Aside from being a mode of reproduction, sex is a huge part of any romantic relationship. It helps with the emotional connection, intimacy, and even stress relief. But what about if you’re experiencing issues in the bedroom? There are several medical conditions linked to a decrease in sex drive for both men and women and ways to combat these roadblocks. Let’s take a look.
Low Sex Drive in Men
Low sex drive is men is also referred to as low libido and it means have a decreased interest or desire for sexual activity.
One of the main things that helps control a man’s sex drive are testosterone levels. Testosterone is the male hormone that is produced in the testicles. It helps to not only promote sperm production but also build bone mass and muscles. Low testosterone levels are often accompanied by age. As testosterone levels decrease, so does a man’s sex drive. Low T levels are also caused by issues with the pituitary gland, an HIV infection, or radiation exposure. Treatment for low testosterone includes replacement therapy, diet, or other medications.
But men need to be careful when taking any type of medication because there are actually some that can negatively impact their sex drive. Certain medications can cause low testosterone levels, which we already know can cause low libido. Other medications can interfere with a man’s ability to get an erection or even ejaculate. These include some blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Consult your doctor if you think your medication is causing low sex drive.
Did you know that restless leg syndrome (RLS) can actually keep men from achieving an erection? Those men suffering from RLS have also been reported to suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is defined by a man’s inability to get or maintain an erection. RLS causes pain and discomfort in the legs, causing an uncontrollable need to move around in order to seek comfort. Men suffering from RLS are not only at risk for erectile dysfunction but impotency as well.
Low Sex Drive in Women
Low libido doesn’t just affect men. There are countless women who also suffer from low sex drive and the causes are different than those that affect men. Often, a woman’s sexual desire fluctuates and changes over time. Some causes are physical, while others are more emotional.
Physical causes of low sex drive in women include menopause or pregnancy, as well as certain lifestyle choices. Menopause in women occurs anywhere from the age of 30 up to 60. The most common timeframe is between age 45 and 55. Menopause marks a woman’s transition from having her menstrual cycle to her reproductive organs slowing down. When a woman’s ovaries no longer release eggs, her menstrual cycle stops, and menopause begins.
Menopause is accompanied by a long list of symptoms from hot flashes, fatigue, irritability and both a drop in sexual desire, as well as painful sex. This is all a result of a drop in a woman’s estrogen levels. Estrogen levels cause vaginal dryness, which can be both painful and uncomfortable. This, alone, is enough to make a woman less interested in having sexual intercourse. The opposite is often true during pregnancy. Many women experience a spike in estrogen during pregnancy, causing increased blood flow to the vagina. It’s also interesting to note that some both control pills have been said to cause a dip in sexual desire for some women.
Because women are often emotionally connected during sexual acts, if they are suffering from emotional, mental, or psychological conditions, this will greatly impact their libido. Anxiety or depression can actually affect sex drive in both men and women. Depression means an overall feeling of unhappiness. This decreases the body’s desire for sexual interaction.
If a woman suffers from low self-esteem or a poor body image, this too can make her much less interested in sexual activities that often involve being naked and feeling vulnerable. If a woman has had negative sexual experiences or abuse in the past, this too can make her interested in further sexual contact.
Trust issues and lack of communication are relationship issues that may affect many women when it comes to their sex drive. Many women need intimacy in order to enjoy a sexual experience. If there are ongoing issues within the relationship or unresolved conflict, it may negatively impact a woman’s desire to have sex.
How to Improve Sex Drive
There are a variety of ways to boost sex drive in both men and women, from medication and holistic approaches to more emotional ways of enhancing the sexual relationship.
Perhaps one of the most well-known medications for improving sex drive in men is Viagra. This drug along with others like Cialis, are used to treat erectile dysfunction. Although Viagra and similar medications don’t increase sex drive, they will make it possible for a man to have and maintain an erection. There are similar medications available for women that essentially do the same thing, meaning they increase blood flow to the genital area, but don’t necessarily increase sex drive.
Sex drive has a lot to do with the emotional connection between two people. Increased intimacy can have a positive impact on sex drive for both men and woman. You can achieve increased intimacy in a variety of ways from performing sensual massages, reading erotica together, planning date nights, or even improving communication. Being vulnerable and open with your partner is often the first step in becoming more intimate and improving the sexual experience for you both.
Eat Certain Foods
Certain foods are said to act as natural aphrodisiacs, or something that increases libido. Some of the best foods for boosting sex drive in both men and women include:
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
These are just a few natural aphrodisiacs you can find on the shelves at your grocery store. But on the flipside, there are actually some foods that are said to kill the mood. Foods to avoid when trying to boost sex drive include:
- Processed meat
- Diet soda
The last item on this list goes for both men and women. Though small amounts of alcohol can most certainly get you “in the mood”, too much of a good thing is never good! Consuming too much alcohol before climbing between the sheets can cause dehydration and lack of blood flow to the nether regions.
Talk About It
Low libido is nothing to be ashamed of and is actually more common than you think. It’s also linked to a long list of different causes, which means there are plenty of ways to address it. Start by talking to a healthcare professional. Be sure to be open and honest about your diet, any medications you are taking, and your current relationship status. The more information you provide, the more likely your doctor can recommend a solution.
Article Submitted By Community Writer