Low Sexual Desire

SECUAL MEDICINE TREATMENTS

Low Sexual Desire

Sexual desire, sexual performance, and frequency of intercourse can all be diminished over the years as a result of the decline of a number of substances in the bodies of women and men such as the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, respectively.

Lack of sexual desire

Table of Contents

LACK OF SEXUAL DESIRE IN WOMEN AN MEN

How do you define the lack of sexual desire? What is libido?

Sexual desire, sexual performance, and frequency of intercourse can all be diminished over the years as a result of the decline of a number of substances in the bodies of women and men such as the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, respectively.

However, the lack of libido (that is, the desire that motivates us to human sexuality) can also occur for no apparent reason during youth.

Women

Menopause is often a determining factor in sexual desire because the decrease in female sex hormones such as estrogen weakens the body and significantly lowers libido.

Men

In men, this is somewhat different. Most male individuals retain sexual desire and even some erectile function of the penis after the age of 60 although they are usually subject to testosterone levels

However, situations of physical or emotional stress such as that resulting from overwork, relationship problems, low self-esteem or disease processes have a negative impact on the interest in sexual activities of virtually any individual.

But why is it so important the decrease of sexual desire in women and men? In addition to representing the means by which human beings preserve the continuity of the species (with procreation and the maintenance of the social network), human sexuality represents an aspect of great relevance in the behaviour of people and in the performance of the activities they usually carry out.

Sexuality is part of the integral health of women and men.

When a person develops problems of diminished sexual desire and therefore stops making love to their partner in the way they are used to, this will create a vicious cycle of worries that leads to couple conflicts, difficult situations with children, family and co-workers.

All this frustration can worsen the emotional stability to make decisions and solve problems, to relate socially with family and friends and to seek professional help to find the best solution to the problem.

Many couples today live without knowing about the problems that decrease in libido brings with it.

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MEDICAL EVALUATION

Women and men, same symptoms

Every woman and man is different in terms of sexual desire and sexual habits, so it is difficult to determine how many encounters per month are considered to be a problem of low libido, to cite one example.

Many patients who come to the office often report that they don’t have as much sex as they used to or that they don’t feel as satisfied as they used to after a sexual encounter or that their partner is no longer as attractive to them.

All of this can be summarized for women and men in the following:

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Do I need to go to the doctor if I don't want to have sex? When do I know there's a problem?

It is important for the patient to understand that these types of problems have solutions and that this is now a relatively common diagnosis.

In many cases, the lack of sexual desire may be due to simple reasons such as too much physical exercise or work overload, in other cases, it may be due to couple problems (which are solved with therapy) or some disease.

If a patient feels that due to poor sexual performance or low perceived sexual satisfaction they are changing their behaviour or seeing other problems in their life, it is recommended that they see a medical or sexual psychology professional such as a sexologist.

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Causes

Causes of lack of sexual desire in women and men

Generally speaking, decreased sex drive is usually a temporary problem resulting from stress or problems with their partner. But in other cases, it may originate from more relevant physical or emotional processes.

Within them are:

1

Emotional causes

Since sexual desire originates and is processed at the nervous level, many emotional and mental factors can affect or improve the libido response in men or women.

Many emotional imbalances such as depression, anxiety, stress, or low self-esteem can make anyone not want to have sex with their partner, or in the most severe cases, not even want to masturbate.

Many people with a bad image of themselves or their sexual abilities can feel insecure, too, and may not seek to make love as often as they would like.

They don’t think they are enough and often compare themselves to other people. Especially in women with bodies outside the standards of norms and beauty or men who perceive their penises as small or insufficient to satisfy a woman.

All of this can be aggravated if the person has had bad sexual experiences previously or if they carry negative childhood memories related to sexuality.

· Relationship problems ·

Often, differences in tastes or opinions between couples can create an uncomfortable and sometimes hostile environment for enjoying sex on a regular basis.

Many couples do not feel enough empathy or do not resolve conflicts in a timely and appropriate manner, causing sexual desire to decrease significantly. This is worse when communication between the two parties is poor or when the relationship is reduced to just sex.

Specific periods of the intimate and daily life of a couple such as pregnancy, lactation, upbringing, menopause or old age are also the object of behavioural and situational study by the sexologist (in our case, Dr. Francisco Cabello).

2

Physiological body causes

There are a number of pathologies that affect sexual desire, either because of the physical discomfort they cause or because they unbalance the levels of substances in the body.

