For a long time, it has been thought that men tend to have higher sexual desires or libido than women. While many facts (or myths) attest to that – for example, one myth that men tend to think about sex every 7 seconds (that’s about 8000 times a day!) – the truth is most of these claims do not really have much evidence to back them up. However, like women, men also may experience decreased libido. The myth that men think about sex all the time is leading to a problem where low sexual arousal is misdiagnosed as erectile dysfunction.
We are going to give 6 reasons why that may be so, and we are going to tell you what to do about it.
Smoking can cause damage to the blood vessels which can reduce sexual desire and affect sexual functions in the long run. This is because smoking cigarettes can release a lot of harmful substance into to body which can cause a lot of harmful changes.
Sedentary lifestyle and bad diets can put you at risk of diabetes, obesity and hypertension which can damage blood vessels around the penis and some key areas which can result in erectile dysfunction and reduced libido.
2) Diseases and health issues
Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, and cancer can affect sexual desire. Diabetes, can cause damages to blood vessels in the penis which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
This can affect a man’s sexual desire negatively psychologically. Cancer can affect the hormonal glands which control sexual desire. For example, a tumor can affect the pituitary gland or the prostate and lead to reduced secretion of testosterone. This can lead to reduced sexual desire.
Remember when you first got married? You probably enjoyed a lot of sex, but when the kids came in, with the bills and every other thing, you may just realize that you have suddenly lost interest in sex.
This may be because of fatigue. Taking care of the kids, handling the bills and doing a whole lot of stuff can take its toll. This is worse if you do not get enough sleep. Fatigue especially when worsened by sleep apnea can cause reduced sexual desire. A tired person wants just one thing – and that is to get some rest, nothing else.
4) Hormonal issues
This is a pathological issue where your hormones which control your sexual drive go out of whack. One important hormone in men which control sexual drive is testosterone. According to some studies, testosterone, and estrogen also control sexual drive in women.
A review was done by Ahmed AlAwlaqi on roles of hormones in sexual disorders. A lack of testosterone can lead to reduced sexual desire in men. Two other important hormones are dopamine and prolactin. While prolactin can cause reduced libido, dopamine can increase libido.
5) Mental Health
Some mental issues like depression and schizophrenia can actually cause reduced libido. In a review by Keith A. Montgomery and his team, they highlighted that at times in depression, it is difficult to tell whether it is the treatment or the disease itself that is causing the reduced libido.
However, the review noted that people suffering from depression and Schizophrenia actually tend to have reduced libido even before treatment. In fact, some medications used to treat depression can cause reduced sexual performance
Some medication such as most antidepressants can cause reduced sexual desire. Antidepressants that increase the amount of the hormone serotonin in the brain can cause a reduced sexual desire.
If you are on antidepressant medications like amitriptyline and sertraline, that may be the cause of your reduced sexual desire. However, switching to antidepressants like bupropion which is an unusual antidepressant as it does not mess with your serotonin levels can increase your sexual desire.
Though more studies are needed to ascertain if bupropion can improve your sexual desire significantly. Some antipsychotic drugs used for Schizophrenia can reduce dopamine levels in the body which can lead to reduced sexual desire in men.
Some drugs which increase dopamine in the body and reduce prolactin-like bromocriptine can also increase sexual desire. An herbal aphrodisiac Yohimbe is also thought to increase sexual desire.
One other cause of reduced libido can be if you have had some surgery that affects your testosterone or dopamine level. For example, castration or removal of your thyroid gland. If you find that you may have a reduced libido, it is not advisable to start popping pills, you may want to have a talk with your doctor to find out the cause.
If it is caused by a social or psychiatric problem, then psychotherapy which involves couples’ therapy can be used to treat your low libido. If the cause is more of a hormonal issue, then your doctor may decide to give you hormonal supplementation like testosterone supplementation or other useful medications. At times, it may be a combination of these problems and as a result, a combination of treatment methods may be used.
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