry list of side effects caused by finasteride (brand name: Propecia), one of the most common hair loss medications that is also being prescribed for an enlarged prostate as well.

Just look at the effects noted by one study conducted on otherwise healthy men between the ages of 21 and 46 who were using finasteride

  • 94 percent of men developed low libido
  • 92 percent of men developed ED
  • 92 percent of men experienced decreased arousal
  • 69 percent developed problems with orgasm

The worst part? Three months after quitting finasteride, these effects persisted.

But that doesn’t mean you need to choose between a full head of hair and a fulfilling sex life. In fact, there are safe alternatives and effective fixes for hair loss that don’t come with the negative side effects of the popular medications like finasteride. Talk to us if you are interested in maintaining or improving your healthy head of hair and we can look at the best options based on your specific situation that won’t negatively impact your libido or sexual function!

4. Cardiovascular issues

Heart and vascular issues are another surprising cause of low libido in men and women. One reason is physiological: When circulation suffers, blood flow to the penis and vagina is compromised. That can get in the way of arousal, erections and vaginal lubrication.

Another reason is that the medications frequently used to treat heart disease can lower libido and cause other sexual issues in both men and women. (Note that men who take nitrates for angina symptoms should not use the oral PDE5 inhibitor ED drugs.)

In addition, for men there’s the psychological factor: Many men who have heart issues worry about having sex again. “Postsurgical discomfort, poor self-image, and the anxiety of an overprotective partner are frequently cited obstacles, according to a Harvard Heart Letter.

The Harvard experts stress, though, that for most men with cardiovascular disease, it’s safe to have sex. For some, it’s better to get the condition under control first, according to the Letter. “People in high-risk categories, such as those with uncontrolled high blood pressure, unstable angina, or advanced heart failure, should defer sexual activity until their condition is adequately treated.”

Whether you’re a man or woman be sure to talk openly with both your partner and health care provider about your concerns and fears. And regardless of you having cardiovascular disease or not, I think it’s important to note how vital it is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle—for both your heart and physical health but also your sexual health as well! Why?  Well very simply, it’s been my clinical observation over the last 20 years that sexual and physical health are intimately related. If you’re having physical health issues that are not being corrected or addressed at a root cause level then you may not see the full benefit of your sexual health treatments. 

Check out our Body N Balance™ Wellness and Weight Loss Systems if you’re interested in a customized approach to improve your physical health that puts you back in control and is also sustainable for a lifetime….this program not only comes with life-changing results but it will empower you like nothing else out there, period!

5. Obesity

Obesity is a factor in some of the other libido killers we’ve already discussed, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. That’s one of the reasons it’s a contributor to sexual problems. But obesity also can cause self-confidence and body image issues, which make it more difficult to drum up excitement for adventures between the sheets.

Another way obesity—especially abdominal obesity—causes sexual problems is by decreasing testosterone and serving as an ‘estrogen factory’ in the body. As mentioned earlier low testosterone levels are a common cause of low libido and sexual dysfunction in both men and women while the increased adipose of the belly can also create estrogen issues for men and women both as well.

The good news is that obesity can be reversed with a well-planned, thoughtful wellness and weight loss program like Body N Balance™ and/or by addressing hormone imbalance issues with a tailored bioidentical hormone therapy protocol in addition to possible peptide therapy as well.

Moving forward

Low libido can be a drag on relationships, self-esteem, and overall happiness. But the good news is that many of the underlying causes can be addressed with non-invasive and safe therapies that have the added benefit of improving your overall physical health while also improving your sexual health.

[i] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive/loss-of-libido

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793809/

[iii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21418145

Todd Cadwell

Author Todd Cadwell

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