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What is low libido and what can be done to improve it

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Libido is a medical term that refers to the interest or drive for sexual activity. Therefore, low libido refers to a decreased interest/drive for sexual activity.

As embarrassing or taboo (as what many were lead to believe) this topic is, it is still important to understand. All in all, knowledge is power, and being more aware is more favourable than being ignorant.

Therefore, in terms of this article : let us try to put aside any shame, judgement or fear we may have and try to come to a consensus on understanding the topic of low libido.

 

Low libido, which typically affects males (although women can be affected as well), is a normal occurrence in life : based on the changes in your life. From puberty, to a change in partners, to personal stress etc.

Any one of this can cause low libido. Regardless of whatever the reason, short periods of low libido are completely normal. However, prolonged (or extended) periods of low libido are a cause for concern. It may be be linked or indicative of an underlying medical condition. Here are some reasons of low libido :

  1. Low Testosterone

Testosterone is a potent hormone, with high concentrations in men. Testosterone controls libido. But apart from that, testosterone is vital for the development of external male reproductive organs, regulating hormone levels, improving muscle mass and bone mass, as well as sperm (the male reproductive cell) production. Therefore it is evident that testosterone is essentially what makes a male : a male.

People with low concentrations of testosterone in the body experience low libido. The causes of low testosterone are vast from aging to prostate conditions to testicular conditions. It is important to see your doctor as soon as possible when it becomes a problem.

 

  1. Medication

Medications are just as much a culprit. Some medications have unfavourable side effects that could cause low testosterone in a male. Medications such as blood pressure medication.

There are a variety of blood pressure medication but the most common, that present with these side effects, are beta blockers (atenolol, bisoprolol, metoprolol, propanolol) and ACE (angiotensin-converting-enzyme) inhibitors (perindopril, captopril, enalapril).

If the low libido is due to this, then it is advisable to set a meeting with the doctor to discuss a change in medications.

 

  1. Depression/Anxiety

 

Depression and anxiety are psychological conditions that are serious, just like any physical disease. Depression is an extremely complicated condition that goes way beyond someone just being sad. In patients with depression, they are usually prescribed with SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors), an anti-depressant drug. These medications do present with low libido as a side effect.

Apart from the medication, depression is a condition that could just generally causes a decreased psychological interest in activities that they used to enjoy, sexual activity could have been one of them.

 

  1. Chronic Illness

Chronic illness such as cancer are a cause for low libido. This is usually because of the exertion and stress that your body goes through because of these conditions. Although cancer itself is not a direct reason for low libido, the complications of cancer and the physical and mental impact of cancer can cause low libido.

This refers to complications in stimulation, complications with psychology (depression, lack of interest). The side effects of cancer treatments could cause low libido.

  1. Aging

Aging is a natural process and one of the things that occurs with aging is a low libido, in men. This is not always the case, but it is present in most men. This has a lot to do with the body’s physiological changes, the functional changes of the body. The body is not producing testosterone as fast, and not metabolising things fast enough : causing a delay or a lack of interest.

 

  1. Stress

Stress is one of the most common cause for low libido in younger/middle aged men in the world. How you feel psychologically has a lot to do with your physicality as well. Not only is it psychological but stress causes the body’s hormonal levels to be disrupted, which affects the stable levels of testosterone.

If you are experiencing issues with low libido that are affecting you, it is best to consult a doctor. From there, it will be determined the cause of your low libido and how you can move forward. Refrain from being shy or embarrassed. Our bodies are natural, and the functions of our body are natural as well. There is no shame in understanding more about your body, what is does and what you can do if there is something wrong.

 

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Sources

 

http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/conditions-that-cause-low-libido#aging8

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/when-a-mans-sex-drive-is-too-low#1

 

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Article is written by: 

Fatin Najwa binti Daud, is a medical student studying at IMU Malaysia. She is a freelance writer of this blog at Zaahara. Interests include music, art, sports and travel.

-Photos are taken from google images

© 2016 Zaahara Ventures Sdn. Bhd.

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