Did you know sexual desire can tell you about your health? Read on to know what your libido says about your health.
Libido, a common term used to describe one’s sexual appetite or sex drive, can also help one understand one’s overall physical and mental health. Low sexual desire is common among both males and females. It can be affected by both subjective and objective causes. While most do not know this, libido can indicate a lot about your health. It’s important to understand that the factors affecting sexual drive involve both the mind and the body.
Besides adequate blood and nerve supply to the genital area, the presence of sex hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone play a significant role in both overall health and sexual desire. When we speak about libido, in most cases, low libido is a concern to many. When one experiences low libido, it could indicate concerns with mental and physical health. The absence of libido is considered to be the tip of the iceberg phenomenon. In other words, if libido is missing, it could be an indicator of other health concerns.
What low libido says about your health?
There are various causes behind low sexual desire or low libido, including:
- Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression
- Pain conditions like arthritis and diabetes
- Sexual dysfunctions like performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation for men and painful intercourse for women
- Hormonal imbalances such as low testosterone and estrogen; and
- Medication side effects from classes of medicines, for example antidepressants like (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), antipsychotics, and beta-blockers to name a few.
Common cause of low libido in men and women
Women experience hormonal fluctuations as they age, and when estrogen levels drop low (commonly during the 40s and 50s), they go through menopause. Low levels of estrogen can have a negative impact on sexual wellness—for example, it can lead to low libido, vaginal dryness, or lack of lubrication—leading to painful sex and disrupted mood and sleep patterns.
When a male reaches early adulthood, his testosterone levels are at their highest. However, as he gets older, testosterone levels begin to decline, especially after the age of 40 or 45 years. A simple blood test can help diagnose low testosterone levels.
How can it be treated?
The solution to treating low libido is being aware and speaking to a professional such as an andrologist, gynaecologist, or psychologist.
Through holistic therapy, experts in the field of sexual medicine can provide relief from low sexual desire and health symptoms. The professionals first determine the cause behind their patient’s low sexual desire; they then target the cause, and focus on the mind and body to help increase libido. Treatment for low sexual desire includes
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Treating any medical, mental health, or sexual health conditions Changing
- Medications that are causing side effects
- Improving mental health
- Living a healthy lifestyle
- Couple therapy
It is important to remember that libido isn’t an on-and-off switch; it is subjective. This means that there are variations depending on many factors such as relationship concerns, the age of a person, and with women, their menstrual cycle.
The symptoms that the disorder can produce can influence a person’s physical health, mental health, and emotional well-being. The underlying cause of all individual’s symptoms of low sexual desire must be addressed before treatment is considered. Sexual dysfunctions or concerns are common and treatable, but the stigma associated with sexual health leads to millions suffering in silence. Therefore, one must not shy away from seeking help for the same.