By Dr. S.S Jawahar, Sexology
Sexual desire is regarded as one of the basic human urges according to most psychological theories. A lack in this innate desire, however, is a cause of concern among most individuals in the present day scenario. The deficiency of sexual urge may be attributed to stress, anxiety related disorders or hormonal issues. These may cause mild to moderate mood and behavioural disorders and hamper relationship with the sexual partner. It is also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder and is more common in women as compared to males.
- The diminishing libido may be ascribed to psychological problems involving higher levels of stress and anxiety, depression – chronic or otherwise, and family, work or relationship related problems which cause apprehension.
- In women, hormonal problems mostly cause a fluctuation in the libido of the individual. In men as well, hormonal imbalance may be a major cause of diminishing libido. Some men find it difficult to get an erection and last as long with age while women lose their sexual desire slowly after menopause.
- Alcohol and drug misuse may cause a severe lack in libido, especially among men. Studies have proven that most men who have a history of alcoholism find it rather difficult to get an erection.
- Excessive nicotine, caffeine or alcohol may lower the levels of serotonin causing a diminished libido. A serotonin is a chemical that helps relay signals from one region of the brain to another.
- Other than this, misuse of prescription drugs, drugs used to treat psychological disorders such as sedatives or drugs for the treatment of psychosis or ADHD may also lead to a considerable lack of sexual desire.
Note: The lack of sexual desire may be a predictor of a major medical condition which must be given immediate attention to.
Depending on the cause, possible treatments include:
- Healthier lifestyle choices. Improve your diet, get regular exercise and enough sleep, cut down on the alcohol, and reduce stress.
- Change to a new medication, if the one you’re on is affecting your libido
- Testosterone replacement therapy
Your doctor may recommend therapy if the issue is psychological. In many cases, a low libido points to a desire for a closer connection with your partner — one that isn’t sexual, but still intimate. It can help to talk through these issues with a therapist, either alone or with your partner.