Among the diseases that most often cause low sex drive are:

In men, this is somewhat different. Most male individuals retain sexual desire and even some erectile function of the penis after the age of 60 although they are usually subject to testosterone levels

In women, menopause is often a determining factor in sexual desire because the decrease in female sex hormones such as estrogen weakens the body and significantly lowers libido.

3

Low testosterone level in men

According to the American Urological Association, when the plasma concentration of this male sex hormone declines or is lower than 300 ng per dL (nanograms per deciliter) because of ageing or hormonal problems such as hypogonadism, many physiological changes take place in the man’s body, including erection, sex drive, and sperm production.

Since this hormone regulates many functions ranging from metabolism and maintenance of muscle mass, to behaviour, sexual desire and everything related to male sexuality can be affected.

Serum testosterone levels are easy to measure through a simple venous blood test, results are usually given in less than 24 hours and are of great clinical importance for the diagnosis and treatment of low sexual desire.

Many men with low sex drive can even get erections but not feel pleasure from them. That is, they have difficulty reaching orgasm or ejaculation, so fertility may be diminished.

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How is the diagnosis of a problem of sexual desire and who should perform it?

The diagnosis of decreased sexual desire or low libido can and should be based on an examination that covers many aspects of the person’s life, from the psychological to the physiological part of the body.

Finding the cause of low sexual desire through a good diagnosis is key to giving the best treatment.

First, a medical history is compiled for the patient, which includes data about the patient’s life habits, the diseases he or she has suffered from and his or her sex life.

If the patient refers that he or she has no or very few sexual thoughts or fantasies it is already an indication that the sexual desire is greatly diminished as well as the desire to make love with his or her partner.

This medical history is accompanied by a physical examination of the genitals. For example, in women with decreased libido, it is common to notice that the vaginal region is often dry or painful to the touch.

In men, erections are often too hard to achieve, too short, or too stiff to allow intercourse or masturbation.

Blood tests are especially useful when hormonal imbalances such as low testosterone levels in men or low estrogen levels in women are suspected to be the cause of decreased libido.

Techniques and treatment

Treatment of lack of sexual desire or diminished libido

Understanding the cause of decreased sexual desire is elementary when it comes to treatment, which is why diagnosis is so important.

Individualized treatment should be indicated and monitored by a sexual health professional such as a urologist, sexologist or psychosexual therapist.

Among the most important therapies for low libido are:

Psychotherapy and sex therapy

When the origin is in couple problems it is recommended that they undergo psychotherapy or sex therapy sessions together and individually to elucidate the possible causes and the best way to deal with them.

In most cases, this therapy consists of indicating erotic readings and material and promoting couple dialogues that can increase sexual desire.

Meditation exercises and new sexual techniques or positions are also recommended, the idea is to make the moment of the couple’s intimacy more interesting.

What medications can help?

Often, when low sex drive is due to some antidepressant treatment such as fluoxetine, the physician can switch you to another type of drug without these side effects. In fact, there are antidepressants that significantly increase libido and are usually quite favorable in women and men.

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What medication can help?

GynFeel®, which is a plant-based supplement and complex vitamins that help improve libido and enhance sexual performance. It's a fairly safe, FDA-approved supplement.

A drug called flibanserin or better known as female viagra can significantly increase sexual desire in women. Its use is delicate and must be supervised by a doctor.

In men, drugs to increase sexual desire almost always exert their effects by increasing the plasma concentrations of testosterone and enhancing their properties in the body.

There are medications that can increase sexual desire in women, such as:

GynFeel®, which is a plant-based supplement and complex vitamins that help improve libido and enhance sexual performance. It’s a fairly safe, FDA-approved supplement.

A drug called flibanserin or better known as female viagra can significantly increase sexual desire in women. Its use is delicate and must be supervised by a doctor.

In men, drugs to increase sexual desire almost always exert their effects by increasing the plasma concentrations of testosterone and enhancing their properties in the body.

Most of these medications or supplements are of natural origin such as those obtained and processed from Tribulus Terrestris or better known as caltrop, a bush that grows in areas of temperate and Mediterranean climate.

Hormone therapy

Especially in menopausal women or men who develop andropause, hormone therapy has been helpful and surprisingly safe in improving sex hormone levels and libido.

Hormone therapy for women and men is very varied. They range from daily pills with varying concentrations of estrogen or testosterone to skin patches, gels and creams to be applied in the genital region.

