A guide on how to deal with declining libido


Couple - low libido

A recurring reason for Gynecology visits is a decreased sex drive. Libido is the medical word used to describe sexual desire. The human sexual response is very complex and ill-understood, thus decreased libido cannot be addressed simplistically.

Sexual drive is an interplay of complex mechanisms that include biological, psychological and social components. Males reach the peak of their sex drive in the teens while females reach it in their thirties. Biologically, testosterone and estrogen are vital hormones that play a role in sexual function. Social factors, such as work and family, also have an impact; as do internal psychological factors, like personality and stress. Smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even some common medications can all affect libido. Some disease conditions may also directly affect sexual response.

The natural drop in sexual interest with advancing age is linked with decreasing levels of both testosterone and estrogen. There is also an observation of decreased peripheral blood flow to the genitals with advancing age, creating less feeling of sexual stimulation. Low estrogen levels in the menopause, or just before the menopause, may contribute to sexual discomfort due to vaginal dryness adding to further sexual withdrawal for physical reasons.

Individuals experiencing reduced libido should aim to attend for consultation accompanied by their partners. The consultation should be unhurried. Lifestyle factors should be reviewed, and any modifiable issues addressed. If any physical cause is suspected, some tests may be necessary which might include blood tests and imaging studies.

Physical causes of reduced libido are easier to deal with. Treating the physical cause often restores libido. Estrogen replacement in menopausal women restores vaginal health making sex more comfortable and stimulating. Testosterone may also be advised but must be medically supervised due to potential side effects.

For the majority, however, no physical cause will be found. This necessitates seeking further help with a Psycho-sexual specialist. Several approaches may help and include relaxation techniques, better work-life balance, dietary supplements, and reduction of smoking and alcohol. Since sex is as psychological a function as it is physical, sexual dysfunction is a warning signal that should prompt Psycho-sexual counseling. This should be coupled with physical exercises to maintain a healthy and energetic body. A healthy mind in a healthy body equates to healthy sex, with all the psychological and physical rewards that come with it.

For the majority, however, no physical cause will be found. This necessitates seeking further help with a Psycho-sexual specialist. Several approaches may help and include relaxation techniques, better work-life balance, dietary supplements, and reduction of smoking and alcohol. Since sex is as psychological a function as it is physical, sexual dysfunction is a warning signal that should prompt Psycho-sexual counseling. This should be coupled with physical exercises to maintain a healthy and energetic body. A healthy mind in a healthy body equates to healthy sex, with all the psychological and physical rewards that come with it.
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