Decreased libido (hypolibidemia) – one of the most frequently reported problems with sexual life by patients. After entering this term in the search engine – sponsored materials of dietary supplements appear in the first place, aimed at improving (raising) the level of libido. But is it a reliable source of knowledge? Is this type of supplementation the solution to the problem? It seems not. Not only because these types of supplements do not have any research-proven effectiveness, but also – because in order to deal with these types of difficulties – you must first know the cause.
Causes of decreased libido
The sources of this type of disorder can be found both in the sphere of physical health and psychological factors. Starting with the former – noticing difficulties in the sphere of desire – it is worth examining your hormones – increased prolactin or decreased testosterone are factors that contribute to this disorder. It is also worth verifying whether we are currently taking medications that lower our libido as a side effect. Other factors may be chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism, obesity, cardiovascular diseases. It is also worth taking care of a proper diet and the level of physical activity – a healthy lifestyle significantly affects our well-being – and thus our libido. Being physically healthier – we usually also feel more attractive (and this is again a plus for lust!).
Other causes of reduced libido can be traced to psychological (and also psychosecuological) factors – libido can be reduced by:
- increased level of stress (e.g. caused by a professional situation or an unexpected, tragic event – e.g. death of a loved one),
- difficulties in a close romantic relationship (frequent conflicts with a partner, a feeling of resignation, a sense of rejection by a partner, and therefore also low self-esteem or attractiveness), as well as significant changes in the family system – e.g. the arrival of a child,
- difficulties in the sexual sphere of one of the partners (erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, difficulty reaching orgasm, vaginismus, pain during intercourse),
- depressed mood (and even more mood disorders depression),
- unrealistic expectations towards one’s own sex life – driven by the use of pornography – addiction to this type of content strongly distorts the way of perception, it can distort our perception to such an extent that in the face of fear of not meeting our own expectations – it will be easier to avoid sexual interaction.
Treatment of decreased libido
Treatment should begin with a sexological consultation, because finding the source (or most often several sources) of the difficulties described in the article allows you to take appropriate actions aimed at restoring the libido to the desired state.
A specialist – a sexologist, will conduct an interview, get acquainted with the patient’s history, looking for the causes of the problem. At this stage, it is very important, among other things, to determine whether this difficulty has been with us for a long time when it appeared (perhaps its appearance was accompanied by significant events in our lives, or maybe it has always been with us?) dealt with the problem so far, what strategies she used. An important aspect is also previous experience in the sexual sphere (whether close-ups were perceived as something pleasant or attractive so far, could they cause a sense of shame, or maybe something difficult and traumatic happened), beliefs about sexuality that we took from home or developed related to different experiences. Working on beliefs regarding sexuality, changing the approach, perhaps also fighting fear (even fear of evaluation, failure to meet expectations) may turn out to be crucial. During the conversation, the subject of expectations as to sex life, one’s own sexual performance is also discussed – often it is helpful to make them real.
If these are health factors – you will need to consult a doctor, probably appropriate pharmacological effects, perhaps also a change in lifestyle or treatment of another disease that caused a decrease in libido. In the case of psychological (and psychosexological) factors – to improve the situation, cooperation with a psychologist-sexologist will be needed in order to develop appropriate strategies, and perhaps start therapy (in some cases couple therapy), thanks to which the difficulties related to desire will be worked through.
Hypolybidemia is a complex problem that often involves several factors. Reduced libido can also be an important symptom, informing us about changes in our health (physical and mental) or difficulties in a close relationship. It is also worth remembering that in the sexual sphere, the most important are intimacy, trust, a sense of security and satisfaction from being together (sexual satisfaction does not always equal orgasm), and not necessarily quantitative measurements (frequency, length of intercourse, number of orgasms, etc.).
Autor: Magdalena Papiernik