Frequently asked questions

Are home or natural remedies effective?

In many pharmacies or on the Internet you can find a large number of natural remedies that promise to improve performance and increase sexual appetite in both men and women.

Many of these products come in oral form and others to be applied directly to the external genitals in the form of creams, lotions and ointments.

However, over 95 per cent of these natural products are not approved by health agencies such as the U.S. FDA or the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Spain, so it is difficult to guarantee their safety and effectiveness.

Many home remedies that help “increase libido” can produce side effects, cause allergies, or interact with other medications. 

The general recommendation is to go to a qualified health care professional for him to indicate medications of reliable use. Self-medication is a practice that can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health.

What attitude can I take towards a lack of sexual desire? How can I start to fight the low sexual desire?
According to many centres of sexology and human sexual psychology, not all diseases can be cured with medicines or complex procedures such as surgeries, many of them, as the decrease of desire for sexual intimacy, can find a solution in small actions such as:
  • Practice meditation. This will help to relax the body and calm the mind, which will be helpful in releasing tension and feeling more confident in one’s abilities.
  • Exercising will improve blood circulation, strengthen muscles and help the brain release tranquillizing substances, among many other positive effects.
  • Eating properly with a balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits. This helps to improve the body’s physical condition and chemistry.
  • Leave behind bad habits and addictions such as alcohol, smoking or sedentary life.
  • Thinking of new and interesting ways to improve your sex life or make it more dynamic. Communication is a vital asset. Talking with the partner and discussing the concerns and positive aspects of the relationship is one of the most fundamental factors in treating low sexual desire. This is key to avoiding divorces or separations where, interestingly, sexuality is one of the most important causes.
I am a man and I feel my libido dropping. Can I improve or increase my sex drive by taking Viagra®?

When the sexual desire is low or not as intense as in the past, the known retardants or vasodilators can hardly increase the libido because they help to maintain and achieve the erection itself, they do not encourage or promote the necessary sexual stimuli to make the penis more rigid and bigger.

In fact, most men with low libido have normal and even very good erectile function. What exists is an emotional problem (almost always) to feel pleasure and get an erection.

How can I prepare myself before I go to the doctor’s office?
It is recommended that each patient who seeks professional help to try to solve their problem of low sexual desire, should come to us already having several aspects clear to facilitate the diagnosis. These aspects can be:
  • Since when do I feel my sexual interest has diminished? When was the last time in my life that I perceived as the most sexually active?
  • How’s the relationship? Is it stable or are there frequent conflicts? How is the couple’s communication? Am I sexually attracted to my partner?
  • What are our sexual habits as a couple? Do we always do the same or, on the contrary, do we seek to innovate? Is it interesting what we do in sex? How many times do we make love in a month or a week.
  • Do I feel like I care about my physical and mental health? What healthy habits do I do to feel vitalized? Am I overworking? How’s my diet? Do I exercise?
  • Have I taken any medication? What have they been and how long have I been taking them? Do I remember why the doctor prescribed them?
  • Have I felt weaker than before? How is the quality of my erections if I am a man? Do I feel vaginal pain during penetration or am I close to menopause if I am a woman?
What can I do to lower my stress or anxiety levels?
The diseases of the 21st century are said to be stress and anxiety given the fast pace of life today and the amount of work pressure that people are under. All of this can cause physical discomfort and general debilitation with negative repercussions on sexual desire, a totally biological element and a sign of physical, mental and emotional well-being. Dealing with stress and anxiety can be a complex task since the causes that produce them can be very broad, but in general, there are techniques and habits that can help, such as:
  • Practising sports or physical activity (running, dancing, cycling, walking).
  • Resting properly, more than six hours a day, but less than eight.
  • Eating properly.
  • Meditate.
  • Cultivating healthy social relationships and keeping hobbies present.
  • If you’re in a relationship, it’s up to both of you to care for it and keep the flame of passion alive despite the circumstances.

 

Dr. Natalio Cruz

Author

Dr. Natalio Cruz


El Dr. Cruz, con 25 años de experiencia médica, ha sido hasta 2016 Jefe de la Unidad de Andrología en el Servicio de Urología del Hospital Virgen del Rocío de Sevilla, Coordinador Nacional de Andrología de la Asociación Española de Urología (AEU) y Secretario General de la ESSM, cargos que ha delgado para centrarse de lleno en el ilusionante proyecto de ofrecer una consulta médica privada de alto nivel en Sevilla.

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