Everyone has a different sex drive. Some people are completely satisfied with occasional sexual intimacy, while others enjoy sex daily. Just like most things in life, your libido, or desire for sexual activity, can ebb and flow throughout your life. You may experience low libido or high libido at one point or another, which is completely natural.
There is only one thing that matters about your sex drive being high or low: your opinion about it. As long as you are happy, your libido level is not something to worry about. If your interest in sexual activity is low and it bothers you or your partner, you may want to find out why the mood doesn’t strike you as often. There are various factors that influence your libido, and your body may be trying to tell you something if it is lower than usual.
What Is Low Libido?
Low libido is characterized by a temporary or long-term decline in the frequency and/or intensity of previous desire for sex. No interest in any type of sex, a decrease in sexual fantasies or thoughts, or feeling unhappy or stressed about sexual desire can indicate low libido. A drop in sex drive is completely normal and very common. About one-fifth of the male population, and an even greater number of the female population, will experience low libido at some point in life. Continue reading to learn about causes of low libido and how you can remedy the situation.
You’re Taking Certain Medications
Your libido can take a dip if you take certain medications. Health experts explain that birth control pills can increase sex-hormone binding globulin, which acts like a sponge, soaking up other hormones that aid libido. Other forms of contraception can also decrease your sex drive as well, and they are:
- Progestogen-only birth control pill
- Depo-Provera injection
- Combined hormonal contraception, including combined pill, vaginal ring, or birth control patch
- Contraceptive implant
Other medications that may negatively affect sex drive include:
- Blood pressure medications
- Chemotherapy drugs
If your medication is to blame for your low libido, consider talking with your doctor. Work with your doctor to find the right type of medication and dose that will help you, but won’t ruin your sexual desire. Certain antidepressants, for example, may help improve your sex drive!
You Are On Your Period
Your monthly cycle can influence your sex drive in a serious way. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest during your period, causing a dip in your libido. The decreased interest in sexual activity serves a purpose because you tend to have the highest libido around ovulation. If your libido is low during your period, it is most likely not a permanent issue. Once your cycle completes, your sexual desire will most likely return to whatever is normal for you.
You Exercise Too Much Or Not Little
Exercise makes you feel good because it naturally boosts endorphins, which are the body’s feel-good chemicals. Making exercise a part of your daily routine can support a healthy libido. In fact, research states that men who engage in regular physical activity have higher libidos, testosterone levels, and fertility. That connection may be associated with better overall mood because regular physical activity helps keep you at healthy weight. Failure to exercise can increase the risk of health complications, many of which can destroy your libido. The opposite may also be true, as too much exercise can sabotage your sex drive. Chronic endurance training can interfere with hormones that affect libido.
If your libido is down and you don’t exercise a lot, consider moving a little more. Researchers note that a little exercise goes a long way for your libido. Just 10-15 minutes of exercise per day can be enough. Additionally, remember not to overdo it because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
You Drink Or Smoke Too Much
A little wine may help you unwind, but too much imbibing can also decrease your sex drive. The Mayo Clinic notes that too much alcohol can decrease testosterone levels and lead to erectile dysfunction. The same applies for smoking, which can suppress testosterone and reduce blood flow, causing less pleasurable sexual arousal. Other recreational drugs may also negatively impact your sex drive. Substances can both lower testosterone levels and change the brain’s response to pleasure. Activities that you once enjoyed, like sex, may not feel as good as they used to. The simple fix is to cut back on your consumption, or stop altogether. When you limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking, your libido and overall health will benefit.
You Lack Sleep
Sleep deprivation can negatively affect all aspects of your health, from brain and heart function to your libido. The body requires sleep to repair and function properly. If you’ve been exhausted, you know that you don’t function at your best. If you don’t sleep enough and you lack power and energy, sex is probably not your number one priority. Insufficient sleep has been linked to low libido and sexual arousal in both men and women, according to a 2017 study. If sleep is plaguing your libido, try to focus on getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and quiet, and turn off screens about two hours before bedtime.