Libido is the sexual drive that helps us form and maintain intimate relationships. Libido declines as we age and various emotional, lifestyle, emotional, and physiological factors play a role in the deterioration. Look for five areas in your life that may be causing low libido.
Stress and Depression
When you experience stress, your body undergoes a series of changes. For instance, stress raises the levels of cortisol and adrenaline hormones in your blood, leading to fight or flight response. If your stress is not reversed, the levels of these hormones rise extremely, leading to chronic stress. Chronic stress can lower your libido by distorting the normal levels of hormones in your body.
Your body also responds to stress by narrowing the arteries. An erection occurs when increased blood flows to your genitals. If your blood arteries narrow due to stress, the blood flow in the vessels drops, causing erectile dysfunction. Additionally, stress can cause low libido by distracting you from sex if your mind is focused on financial problems or job issues.
Depression can also cause low libido by changing the biochemistry of your body. It affects your mood, leading to lack of interest in sex.
Sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, have a direct effect on your sex drive. Various factors may cause the levels of your sex hormones to drop. For instance, low levels of testosterone may result from testicular injuries, tumors, or inflammations. In women, menopause is a common cause of hormone changes. The levels of estrogen in women begin to drop naturally during menopause which causes low libido.
Antipsychotic medications can reduce your sex drive by blocking the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical responsible for regulating the reward and pleasure centers in your brain. Other medications that may reduce your desire to have sex include anti-seizures and antidepressants.
Certain lifestyle habits, including alcoholism and smoking, have the potential to significantly lower your libido. For instance, cigarette smoke hinders proper blood circulation which prevents erection or arousal. Excessive intake of alcohol can cause low libido by causing fatigue and damaging your nervous system. Having too busy of a work schedule can also cause low libido if your mind is preoccupied with work. Failure to have sex for an extended period of time can also be a potential cause of a low sexual desire.
Certain systemic illnesses can lower your sexual desire by reducing sperm production and sex hormone levels in your body. Examples of illnesses that may reduce your sex drive include diabetes, HIV, kidney disease, and cancer. If you have these diseases, your body’s attention shifts to survival processes. Hence, non-survival functions, such as sperm and testosterone production, diminish.
Another condition that can cause low libido is cirrhosis of the liver. Your liver facilitates the breakdown of estrogen. If it fails to function normally as a result of this condition, the levels of estrogen in your body rise, causing low libido.
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