What’s the doc say?
Over the years, Dr. Gregory Frane (at our Rogers Clinic) has seen hundreds of men for low libido. “Oh yea, I see many patients for low sex drive. It’s a common complaint, especially in men 40-75. I always start with checking his morning testosterone, and if it’s normal we start talking about other potential causes. Sometimes, a guy will present with low energy, fatigue, down mood and I’ll check testosterone only to find it’s not at optimal levels. We’ll treat his low testosterone, consider starting a depression/anxiety med, improve nutrition and exercise, and maybe talk about cutting back at the office. Simple changes like that can really help him feel better overall and help his sex drive, too,” Dr. Frane explains.
Dr. Gregory Frane, MD
Northwest Family Clinics
Every June marks Men’s Health Month. During this time, awareness is brought to common issues affecting men. This June we’re covering low libido. This issue can also affect women, but within this article we will be discussing how this specifically affects men.
This condition refers to a lack of interest in sex or a low sex drive. This is a prevalent issue that affects 20-25% of men in the US.
For many men, this issue can feel quite embarrassing. It leaves many to avoid talking about it with their partner and even their doctor. Remember, your physician will not pass judgment, and addresses this concern often. Your doctor also understand your medical history and the complexities of low libido. You should always discuss issues like this with your primary care doctor. They can help. You are not alone, and it is not embarrassing.
Men’s Health - Understanding Low Libido
Low libido is different from erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is characterized as being unable to achieve or maintain an erection, while low libido is a lack of interest in sex. This means that a person with low libido can still achieve and maintain an erection but may not have a desire to engage in sexual activities.
Causes of Low Libido
There can be many contributing factors that cause low libido.
- Low testosterone – a simple morning blood test can measure these levels. Your doctor will explain what levels are normal and abnormal.
- Physical stress – common in endurance athletes who are physically too tired to find interest in sex.
- Emotional stress
- Endocrine disorders - involving thyroid hormone, prolactin, or estrogen
- Chronic illnesses
- Chronic pain
- Lifestyle choices– lack of movement, eating a non-nutritious diet, alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use.
Treating Low Libido
Low libido technically is not a harmful medical condition that needs to be treated. However, if it negatively impacts your romantic relationships, you may want to consider seeking help and potentially making lifestyle changes.
Sometimes, however, low libido can be a symptom of something more serious. There may be contributing health factors interrupting your sex drive linked to other aspects of your health.
Talk to Your Doctor
Your primary care doctor can help by understanding your symptoms, doing a physical exam, reviewing your medical history and current medications, and assessing your mental health. After fully understanding your circumstances and having a thorough discussion, your doctor can create a plan to help you get your groove back and live an overall healthier life.