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The incredible shrinking libido

“Over the last year I haven’t been interested in having sex. What’s wrong with me?”

Your libido can be influenced by many different social, psychological and physical (or medical) factors. Low libido can cause people problems.

Issues inside your head (psychological)and outside in the world (social) tend to be more common, but, that being said, you shouldn’t ignore the possibility of an underlying medical issue.

Obviously social factors like family, work or where you live can have some influence over your interest in sex. In addition, poor sleep, lack of exercise, large amounts of alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking could also be causing problems.

They affect your overall mental and physical health while at the same time altering your hormone levels which could lead to less interest in bedroom activities. If you’re bummed out because your bum won’t put out, then make sure you are eating and sleeping well, exercising and reduce the amount of drugs, smokes and booze you’re putting into your body.

Psychological issues can decrease the amount of desire to have sex, like depression, body-image problems or personality types (some people just don’t enjoy it!). Being too stressed out, ashamed of your body, or feeling isolated and alone all fit into this category. If you think this might be you, take a trip to see your family doctor (or better yet your therapist) to explore some of these feelings. Your doctor should screen you for clinical depression; loss of libido is one of the key features (and is seen more often in the LGBT community) and you may benefit from anti-depressants.

Low libido is separate from erection problems — the latter is when people want to have sex but can’t get the equipment to work.

Maybe your unenthusiastic attitude for boom-boom lies in some  medical reasons. Hormones, mainly testosterone, control our interest in “getting some.” Low levels often mean low libido. Aging is the most common cause of gradually lowering testosterone levels. A variety of chronic illnesses like HIV and diabetes can also decrease these hormone levels so, after stabilizing your chronic issues, supplementing with testosterone medications may help. Make sure your doctor or pharmacist reviews your medications for likely libido-killing culprits such as beta-blockers (blood pressure medication), narcotics, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.

Bringing up sexual problems with a doctor is often difficult but it is essential so they can properly examine you and perform tests to rule out other medical causes — like anemia (low red blood cells), thyroid problems, breathing problems like COPD, and pituitary issues.

Loss of interest in sex is a common problem and for some is a non-issue having minimal impact on their lives. If it is causing you grief make sure to care of your body, reduce stress in your life, and visit a healthcare professional. Hopefully you will feel like a teenager again.