Reasons your sex drive is so low
- YOU'RE GETTING A GUT
Guys with 'central obesity', or a waist circumference of 40 inches or above, had significantly lower levels of testosterone than men with more svelte waists, a 2014 study in clinical endocrinology found.
One of the most common causes of depressed libido is low testosterone. That's because areas of your brain - such as the amygdale - that are associated with sexual desire have abundant testosterone receptors. When there's enough testosterone, the hormone lights up those receptors, and it's go time. But if there isn't enough, the effect can be reduced desire.
While supplements may help, the most reliable way to naturally boost testosterone is exercise. One study found that progressive resistance training can prompt more testosterone release, as well as reduce your gut size.
- YOU'RE LEFT IN THE DARK
In an Italian study, researchers recruited men who'd been diagnosed with sexual arousal disorders, and had them sit in front of light boxes every day for two weeks.
Half the group got a major dose that mimicked natural sunlight amounts, while the other half got only a small fraction of that amount. Those in the sunny group reported significant changes in their sexual desire levels - and also more sexual satisfaction levels overall.
According to the researchers, the effect is likely because bright light causes you to produce more of a pituitary chemical called luteinizing hormone. The more you have of that, the greater your testosterone level.
- YOU SNORE
Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, which is also linked to lower testosterone levels. The hormone rises as you sleep and falls if you're struggling to get your ZZZs, according to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Plus, they found that of 401 men getting tested for sleep apnea, 70 per cent also had erectile dysfunction. They also struggled with sexual desire and overall satisfaction when they did have sex.
Besides potentially boosting libido and correcting snoring, addressing sleep apnea can also lower other serious health risks such as hypertension, heart issues, and stroke.
- TAKING CERTAIN MEDICATIONS
Medications can be a miraculous solution, but they can also be tough on your libido.
High blood pressure medications, in particular, can cause sexual issues because they're diuretics. That means they decrease blood flow throughout the body, including to your penis. When that happens, it can be more difficult to get an erection, and that can affect you enough to lower your sex drive.
Other common medications that have been reported to have an effect on libido are antidepressants and opioids like oxycodone and morphine, according to the Mayo Clinic. These can lower testosterone levels and suppress sexual function.
Even the hair-growth drug Propecia might be a factor, according to a clinical trial data from the manufacturer.
To address these problems, talk with your doctor about lower sex drive, even if you don't think it's related to your medication.
- YOUR CORTISOL LEVELS ARE SPIKING
Cortisol is the hormone that helps you handle stress - in the 'fight or flight' kind of way - but when it's elevated on a continual basis, your body can get run down pretty fast.
Cortisol plays a vital function in modulating the immune system, regulating blood sugar, and keeping blood pressure steady. But high cortisol levels over time become a major problem in many significant ways.
According to experts, when you operate on maximum cortisol, everything is affected - your sleep is off, you store fat more easily, you're anxious, you increase systemic inflammation, and you could develop thyroid issues. Any of these situations can affect your libido.
Work on stress management techniques like deep breathing, going to bed earlier, eating healthier, and taking up a regular hobby.