Low Sex Drive: Why it happens and how to deal with it

Men and women can have issues with their sex drive, which is a form of sexual dysfunction. Low libido can be a cause of concern for both men and women. When a man or woman are at a point that they are always tired to make love to their partner or are have no desire to engage with their partner in love making this may result in anxiety for the partner. This sexual dysfunction can lead to fear that your partner might leave you and put an end to the relationship.

Low libido, or hypoactive sexual drive disorder, is a deficiency or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. This is considered a disorder if it causes problems for the patient or problems in the patient’s relationships. In a recent study in the United States, about 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men have admitted having sexual difficulty in one way or another. Lack of libido occurs more in women than in men. Men who have erectile dysfunction do not necessarily have low libido.

How often does low sexual drive occur?

The American Medical Association has estimated that several million US women suffer from what doctors call ‘female sexual arousal disorder’(FSAD). In the UK, family planning clinics and related clinics see quite large numbers of women who complain of low libido. Our estimate is that several hundred thousand women in Nigeria are troubled by lack of sex drive given our socio-economic circumstance.

Low libido in men is far less common than erectile dysfunction. One study showed that for every fifteen men who reported having erectile dysfunction, only one of them had low sexual desire. Most men with lack of libido can still achieve erections, but have lost only the desire to have sex.

What causes low libido?
For both men and women, causes can be physical and/or psychological.

Physical causes of low libido include:
• Anemia. This more commonly affects women because of iron loss during periods.
• Alcoholism.
• Drug abuse.
• Major diseases such as diabetes.
• Obesity
• Hyperprolactinaemia. This is a rare disorder where the pituitary gland produces too much of the hormone prolactin.
• Post-partum. This is the loss of libido that often starts after childbirth. It is almost certainly linked to hormonal changes that occur at this time. The general stress and trauma of childbirth also plays a part.
• Prescribed drugs, particularly tranquillisers.
• Other hormone abnormalities.
• Low testosterone level – contrary to what many people think, this is rare.

Psychological causes of low libido include:
• Depression
• Stress and overwork
• Anxiety
• Hang-ups from childhood
• Past sexual abuse or rape
• Latent homosexuality
• Serious relationship problems with the partner
• Difficult living conditions

Some tips than can help to recover your lost sexual drive:
• Stress is a major factor in loss of libido. You should take the time to know the stressors in your life and take steps to reduce the stress levels. If your work is stressing you out, find ways to make it less stressful so that you can get relaxation and rest to help you be in a better position to perform.

• Vices like smoking, drinking, and drugs use as mentioned can and do affect your libido. Avoiding these vices will not only benefit your sex life, it will improve your overall health.

• Professional counseling can help couples undergoing serious relationship problems.

• Consult your doctor if natural interventions fail. They will be more qualified to give you prescriptions or safe suggestions on what to do. They are also likely to know the right sexual therapist to refer you to if they consider that such counseling will help you with the problem.

If you are having difficulties with your sex life in a relationship, it is best to deal with the issue so as to avoid anxiety and possible break down of the relationship. Honest communication among couples is always a good first step to addresses the causes of this type of sexual dysfunction.

Written by Chioma Duru

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