When low libido comes on suddenly, it’s important to get treatment from a medical professional. Often, a health professional will ask questions about your lifestyle and sexual history to determine the underlying cause of your low libido.
In addition to mental health problems, a variety of chronic health conditions can also contribute to low libido. These include depression, diabetes, arthritis and thyroid issues.
Depression is a common mental health disorder that can affect your libido. It usually begins with feelings of sadness or a low mood, and then can progress to feelings of hopelessness and discouragement.
Depression can be triggered by a variety of things, including stress, a medical illness, or a relationship breakup. It also can be a side effect of certain antidepressants.
Researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but the cause may be related to a person’s brain chemicals. The neurotransmitters that tell the brain where sexual desire starts and send signals to the sex organs can be out of balance.
Symptoms of low libido can include trouble getting sexually aroused, anorgasmia—continuous trouble arousing at orgasm—or erectile dysfunction. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. They’ll check your health and your mental state to rule out other conditions. Then, they can prescribe a medication to treat your depression and address any sex issues you might be having.
Obesity is a chronic, life-threatening condition that can lead to sexual dysfunction and other health issues. There are many factors that contribute to obesity, including genetics, diet, hormones, medications, and the environment.
One of the major causes of a low libido in men is obesity, as it affects hormone production and metabolism. Excess body fat slows down the release of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which can make it difficult to get in a good mood during a date.
Testosterone is the main male hormone that is essential for sperm production and libido. Overweight men have lower levels of the hormone than normal-weight men, which can increase their risk for erectile dysfunction (ED).
Obesity also increases the risk for sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that can cause sudden cessations of breathing during sleeping. This can interfere with a person’s ability to get quality sleep and is a huge concern for men who have a high BMI.
Several types of heart disease, including coronary artery disease and coronary artery bypass surgery, can affect a person’s sexual life. Patients may fear that their sexual activities will trigger a heart attack or life-threatening arrhythmia (an abnormal heartbeat), and some of the medications prescribed to treat these conditions can have side effects that can also affect a patient’s libido.
Women with coronary artery disease often have decreased libido and less interest in sex. This is due to a number of reasons, including the fact that the blood flow to the vagina is reduced, which can reduce how a woman’s body responds before and during intercourse.
Men may also have a low libido and less interest in sexual activity because of the side effects of their medicines, including those that treat high blood pressure, which can cause changes in circulation that can affect a man’s ability to get or maintain an erection. These changes can also have an effect on a man’s mood, making him more likely to be depressed or feel angry, which could affect his libido as well.
Cancer can cause a decrease in your libido, or “sexual drive.” This is common in people treated for gynecologic cancer and prostate cancer. It is also common for people who receive chemotherapy drugs, hormone therapy or some surgeries.
Radiation to the pelvic area can lower your libido because it damages blood vessels and nerves in or near the sexual organs. Chemotherapy can affect your libido and fertility by altering your hormone levels, making you tired and weak.
These sexual changes can be upsetting, but they usually go away when treatment ends. Talk with your healthcare team about what changes you are experiencing and how to manage them.