Causes and signs of low libido in men

Several things can cause low libido in men. They include getting older, the presence of an underlying health condition, relationship issues, or a hormone imbalance. If you’re a man and you’re concerned about your sex drive, interest, or desire, keep reading to learn more about the common causes, signs, and symptoms.

Key takeaways

  • Sex drive and libido fluctuate over time
  • Health conditions, lifestyle choices, and natural causes all impact libido
  • Alcohol and drug use can also have a negative impact
  • It’s natural for our libido to decrease over time as testosterone levels decrease
  • Most men should expect to maintain some level of sexual interest into their 60s and 70s
  • Getting more exercise and eating a balanced diet are great ways to improve sex drive

What causes low libido in men?

Health conditions

There are many different health conditions that can affect our sex drive. 

These include diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, thyroid disease, and neurological diseases. Psychological issues also play a role in determining how interested we are in sex. If you’re feeling more stressed, anxious, or depressed, you may also find that your desire for sex is lower than usual.

Some medications that are prescribed to combat long-term health conditions may also have side effects that impact your libido. If you’re on a medication and you are frustrated or concerned about this, speak with a GP about potential alternatives.

Lifestyle choices

Lifestyle choices and the decisions we make when it comes to what we put into our bodies can have a big impact on our libido.

For instance, drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs can reduce your libido. Alcohol is a depressant that will minimise our interest in sex and ultimately affect a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection. Beer is one of the worst culprits, as it affects the liver’s ability to remove excess hormones.

When it comes to illegal drug use, cannabis can decrease testosterone levels for up to 24 hours, which will in turn reduce our sex drive. Regular use of the drug can have a long-term impact on your libido and diminish your interest in sex more broadly.

Natural causes

It’s important to know that there is no “normal level” and that it’s natural for our sex drive and desire to fluctuate over time. 

There are a number of natural causes that can cause our interest in sex to diminish. These include:

  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Mineral deficiencies
  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Tiredness
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Increased stress levels

Improving your diet can have a positive impact on your libido. To make sure you’re getting what you need from the food you eat, make sure your diet includes enough Vitamins B, C and Zinc and Magnesium.

Does age affect libido in men?

It's natural for men to notice a gradual decrease in libido as they age. It’s thought that this is because testosterone levels start to decrease as we get older.

The older we get, the more likely we are to develop a physical health condition that has the potential to negatively affect our libido. This includes conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

The degree of this decline varies greatly from person to person, but most men should expect to maintain some degree of sexual interest into their 60s and 70s.

Ways to increase your libido

There are a number of ways you can increase your libido and improve your sex life.

These include eating a balanced and nutritious diet, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink, not using illegal drugs, giving up smoking, getting regular exercise, losing weight if you are overweight, reducing anxiety, and focusing on improving intimate relationships.

If you have made changes and are still concerned about your sex drive after reading this, then please book an appointment with your GP to discuss whether you need further tests or treatment.

Last updated Friday 24 May 2024

First published on Friday 24 May 2024