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Diminished Sex Drive

Diminished Sex Drive (Male)

Introduction

Sex drive and libido have many myths and misconceptions attached to it, especially since there is always a concept of comparison involved. While it is a conventional belief that men have a higher sex drive than women, diminished sex drive is quite a common disorderin men. It becomes even more pronounced with lifestyle changes or advancing age. However, most men don’t feel comfortable discussing it or even disclosing this problem. Men mostly feel the need to be sexually active and it is difficult for them to acknowledge that their sex drive has diminished or they want sex less than their partner. The realization of the loss of libido can therefore, be done with the help of one’s sexual partner and not alone.

Causes

A diminished sex drive is not a disorder in itself, it is a symptom. Many underlying causes can exist that may contribute to temporary or permanent loss in libido. These causes can be either physiological or psychological –

Physiological causes:

  • Drop in androgen levels: Conditions like hypogonadism or other such endocrine disorders which result in inhibited production of testosterone in blood can be the primary cause of diminished sex drive. Testosterone is responsible for all sexual urges and responses in men. With an unusual decline in its levels, due to malfunctioning testis or hormone inhibitors being present in blood; a gradual decline in sex drive can be observed.
  • Fatigue: Although this could be a cause of temporary loss in libido, fatigue and tiredness due to strenuous lifestyle or job-routine can impact the sex drive of a man.
  • Effect of drugs:Certain Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and anti-anxiety drugs can have lasting impact on the sex drive. Men consuming these drugs may find themselves unable to achieve or maintain erection. The resultant embarrassment or discomfort can also cause loss of libido.
  • Prostatitis:Tumorous or cancerous growths in prostate gland can also impact the physiological functioning of the penis and surrounding vasculature. Subsequent surgical treatment of the disorder can also lead to diminished sex drive.
  • Chronic diseases:Chronic physiological disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, obesity and high cholesterol can reduce the sexual urges in men too.
  • Spinal or pelvic injury: Injury in the pelvic region or on spinal cord can restrict the penile movement and desensitize the penis to some extent. As a result sex drive can also dwindle due to discomfort or problematic performance in sexual intercourse.

Psychological causes:

  • Depression: Due to ongoing depressive mental state, men can gradually lose interest in sexual activity.
  • Stress and anxiety: Work related stress or anxiety due to persisting problems in family or in relationship can also temporarily lower the libido in men.
  • Post-Traumatic stress: Followinga physically or psychologically traumatic experience in life, men can sometimes find it impossible to be sexually aroused for the longest periods of time.
  • Relationship troubles: Men can experience a diminishing sex drive when they are having certain troubles in their relationships.

Treatment

As loss of libido and diminished sex drive not just impactan individual but also his partner, all treatment options can only work with complete support and understanding from the partner. Due to the societal preconceptions related to male sex drive, most men refrain from admitting a diminished sex drive. Hence, it may be a long time before loss of libido can actually be identified. And by that time it can be quite late and limited sexual urges may be entrenched. Thus, it is better to accept and acknowledge the problem and seek help if necessary to fix the condition.

Psychoanalysis and cognitive behavioral therapy is a broadly accepted treatment for diminished sex drive in men. Experts recommend couples to attend therapy sessions together. At times differences in relationship can be unearthed during these sessions and the underlying psychological causes behind diminished sex drive can be determined. Therapists can also recommend ways to overcome the inhibitions towards sex. Both partners have to work in tandem to achieve a level of sexual activity which can leave both partners satisfied and not pressurized.

Doctors can also recommend some blood tests and basic physical examination to confirm presence or lack of physiological factors contributing towards diminished sex drive. If loss of libido is a temporary symptom due to underlying physiological causes, then it is advisable to treat the actual problem and sex drive can return to normal on its own. If some medications are inhibiting normal sexual activity, then alternate medicines can be opted for. Ultimately, there is no such thing as less than average sexual activity. If a couple is able to remain happy and satisfied despite infrequent sex; then diminished libido can’t even be considered a serious problem.