Medical Q&As

Low sex drive - why?

I am a 34 years old married male with a very low sex drive. I am generally healthy and am not experiencing any stress at work. Why is my sex drive so low?

Low sex drive is also known as low libido and it is a common problem in both sexes. It is estimated that it affects approximately 30% of men and approximately 40% of women. It can happen for many different reasons. It could be due to low levels of testosterone, which is the male sex hormone. Excessive alcohol consumption can also reduce libido. Lack of adequate sleep or even working excessively long hours can also cause a reduction in sexual desire. Sometimes it can be due to unresolved conflicts in the relationship or even confusion over sexual orientation. Low libido can also occur as a result of underlying illness such as hypothyroidism, diabetes or a neurological disorder. Depression is a very common cause of low libido. Medication may also be at fault and the list here includes such substances as tranquillisers, antidepressants and blood pressure treatments. Illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis are all documented as having had negative effects on libido. Having given a long list of causes of reduced libido it is important to qualify my answer by saying that reduced libido is only a problem if it is causing a difficulty in a relationship. Some couples can enjoy a very satisfactory relationship despite reduced libido. If the opposite partner’s sexual and emotional needs are being satisfied despite the reduction in sex drive then one could reasonably suggest that a problem does not exist.