What’s killing your sex drive?
This variance in libido from individual to individual is to be expected. It’s more so important to recognize when your sex drive has diverged from baseline.
You may notice at some point in your life, that your sexual appetite has plummeted and it’s just not what it used to be. You may begin to strongly lack the desire for any sexual activity and there is definitely a reason behind this change.
Various factors such as hormonal fluctuations, age, emotional or psychological duress, and certain lifestyle choices may affect one’s sex drive. There are other surprising factors that have also been implicated in the strength of one’s libido.
For example, research has even interestingly correlated face shape with one’s sex drive.
A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggested that individuals with wider faces tend to have a much stronger libido as compared to those with a more narrow face.
More research and studies on the factors influencing the human sex drive are undoubtedly necessary. But, if you do ever notice a drop in your libido, these are some of the potential reasons for such a change.
You are chronically stressed out.
Stress can stimulate cortisol which in turn may interfere with the production of certain sex hormones that are key in revving up your sex drive. Additionally, the psychological impact of stress may also impair sexual desire.
Stress in the form of relationship turmoil can be the impetus amplifying any lack of desire one may have for sexual activity with their partner.
If you are always arguing with your significant other and the relationship has become far too emotionally draining and toxic, chances are that your desire for any form of sexual activity will be diminished.
You take certain types of médications.
Sexual dysfunction is a very common side effect of taking certain antidepressant medications. If you are on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), it may actually lower your sexual desire. Antidepressants may also contribute to erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness.
If you ever experience any degree of sexual dysfunction secondary to the initiation of medications, speak to your physician immediately. Your doctor may consider changing the class of medication you are taking or even titrating the dosage.
You are depressed.
Mental health disorders like depression may impact every facet of your life, including your sexual health. Symptoms of depression may include anhedonia, which just means you have lost pleasure in activities that you used to really enjoy.
A drop in sex drive in conjunction with other symptoms such as feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and lowered energy levels may sometimes be indicative of a major depressive disorder. Effective treatment of depression may ameliorate the desire for sexual activity.
You have an underlying medical condition e.g. thyroid disorder.
Thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism represent a physiologic state whereby metabolic functioning in the body decreases, including the lowering in production of some sex hormones. Hypothyroidism may indeed contribute to a loss of libido and other health problems.
It’s a common endocrine condition that should be ruled out by your doctor if you begin to experience an unexpected and gradual change in your sex drive. Luckily, simple routine blood work can help to diagnose a low functioning thyroid gland.
You drink excessive amounts of alcohol
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that may inhibit one’s response to sexual stimulation. Too much alcohol can have an adverse effect on sexual health, and may hinder one’s ability to maintain an erection or achieve orgasm.
In women, it may potentially impact vaginal lubrication. Moderation is definitely key when drinking alcohol.
You smoke cigarettes
Cigarettes contain a plethora of noxious chemicals including nicotine that may disrupt sexual arousal and also contribute to erectile dysfunction. Nicotine can have a damaging effect on certain vessels that supply blood to the penis.
This decreases blood flow to the genitals and may lead to problems achieving an erection. If you quit smoking, you will surely begin to note improvements in your sex life.
You abuse illicit drugs
Testosterone is an important hormone that plays a role in mediating one’s sex drive. Opioids have been linked to decreasing testosterone levels, so it’s no surprise that heroin has been strongly associated with lowered libido and sexual dysfunction.
You adhere to an unhealthy diet
You must avoid a diet filled with foods that are highly processed, high in sugar, and high in trans fats. It simply does no good for your sexual health.
Some processed foods contain chemicals and additives called phthalates which studies have also linked to lowering libido. Exposure to these toxic chemicals may negatively impact not only your libido, but also your overall health.
Here is the bottom line: The sooner you identify the root cause of your declining libido, the earlier you can immediately address the underlying problem and better improve your sexual health.
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