Low Sex Drive

Low Sex Drive: Overview

Inhibited desire is the most common sexual dysfunction, effecting one in three couples.  20% of married couples have a non-sexual marriage (being sexual less than ten times a year) and 30% of non-married-couples who have been together longer than two years have a non-sexual relationship.  Desire problems can drain intimacy and good feelings from the relationship.

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When low sex drive is mentioned, the spouse with the problem is usually categorized as the wife.  However, there are many husbands who aren't interested in sex either.  Although men may not want to talk about having a low libido, not doing so may create anxiety and heartbreak in their wives.  Since discrepancies in sexual desire can cause tremendous frustration, it is especially important for affection to be expressed when libido is low since it could be misinterpreted as indifference or dislike.

Of the three components that typically define a successful marriage – money, kids and sex – you only need two of them to have a relationship that survives.  Some have gone beyond this to conclude that one of them has to be sex.  Therefore, one partner's loss of interest can be more than frustrating, it can be marriage-threatening.

While impotence and loss of libido are two separate things, men who experience impotence commonly experience a decrease in libido over time.

Causes and Development

The arrival of a baby has been known to dampen sexual desire also.  Nursing mothers' hormones, including those that influence sex drive, are in flux for as long as they continue to nurse, and their limited enthusiasm for sex can effectively cool their mate's desire also.

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Low Sex Drive:

Symptoms - Reproductive - General


Risk factors for Low Sex Drive:


Low Male Testosterone Level

Many studies over the years have shown that testosterone is critical to sexual desire.  One of the most common symptoms of low male testosterone level is a loss of libido.


Organ Health

Diabetes Type II

Lack of sexual desire can be a consequence of diabetes.

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Low Sex Drive suggests the following may be present:




Hypothyroidism can trigger loss of libido in both men and women.


Progesterone Low or Estrogen Dominance

Loss of sex drive often correlates with a progesterone deficiency, not an estrogen deficiency.

Low DHEA Level

DHEA is the precursor to testosterone.  Low testosterone levels, which reduce sex drive, may be due to low DHEA levels.

Laboratory Test Needed



Mental states such as depression and strong emotions such as anger can effectively cool sexual desire.




Recommendations for Low Sex Drive:

Botanical / Herbal


In clinical studies on 212 patients, 85% of patients with reduced libido demonstrated improvement after 30 days and 94% after 60 days of treatment with tribestan, an extract of Tribulus.  For 36 patients with chronic prostatitis and reduced libido, 75% reported favorable effects at the end of the treatment cycle.


In a study conducted in Paris, France, of 262 male patients experiencing lack of sexual desire and the inability to attain or maintain an erection, 62% of the patients with loss of libido reported that the extract of muira puama "had a dynamic effect".


Conventional Drug Avoidance

The most common medications that put a damper on sex include antidepressants, which inhibit arousal and orgasm; anti-inflammatories, which also hamper orgasm; ulcer medications, which lessen desire; and birth control pills, which limit desire and decrease lubrication.  Diuretics and anti-anxiety drugs may have this side-effect also.



Low testosterone levels are frequently the reason for diminished interest in sex, both in men and in women.

Laboratory Testing

Test for Hormones

Midlife is a time when sex desire decreases for many women.  Inevitably, in most men also, sex drive decreases with age.  This is often due to declining hormone levels, especially testosterone.  Hormone replacement is particularly effective at this time for restoring libido.

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