Libido, which refers to an individual’s desire for sexual activity, is a complex result of physiological, psychological and emotional factors we go through. Its level varies significantly between people as it is influenced by many factors, including hormones, stress, relationship dynamics and personal experiences. An individual who you think is very attractive because of his/her appearance may have very low libido, while an individual with a physical disability may have perfect libido. Clinical data show that at least one in 5 adults has experienced low or fluctuating libido at some point in their lives.
What are the causes of low libido?
Hormones: Testosterone levels in men and estrogen and progesterone levels in women are determinants of sexual desire. Low sex hormones mean low sex drive.
Age: Libido is highest during adolescence and early twenties and begins to decline with age.
General health status: Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, depression and the use of medication can have a negative impact on libido.
Stress: As your anxiety increases, sexual desire and relationship concentration decrease.
Relationship dynamics: The quality of your relationship with your partner determines your desire for the next experience.
Mental and emotional state: Psychological factors such as body image, self-esteem and past traumas.
Lifestyle and habits: Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and inactivity negatively affect libido.
Personal experiences and cultural factors: Past experiences, upbringing and social norms shape our attitudes towards sexuality and thus libido.
Sleep: Lack of quality sleep can lead to a lack of energy and an overall decrease in libido.
How to increase libido?
Blissful sexual experiences positively affect your quality of life and your productivity in all areas. Many scientific studies have shown that your mood, sleep quality and daytime productivity are directly related to regular sexual activity. On the other hand, modern life is full of many libido killers such as poor diet, stress, air pollution and sedentary lifestyle. If you’re wondering how you can increase your sexual drive, here are a few practical ways:
Communicate openly with your partner: Talk honestly with your partner about your needs and wants. We all have fears and sharing concerns increases emotional intimacy.
Learn to manage stress: You can increase your sex drive with stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises or regular physical activity.
Get enough sleep: Good quality sleep is crucial for overall health and to support sexual desire. Without energy, there is no libido and you need enough rest for energy.
Lead a healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet and regular exercise will help to regulate your libido along with your overall health. Keep in mind that avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco can boost your libido.
Review your medications: Some medications can have negative effects on libido. If you think your medication is affecting your sexual desire, you can discuss alternatives with your health professional.
Consider psychotherapy: Any time you are not in a good psychological state, your libido will definitely be low. A foggy brain can’t focus on sex. If you feel you need support, consult a therapist immediately.
Hormone therapy: In many cases, hormonal problems underlie low libido. With a few simple tests that your doctor will order, you can find out your hormone levels and get treatment if needed.
Try something new: Introducing fantasies and new experiences into your sex life can revitalize lost sexual desire.
Increasing emotional intimacy: Look for activities that you can do together with your partner. Vacations, entertainment and sports with him/her will increase your emotional bonds. Spending quality time together more often means a healthier sexual relationship.